Food for freethought

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Food for freethought

As I'm sure many of you know, the Jewish people annually celebrate the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and have done so for about 3500 years now.  The Passover holiday is to commemorate the story told in Exodus Chapter 12, where God sent a destroying angel to kill all the firstborn children of Egypt.  God gave the people a way to get out of this horrible fate, of course, by telling them to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and rub it's blood above their doorposts.  Do this, He said, and the destroyer will "Passover" your house.

Now, Christians like myself will tell you that this Passover lamb was a "type" of Christ, meaning something in the Old Testament that eerily reminds us of the story of Jesus.  John the Baptist called Jesus the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."  The Book of Revelation calls Jesus "a Lamb appeared to have been slain."  Just as the Passover lamb's blood protected all inside a house from the destroyer, so also does the blood of the Lamb of God protect all under Him from the coming fiery judgment.

But this is elementary.  I'm sure you've heard such things before, and, because you may not believe the stories of the Bible have a foundation in the real world, you have become quite tired of hearing about it.  What I want to talk about is the Passover feast itself, the one that has been celebrated for 3500 years by a people that rejects Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah foretold in their Scriptures.

On the 14th day of the first month on the Jewish calendar, (which tends to be May on our calendars, theirs is based off of lunar cycles so it fluctuates) the Passover is celebrated.  Aside from eating the Passover lamb, who's bones are not to be broken, they also will sit down and eat specific, traditional foods that teach things from the story in Exodus 12.  For example, they'll eat a very hot horse-radish ground with beet juice to remind them of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt, then quickly eat sweet apples to take away the bitterness to symbolize the release from slavery. 

While many aspects of the Passover celebration directly correlate to the story of Christ, (the bitterness, in the above, would symbolize the bitterness of the death of Christ on the cross, and the sweetness would be the sweetness of the resurrection) I won't go into all of those.  I'll instead skip ahead to the fourth step in the Jewish Passover feast (also called the seder) which is called the Yachatz.  During the Yachatz, three pieces of unleavened bread are put before the celebrants.  These pieces of unleavened bread are traditionally baked on pans with indentions and ripples on them, which gives the bread an appearance of having stripes and holes in it.  As the prophet Isaiah says in Chapter 52, "He was to be pierced for our transgressions...and by His stripes we are healed."

So, they put these three pieces of striped and pierced unleavened bread in a linen basket they call the "Echad" and set it in the middle of the table.  This word "Echad" is used also in the Hebrew Old Testament.  It means "one" or "unity" in the Hebrew (Moses says in Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is Echad")  It's important to note that Jewish people are strict unitarians; they do not believe God is Triune. 

Now, the Yachatz proceeds as follows:  the father, or head of the household, takes the middle piece of bread out of the Echad.  He takes hold of the bread, which is called the Afikomen, and breaks it.  He then wraps it in linen and hides it away.  The children in the house then search for the Afikomen and when they find it they return it to their father.  The children don't just give it to him though, the father pays a ransom to get the Afikomen back, which is typically gifts or money or the like.  Everyone at the feast then eats a piece of the Afikomen.

On the night Jesus Christ was betrayed, as He and His disciples ate what we call the Last Supper, they weren't just eating any old meal, they were celebrating the Passover.  When Jesus picked up the piece of bread and said, "Take, eat, this is My body broken for you," He was breaking the Afikomen. 

The Jewish people have hardened their hearts to Jesus Christ.  They've celebrated this way for 3500 years and they still reject what I'm telling you.  It couldn't be more clear: the history of Christ is in their ancient tradition and Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah who takes away the sins of the world.  You likewise must not harden your hearts to Christ for the sake of trivial and disputable objections.  Consider what I've written, but don't take my word for it, look into it for yourself.  If you really want to think freely, seek the truth and the truth will make you free.