Car washed? Check. Laundry done? Check. House straightened up? Check. Cat sound asleep between computer screen and keyboard? Check.

Oh, wait, it’s Passover… did I get rid of all the leaven in my house? Hmmm. Can I claim the Fifth Amendment? My answer will incriminate me.
One of the greetings here in Israel is, have a happy and kosher Passover. That means no leaven in the house. Some people cook everything up over the one or two weeks before the holiday. Stores put the leaven on sale so that others can stock up. Many Orthodox people package everything up and sell it to a gentile for the 7 days of Passover, then buy it back as soon as the holiday ends. Others claim health reasons (all that unleavened bread can be constipating), yet others just don’t care. Some just can’t live without regular bread over the holiday. The Arab stores will be filled with people buying pita bread over the next few days. There will be discussions far and wide between friends and strangers…

Where are you having the Passover Seder? Will you celebrate the whole Seder or only part of one?

What you aren’t celebrating?

Have you bought your matzoh? What? You don’t keep kosher!?

What a fun time of year, where everyone has the opportunity to wear their religion on their sleeve and prove how righteous they are by their observance—or lack thereof—of Passover.
This year, Passover falls on Friday, with Easter Sunday on Sunday—except most of the world celebrated Easter a month ago because of the dissociation of the holiday with the Jewish calendar.

I wonder what it was like that first Passover in Egypt as Israel killed a lamb that had become like a beloved pet to each family, and placed the blood on the doorposts of their house. As they entered their homes and closed their doors, and the Angel of death walked their streets, slaying the first-born of ALL who did not place the blood as commanded. Eating the feast, inside their homes, were they truly aware of the horror of what had happened? The price that bought their freedom?

In the year 33 AD a similar event happened, and the Messiah of Israel took His last breath on the cross, for the Nation, and for all nations. As we go on with our busy lives and argue over how to celebrate the holiday (leaven or no leaven), are we aware of the price paid to buy our freedom—to impart HIS righteousness on us? When we celebrate Passover or Easter or Communion, do we truly remember HIM, or are we so caught up in the ceremony that we lose sight of Him?

And as I’ve been writing, the words ring through my mind…

When I see the blood I will pass over you.

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us take the Feast.

I am reminded of the wonderful great salvation I have in Jesus the Messiah—Yeshua HaMashiach. Hmm, you know what? I think I’ll celebrate Easter anyway! Every day of my life. Why?

Because it is not my deeds or observance of the law that makes me righteous. It never could. One spring day in Jerusalem, Yeshua carried his cross and was crucified with two thieves. It happened on Passover. His blood poured out while the nation feasted… completely unaware of what His death would accomplish.

As I prepare to celebrate Passover this evening with friends and my congregation, I realize how very thankful I am for that very first Passover, when God saved my nation, and for that other Passover 2,000 years ago, when God saved Me!

Joyous Blessed Passover to You!