Years ago we used to celebrate Passover Jesus style. It’s amazing how the many traditions of the Passover meal are types of Jesus. Even in the basics of the event, there are things for us to consider.
The Lord told His people to sacrifice a lamb and spread the blood on their door posts. When the angel of death passed, he spared the blood marked homes. There is so much going on these days that I am tempted to spread some blood on my door post and pray that the darkness will pass my family by. There is persecution of Christians, not those that just use the name, but those who really follow Jesus. In fact, I have been intentionally trying to avoid identifying myself as Christian. It’s not to avoid persecution. It’s just that the term has become meaningless. It is often associated with hateful behavior that’s nothing like Christ called his followers to.
Andy Stanley recently discussed Anne Rice, a famous author from New Orleans. She is known for her series of vampire books and less known for some pretty racy stuff she wrote under a pen name. Several years ago she became interested in Jewish history and decided to read the gospels looking for references to the wars against the Jews waged by the Romans. She believed like many that the gospels were written years after Jesus’ death. When she discovered that there was no mention of the wars, she realized that the gospels really were eye-witness accounts written soon after the resurrection and that began her journey to Jesus. She turned to writing Christian novels and associating with the “church.” After a few years she reached a decision. she wrote:
For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.
I guess I’m where Anne Rice is. Jesus didn’t call us to be “Christians.” He wasn’t forming a religion. He didn’t instruct us to form exclusive clubs, to meet once a week, and to block out the world. He wanted followers, disciples. He wanted those followers and disciples to be identified by how they loved each other. Many of those who call themselves Christians just don’t qualify.
What’s that have to do with Passover? I believe a judgment is coming. There will be a judgment on an unbelieving world. There will, I believe, also be a judgment on those who call themselves believers. They rely on what they believe. Yet they don’t follow. They are not disciples. They don’t show love. They don’t burn for the lost. Following and discipleship is hard. It’s not a once a week activity or matter of membership. It’s about loving and loving is hard.
When that angel passes over I want to be able to put more on my door post that religious symbols, denominational affiliations, or holier-than-thou-I-don’t-sin-like-you proclamations. I want to put only the blood of the savior on my door post. I want to focus on loving the unloveable who more than ever aren’t the non-believers or the infidels, but those who call themselves Christians.