The first part of Ezra and the temple restoration ends with this passage – the celebration of Passover. It sounds like this was the first time the returnees celebrated this festival of remembrance since being back “home.” What a beautiful bridge to close the chapter of their past wrongs and open the new chapter full of promise of following the Lord and his decrees!
To celebrate the Passover is to remember how God showed up powerfully to save you. We can celebrate what Jesus did for us every day! Sharing in this celebration was a brilliant way to signify a unified heart devoted to God. Such a fitting end to the dedication festivities!
Some people think the returnees represented a second exodus. You’ll recall the first one when they packed up quickly to leave Egypt to escape the oppression. Their journey to the Promised Land took some time and was full of bumps and wrong turns. Yet God remained faithful. The exodus this time was from Babylon, where for seventy years the people had lived in captivity. This time, their journey home was more resolute, more purposeful, and yet not without bumps.
Isn’t that like our own person faith journeys? We, too, can stumble or make a wrong decision. Stress and frustration are far too common among believers and non-believers alike. We can face oppression or be minimized because people don’t agree with our belief system. Where do our allegiances stand? Have you ever faltered in your faith? That’s okay—most people have done the same.
While we’re all at different places along that road of faith, it’s good to know we’re on the road at least. Each step forward comes from spending time with God and seeking his will for us.
Whether your Christian fellowship has ever celebrated Passover or not, we know this was still a very important tradition for Jesus and his first Jewish followers. Remembering what Jesus has done for us is an activity we should do continuously.
It’s best when we reach the point on our faith journey when we finally understand what it means to let God’s spirit lead us. In that moment, we no longer have a compartmentalized life where act or think differently depending on whether we’re at work, doing housework, working out at the gym, at a neighborhood gathering, etc. When we are one with God, he shines through us nonstop. We finally know peace.
Visualize your faith journey thus far. Are you moving toward God? Do you need to remember more of what he did for you so you can get back on track? God wants us to be in alignment with what he desires for us, at work, at home, at play, etc. Invite God into all parts of your life.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for what you have done for me and will do for me in the future. I know you are fighting for me and giving me wisdom for each day. Protect me from Satan who wants to make me stumble. I want you to be present with me in all areas of my life. Shine through me so that I can be your light in this dark world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.