Friday 22 March 2013

High Holidays not only for Israel

In Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy we saw that the Creator God provided twice in history a Passover lamb.

Map of the Land of Israel as defined in Number...
Map of the Land of Israel as defined in Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In coming together next Tuesday 26 March we bring glory to God and show how thankful we are for what He provided in this world. The 14th of Nisan, like that day is called according the directions of God, we commemorate two occasions of deliberation: 1. the liberation of God's People Israel from Egypt; 2. the liberation of all people, believers, heathen, non-believers by the sacrificial offer of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Many in Belgium know about this day, either from the Jews or from the Jehovah Witnesses. But they should know they are also welcome at our services to see how we honour God and how we share the love of Christ Jesus. As most Jews will gather with family and friends, at a Pesah or Pesach seder, we also will celebrate the liberation of God's chosen people from slavery.

William Blake's Holy Thursday (1794).
William Blake's Holy Thursday (1794). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The coming days several people may be annoyed that the shops are closed because of a Holy Day . This weekend it starts with the Cypriots and Greeks having free until Tuesday and the 5th of May for their Easter Sunday (Many Orthodox Christian churches, including the Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox churches, celebrate the “miracle of Easter” on the Easter Sunday date in the Julian calendar.) The Jews, Messianic Jews, Unitarian Churches (like Church of God) and non-trinitarian Biblestudents (like the Russell and Christadelphian Biblestudents, Thomasites and Jehovah Witnesses) have coming Tuesday as the 'Preparation' date (14 Nisan) and the Wednesday until Thursday (15 Nisan) as Pesach, on Thursday and Friday the Old Catholics with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, on Sunday and Monday 31st of March and the 1st of April Easter for the Roman Catholics and several Protestant denominations and for the worshippers of the Celtic gods and those celebrating the goddess Estra (hence the name Easter). Also Hindus, Muslims, other believers and atheists may receive two paid holidays though they may not be interested in the reasons of the free days but will enjoy the family time.

For followers of the One and Only One God of gods  יהוה {Jehovah} it should be the most important time of the year, and not to celebrate the goddess of fertility, Estra, but to think of the liberation of the people God has given His creation.

In Belgium everybody knows  Israel “the place,” and Israel, “the people”but not many do know the position that Israel has to take in the universe. Also we, as Christians should be more aware of the function of Israel and what the position and role shall be for Jerusalem.

14 Nisan is a day when so many in Antwerp shall go into festivity days. Many Jews shall also invite non Jews to a dish with nice things for a special celebration. But we as Christians can also invite other believers to share our faith and to tell them about the liberation of the People of God and what we do expect from the bloodletting of the lamb. The mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael, loving Israel, calls us to love both the land of Israel and Klal Yisrael, the people of Israel. Loving Israel links us to both the land and the people. We should show respect for the people who got first priority by God. But we should also love all those who are created in the image of God. That means that we also should be loving to people who believe different things than us, or who say they do not believe (though they perhaps mean that they do not believe that there exist a Divine Supremacy God Creator).

Like we should teach our children about “Israel” we also should teach others about the Divine Creator, Israel and the promises God has given the world. Such holidays are good opportunities to do that. We should make use of it.

Though many have tried everything to get rid of Israel it is still a large family spread all over the world. They are a diverse group with different opinions, cultures, lifestyles, levels of observance, and beliefs. However, they are still all one family with responsibilities to each other. Those who want to become under the custody of the Creator God should also be prepared to take others under their care and should unite with each other as children of God, feeling to be part of the one Big Family.

Having been an enslaved and pursued people the Jews should know what it is to be put aside or to be discriminated. The Festival of Liberation coming in a few days time, they should, as we should, take some time to consider what cruelty can be done to people and how God can protect people and give them plural chances to make something good of their life.They should have esteem for their Liberator and show their gratitude to that Protector to others. Their children should come to understand and adopt as part of their vocabulary and their growing Jewish identity  ensch, brakhah, Torah, mitzvah, boker tov, Shabbat, tzedakah, shalom , and Israel and Klal Israel. Young children may not fully comprehend what something happening “long ago” means, but they can have an understanding that what they do now has been done for a long time. First, it happened in Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel. And now, today, Jews living all over the world continue to observe these mitzvot/practices. This must be important if their family, their teachers and friends give it such meaning.

Others around them should also get to know why those festivities are. And those who are willing to be partakers of the Kingdom of God with Israel as the capital, should show their respect to that Jewish tradition and follow the Law of God.

The same as the Jews connect with those they care about when they share a Passover Seder with family and friends, we should take the occasion of 14 Nisan, the preparation day to the 15 th of Nisan and Pesach, the Passover Meal, to invite others to share a meal with us and to share our prayers and songs to God.

By the action of the Jew Jeshua from Nazareth, Jesus Christ, those following him have become part of the people of God. And as such they also should like the Jews, communally give voice to our shortcomings and our wishes for peace and good health in the coming year during the High Holidays.

Simon Ushakov's icon of the Mystical Supper.
Simon Ushakov's icon of the Mystical Supper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Like Jesus who came together with his talmidim to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Passover meal at twilight on the fourteenth day of Nisan as ordered in the Law of Moses, we come together according the ordinances given by God and by the request of His son to remember that evening of Jesus his Last Supper. As followers of Christ, believing in his death and resurrection, accepting his offer for us, we believe we have now also become part of those chosen by God to be part of His family. And for this we are very grateful and wish to let the world know about the Wonders God did for His people.

Passover in 2013 will start on Tuesday, the 26th of March and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 1st of April.
In the USA, Passover ends one day later, so in 2013, Passover will end on Tuesday, the 2nd of April.

This year it was a little bit difficult to consider which day to be taken, because their where different opinions and some confusion in the world, having some Jews and Bible students taking the 14th Nisan Tuesday the 26th and others like in Israel celebrating Passover on the sunset in Jerusalem of Monday, the 25th of March.

We accordingly invite you for our Memorial Meal on 14 Nisan or Tuesday the 26th of March at 7.30 pm.


You may find more information about Easter and 14 Nisan:

  1. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. The Weekend that changed the world
  5. A Great Gift commemorated
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  8. A Messiah to die
  9. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  10. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  11. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  12. Seven days of Passover
  13. 1 -15 Nisan
  14. Day of remembrance coming near 
  15. Pesach
  16. Korban Pesach
  17. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  18. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  19. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  20. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  21. A Jewish Theocracy
  22. Observance of a day to Remember
  23. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  24. Observance of a day to Remember 
  25. Pesach and solidarity 

 Also of interest:

Faith Without Obedience
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1 comment:

  1. The first two days of Passover (from sundown of the first date listed, until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holiday days. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full holiday days.
    According Chabad the holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falling on the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22.

    According to us we have to take in account the difference of timing of the East (Jerusalem), Europe and the United States (even there the East and West coast).
    For 2013 we had New Moon on March the 11th and Full Moon on March 27, so 14 Nisan should be on the evening of 26 March this year.