Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Passover (Part I)

By Odon Bulamba (18 April 2003)

We are going to open our Bibles to Exodus 12:3-13. As we know when there is a feast, each person must get ready to go to the feast, especially when you are invited we are all proud of the invitation and we all get ready with our clothes. This is when we need a mirror to know who we are and what we look like, especially Mums when they are invited they always look at themselves in the mirror so there will be no mistake on their face or bodies. Although their husbands will say you look nice, the woman might think that the husband doesn’t see very well and their husband might have glasses and eyes but the wife will not trust the husband’s eyes. They will turn in front of the mirror to see themselves and they might change their make up two or three times.

Why? Because they want to make themselves attractive and the source of this, is the opportunity to go to the feast. If there was no feast, this woman might not even wear make-up or wear nice clothes. So once we are invited it’s up to us to decide what type of clothes we will wear. We know that with some feasts we have to wear a certain type of clothes as a uniform whether you like it or not. For a normal feast or party, you might wear what you like but for some special feasts you are compelled to wear a uniform and if you don’t wear it, you might not be accepted.

I remember a year ago when Pete and Ang got married; Michelle and Hayley had the same dress and colour and the four men wore the same thing. I was wondering if Lebon was marrying Ang, or was it Ken or Pete’s cousin because the four men wore the same clothes and it was not easy to know who was who. And on the other side we saw Ang and Zoe wearing wedding clothes and maybe people could think that Lebon had married Zoe because Lebon and Zoe were holding hands and they were two young children wearing wedding clothes, because that was an opportunity and a wedding feast.

Before God there are no small and big feasts; if it is a ceremony or feast everyone must wear the same clothes and you will never say this belongs to the oldest one and this belongs to the children because children and adults all need salvation and salvation doesn’t care about race or anything else. It’s just about accepting and receiving salvation.

So because it was a feast (Exodus 12) they had to get ready and they all had to do the same thing and God gave them a condition. You all must wear the same thing on your feet; you must all wear sandals and in your hand you must also have something. So those conditions were a must.

Maybe those people would think they were free but before God they were slaves and they had to accept everything God asked and if not, they would be punished. If someone wanted to do something different they would have seen later on the consequences of their actions.

God said, “take a lamb without defect” and if you took a lamb with a defect, for God automatically you would be put aside because you didn’t respect the rules. For instance, if God says, you are going to eat this meat with bitter herbs and you wanted to eat your meat with cabbage, for God you were put aside. To mean that when you are called free in the Lord, we are not free in our bodies but we are free in our spirits and the freedom for a Christian is humility. Humility is a branch of love as you know.

So the lamb was given to us and this is Jesus Christ and He is the unblemished lamb. Once you have killed the lamb, you must share the meat with the members of your family but if your family is too small, you must go and knock at the neighbour’s door and share the meat together. You who have Jesus Christ in your life, do you share this Jesus Christ with the members of your family? If yes, praise the Lord and if not, what are you waiting for. Maybe you will say, my family are still small, my children are still at an age they cannot understand the gospel. If this is the reason, ok but what about your neighbours, have you invited them to share your meal with you? If not what are you waiting for. This is the first condition that Jesus gave his disciples, go everywhere and evangelise His people. But before you go everywhere in the world, start with Jerusalem, preach first with your family members and after that go somewhere else.

They were taught the meat they were going to eat must be roasted. As you know the ladies who prepare the food, maybe you can help me understand what this means. So what happens when you put it in the oven? It will cook slowly but you will see that the size of your meat will shrink and the water that was in the meat will evaporate and maybe the blood will also come out and maybe the meat will become dry. This meat that you couldn’t eat before, is roasted and now you can eat it. Why can you now eat this meat? The heat has transformed this meat into something edible.

You can have Jesus Christ in your life and you can have received salvation in your life but you need the heat of the Spirit of God to understand what you are eating. Many Christians are saved and receive the Holy Spirit in their lives but they don’t let the Holy Spirit work inside of them. It’s like a mum who takes the meat and puts it in the oven and forgets to turn the oven on. What will happen to the meat? The meat can stay there for ten years and instead of having a nice smell, the smell will turn into something disgusting (rotten) and people will not get close to it. It’s like a Christian who receives the gospel and he doesn’t want the Holy Spirit to lead him. He’s there because he is a Christian but he doesn’t have this divine heat in him.

So the Israelites ate the roasted meat, not raw meat. They were told to eat this meat with bitter herbs. What are bitter herbs? Steve told me to eat the bitter herbs last time and when I ate them, my head shook. Everyone could show something on their face and I tried to joke with Amber and ask her if she wanted more and she said no. Why that? Because it was bitter and it didn’t taste nice.

When you preach the Word of God, sometimes it touches people. Many people when they are touched instead of feeling the bitterness deep in their heart they start criticising the preaching and judging the preacher and don’t accept the bitterness deep inside themselves.

Once Chloe had taken the herbs she took a glass of juice to change what is in her mouth and many Christians act like that. Because the gospel told them the truth, e.g. you smoker don’t smoke anymore, you thief don’t steal anymore, they feel touched deep in their heart and say, because you disturb me, let me drink alcohol so I can forget it all because if I can be a drunkard I can forget about it. Or maybe I can decide not to go to this church anymore because they always shock people. This is the truth on this earth and in the church of God. Many people want nice preachings that flatter them and always want to hear may God bless you and they always want to hear that they are children of God but if you talk to them about something that is wrong in their lives, they start to go away.

So our brothers ate the herbs and although the meat was very nice the bitter herbs were eaten with the meat and you couldn’t separate them. You can have Jesus Christ in your life but you must know that you will also go through hard situations and see things that will shock you but if you persevere you will be a winner.

Once they had finished eating this, God said something; you must wear clothes with a belt and you must wear sandals and a staff in your hand. Do you wear sandals? In the book of Ephesians it says that the sandals are the zeal. Are you zealous? If not what are you waiting for? I know that when Michelle wants to buy shoes, she will go to a shop and pay and try on all the shoes and makes a decision and once a decision is made she sacrifices her money and takes the shoes. If you are not zealous, why don’t you go to God’s shop to sacrifice your laziness and take some zeal? Sacrifice your time and go and pray, sacrifice your time and do something that will please God. The greatest thing that Christians lack today is the zeal.

What is the zeal for you? Do you know what this means? People use their time for things they feel are important. It can be your job; for example how many hours do you work a day? After that is the bed; how long do you sleep? You make an effort to sleep for eight hours and when the children disturb you, how do you feel. Angry. If someone plays music, or if the phone rings and you are asleep you will think, who can ring me. Some people even turn the phone off because it is the most important time in their life. When they go to work they work hard because they are zealous. Work is very important because you will get paid and if you haven’t worked you will not get paid.

God has also asked us to be zealous and his salary is not what you will receive at the end of the week but his wages will be at the end of everything. So when you work you must realise that someday you will be paid for that and He is counting your hours. He counts the hours you work for Him. Maybe His way of counting and our ways are different but the bible says our actions will follow us on that day. So you as Christians try to find some time for the Lord. It’s not just a little time but an important time in your life. When people eat for instance, they have food and people say in the name of Jesus and then they eat and other people don’t even pray to say thanks. When they sleep, “oh I’m tired, protect me in my sleep, in the name of Jesus Amen”. And that’s it, two minutes to pray to God but 20 minutes to chat around and only take one minute to pray to God and sometimes not at all, yet they have 20 hours to do whatever they like.

When they get ready to travel, they are really excited. Once we went camping with this family and I observed something. I went to Michael’s place and Michelle and Ang had prepared everything they wanted to take. I thought they are serious about it because everyone would prepare what they needed and everyone knew they would be leaving soon. We didn’t know exactly what time we would leave the house but we said maybe around 9 or 10 o clock. Everyone got ready for that time to the point that we didn’t forget our toothbrush.

And what about you with the Gospel, do you prepare your trip? Because soon we’ll go to heaven and meet our Lord, what luggage will you take with you, is it a luggage of sins? Do you have a luggage with a bank account, or with clothes? What luggage will you take with you? Many Christians have not thought what they can take with them on that day.

I remember when my dad died, he was buried in a very expensive coffin, he had really beautiful clothes on and that was it, apart from that there was nothing else. I thought that they could put his TV in the coffin with him, because at that time TV had great value in my country, I think he was the third person in the area to have a TV, so TV was worth a lot. So why didn’t he take the TV? Why didn’t they give him the money he had to be buried with? He was buried and his friends were the first ones to take some dirt and throw it on him, then his wife was called to do the same thing, “oh, my husband, you are leaving me, I’m alone”, but she also threw dirt on his coffin, why didn’t you go with your husband. No, this is not my trip, that’s his time. Which means that everyone will prepare their own trip. Marcia, you will never go with Steve, Odon will not go with his sister, every one of us will go alone, even if you are twins you will go alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment