The Tender Side of Passover

Dear Brethren,

So many times in the past we have heard ministers touch on the brutality of Passover.  They spoke of the cat o’ nine tails, the torn flesh, the blood and the agony describing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Yes, Jesus paid the greatest price for us – but there is another aspect of Passover that I would like to focus on today.  And that is the emotional part of Passover.  Of all of the Feasts of the Lord, Passover is the most moving, touching and emotional of them all.

We in the Church of God have been reluctant to speak much on ‘emotion’ because we wanted to shy away from the excessive and misapplied sentiments of the Protestants.  Some people want to keep all emotion out of the study of our faith.  The emotions we will begin with in this week’s sermon are not our own emotions – but those of God.  God is the author of our sight, feeling, taste, rest, strength, thought, emotion – and all of the senses and traits that make us human.  Does God have emotions?  We are being created in His image – Yes, God does have emotions!

Notice how in spite of His imminent and impending death, Jesus actually greatly desired to observe His last Passover with the men He had trained.  He looked forward to it with eager anticipation.  Jesus knew that He would suffer as no man had ever suffered (Isaiah 52:14).

“When the hour was come, [Jesus] sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him [for Passover].  And He said unto them, With desire I have desired [intensely set His heart upon] to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”  (Luke 22:14-16)

What is on God’s mind?  Is He so busy with the vast universe that He hardly has the time to give this earth a cursory glance?  Is God so preoccupied elsewhere that He scarcely knows that we exist?  Both Job and David pondered about God’s involvement with mankind.

What is man, that thou should magnify him [promote him to excellence]? And that thou should set thine heart upon him?”  (Job 7:17)  “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visit him?”  (Psalm 8:4)

When I first heard this verse read – and for many years after that – I thought this verse was stating that mankind was hardly worth the bother of the great God even taking note of man and his doings.   After all, I figured, the universe was filled with an immense number of enormous heavenly bodies that must occupy most of God’s time and attention.

Well, the meaning of those verses is just the opposite.  God is mind-full of mankind.  We are God’s passion, hope, Plan, motivation, aspiration, and vision.  God’s mind is filled with man and his future.  We, the Children of God, are the venture, the Plan that God dreams of, envisions and is achieving.  God has set His heart on our being in His eternal Family.  God desires we share His life with Him.

We’ve been thinking of God for 20 years – perhaps 70 years.  God has thought of nothing but us and His Plan for us throughout all eternity.  God was thinking of you and me before time began – in fact He created time just so we could grow to be like Him – like He is.  He is reproducing Himself in us.

“Beloved, now are we the Children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”  (1 John 3:2)

We shall be like Him – and that is as glorious Spirit beings.  God sent His Son to this earth to make His grand vision happen – the Plan of God.  Jesus Christ, the Son of man was crucified:

“That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”  (John 3:15-17)  The entire world’s inhabitants are meant to be saved – that’s the Plan of God.


Sermon:  "The Tender Side of Passover"
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