Reading through the Bible together

Monday, August 20, 2012

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Two remarkable aspects of Jewish life appear in this chapter—the Passover ceremony and the appearance of the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Both demonstrate the amazing graciousness of God. The cloud and the pillar show the sort of divine guidance that we all yearn for. This guidance was visible to every Israelite.

 

But the Passover is the element of Jewish life that stands out most vividly. In both Jewish and Christian practice, Passover has a lot of meaning and is extremely important. For Christians, the Passover is symbolic of the death of Christ.

 

God created a people who were to be separate, both racially and culturally. Consequently, the Jews were highly sensitive to family background. However, God’s desire for a separate, holy people did not mean outsiders had no opportunity to join Israel. The book of Numbers makes clear that non-Jews also were welcome to celebrate the Passover as long as they were willing and did it according to the rules of worship. Israel was not to be racially prejudiced and a proud separate nation.

 

Modern people often feel that the very existence of Israel shows God to be exclusive. We can be thankful for God’s acceptance of all who come to Him no matter what their race or family background.  For this we praise the Lord.

 

Mark Sheffield

Southern Adventist University