Category: Pesach (Passover)

Passover Lamb or Easter Ham?

Passover Lamb or Easter Ham?

The following is from the Bible, G-d’s written Word, several encyclopedias and a few other reference books, along with some thoughts of my own in italics scattered throughout.

The Bible: from the New King James Version (NKJV)

Exodus 12:1-11 (Shemot – Names)
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month (Aviv/Nisan) shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb (Y’shua/Jesus is the Lamb of G-d), according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 …… 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. (Passover) Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two door posts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 ………. It is the LORD’s Passover.
Exodus 12:24,26-28
24 And you shall observe this thing (Passover) as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. 25…..26 And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, ……..’ So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Leviticus 23:4&5 (V’yikra – and He called)
4 ‘These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations (gathering together to worship) which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month (Aviv/Nisan) at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.
Numbers 9:1-3 (B’Midbar – In the Wilderness)
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.”
Matthew 26:2
2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
Matthew 26:17
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus,
saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
Mark 14:12
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
Luke 22:7&8
7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
John 13:1&2
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper (the last Supper – His last Passover Seder) being ended, ……..
John 19:14
14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he (Pilot) said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
Acts 18:21
21 but took leave of them, saying, “I (Paul) must by all means keep this coming feast (Passover) in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Epheses.

In the Brit HaDeshah (New Testament) we see that the disciples were STILL keeping the “Feasts of the Lord” according to Leviticus 23. EVEN after the crucifixion of Y’shua/Jesus. It didn’t change then and it hasn’t changed to this day. We are to keep the Feasts. Period. If you have Scripture that shows otherwise, I’d like to see it.

I Corinthians 5:7&8
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven (symbolic of sin), that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of
sincerity and truth.

Institution of the Lord’s Supper – The Last Seder

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed (Aviv 14, Passover Luke 22:7-20) took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME

The Passover meal was/is called a Seder. Y’shua was eating this meal with His disciples. He asked us to do this – for Him. How can we not eat this meal as He commanded?

Suggested reading: Eddie Chumney’s book http://hebroots.com/sevenfestivals_chap3.htm

Here is an excerpt from Eddie’s book, “The Seven Festivals of the Messiah”

Did Yeshua Have a Passover Meal? (Seder)
Mark 14:12, it is written, “And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover [the Pesach lamb]….” The word translated as first is the Greek word ‘protos’, which means “before, earlier, and preceding.” Because there was a temple (Beit HaMikdash) in Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) in the days of Yeshua, the First Seder would be on the fourteenth of Nisan, and the Second Seder on the fifteenth. The Seder could be held on either night. Yeshua had His Passover (Pesach) Seder by midnight on the fourteenth of Nisan (remember that the fourteenth of Nisan begins at sundown, which is roughly six hours prior to midnight), and was crucified the next afternoon at 3:00 p.m., which is still the fourteenth of Nisan. The high priest (Cohen HaGadol) kills the Passover (Pesach) lamb for the nation of Israel at 3:00 p.m. on the fourteenth of Nisan. At sundown, the fifteenth begins, so Yeshua would have to eat His Passover lamb by midnight of the fourteenth of Nisan, which is prior to the time that the high priest kills the Passover lamb for the nation. To further prove this, in John (Yochanan) 18:28, when Yeshua was brought before Pilate, Caiaphas the high priest (Cohen HaGadol) wouldn’t enter the judgment hall of the Gentile ruler because he would be defiled and couldn’t eat the Passover lamb. So, this event must have taken place on the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan because the high priest had not yet eaten the Passover. If he was defiled, he would be defiled for one day. Since Yeshua had already eaten the Passover by the time He was seized and taken before Caiaphas and Pilate, He had to have eaten the Passover with the disciples on the evening of the fourteenth. Thus, we can see how Yeshua ate a Passover meal and could still fulfill being the Passover Lamb of G-d by being killed at 3:00 p.m. on the fourteenth of Nisan.”
Visit Eddie’s website at www.hebroots.com and

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=30&country=34

Ishtar
From the wikipedia

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_the_celebration_of_Easter_originate

“Easter is a pagan holiday that Xtians adopted into their religion. The idea of an Easter egg hunt within this Holiday comes from the goddess of fertility that the pagans had. Easter eggs were originally known as “ishtar eggs” to celebrate His resurrection from the dead. Rabbits have lots of babies, up to 42 a year! and eggs are where babies come from. In pagan cultures it was popular to paint the maidens and hide them in the forest and fields before the young men went and found them. It’s in the spring when a lot of animals are born. To Christians the resurrection of Jesus fell nicely into this pagan celebration of life.

In addition, the ancient pagans of Europe had a spring-fertility goddess known as, Eastre. In one legend, she is tricked into turning into a rabbit, not realizing she cannot turn back. She still retains her powers of fertility (symbolized by the egg) however, and thus you have an egg-laying rabbit. So the symbols of rebirth (the egg) and of Spring (when it seems rabbits overrun the woods) were joined and survived with the coming of Christianity. It was then quite easy for the missionary Christians (Catholics) to bring together an ancient concept of Easter, the important pagan time of rebirth with the idea of a “reborn” or resurrected God in Christ. It may not seem it in these times, but Easter is the most important day of the Christian world. It is the day of resurrection and proof of everlasting life. Thus, for a large population, already accustomed to spring-rebirth celebrations, it was quite easy to transition to the new religion.”

according to a number of various sources:
The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible says that Easter was “originally the spring festival in honor of the Teutonic goddess of light and spring known in Anglo-Saxon as Eastre,” or Eostre. In any case, the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition) states: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament.” The book Medieval Holidays and Festivals tells us that, “the holiday is named after the pagan Goddess of the Dawn and of Spring, Eostre.” And who was this goddess? “Eostre it was who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the White God, because of his purity and also the Sun God, because his brow supplied light to mankind,” answers The American Book of Days. It adds: “There is no doubt that the Church (Catholic) in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them. As the festival of Eostre was in celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the death of Jesus, whose gospel they preached.”
“This adoption explains how in certain lands the Easter customs, such as Easter eggs, the Easter rabbit, and hot cross buns, came about. Concerning the custom of making hot cross buns, “with their shiny brown tops marked by a cross, the book Easter and Its Customs states: “The cross was a pagan symbol long before it acquired everlasting significance from the events of the first Good Friday, and bread and cakes were sometimes marked with it in pre-Christian times.” The book Curiosities of Popular Customs answers: “It was the invariable policy of the early Church to give a Christian significance to such of the extant pagan ceremonies as could not be rooted out. In the case of Easter the conversion was peculiarly easy. Joy at the rising of the natural sun, and at the awakening of nature from the death of winter, became joy at the rising of the Sun of righteousness, at the resurrection of Christ from the grave. Some of the pagan observances which took place about the 1st of May were also shifted to correspond with the celebration of Easter.” So Easter is actually a Pagan ritual that was absorbed by the church. G-d tells us over and over in His Word NOT to do the things the pagans do!

http://www.goddessgift.com/pandora%27s_box/easter-history.htm

Easter History : Christian and Pagan Traditions Interwoven
The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. Easter, perhaps the most important of the Christian holidays, celebrates the Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death. . . a rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.

“Easter was originally a celebration of the fertility god, Ashtoreth of Babylon. More commonly known as Ishtar (Easter) is the praise of fertility, eggs, birth, and was incorporated into celebration of Jesus’ resurrection because the Catholic church didn’t want to stop the pagan worship. They folded it into ours (Catholicism) to keep the peace and money flowing. It will be exposed and punished severely in the near future by King Jesus.”

Easter
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11044a.htm from the Catholic encyclopedia:
First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 AD “….. Constantine, having ….. become sole emperor, concerned himself with the re-establishment of religious peace as well as of civil order. Other matters dealt with by this council were the controversy as to the time of celebrating Easter.

And from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05228a.htm
“The emperor himself, (Constantine) writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: “At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. . the Christians (Roman Catholics) calculated the time of Easter for themselves, paying no attention to the Jews.”

In other words, the new Emperor, paid no attention to what G-d’s Word told His children to do and decided that the celebration of the resurrection of Y’shua/Jesus was always to be held on a Sunday. They decided it would be the “first Sunday, after the first Full moon, after the 21st of March.” They wanted nothing to do with the hated Jews and their G-d commanded celebration of Passover. It was Passover that G-d commanded us to keep – AND First Fruits – the day of His resurrection. “To keep the traditions of man and/or the doctrines of the church over the written Word of G-d —– is sin.” fjc

“Even then in Ireland and in parts of the North some years passed before the adoption of the Roman Easter became general (Moran, Essays on the Origin, Doctrines and Discipline of the Early Irish Church, Dublin, 1864).” So we see that the Easter date was from the Roman Catholic Church. This fake holiday was accepted by Martin Luther when he broke from the Roman Church and has been with us ever since. Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the 31st of October 1517, to the door of Wittenberg Castle/Church, sparking the Reformation. In this he did well, but he should have insisted on forbidding the so called Sunday Sabbath, Easter and Christ Mass, other inventions of Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 135 AD.

CONCLUSION
Passover is mentioned 77 times in the Bible. Easter only once – in Acts 12:4 in the KJV and it is a miss-translation. It was corrected in all 20 of the newer translations. It should be Passover.
Ishtar/Ashtoreth/Eastre/Easter/Eostre or however you want to say it, depending on your location, is all the same fertility goddess myth and has nothing to do with our blessed Lord’s death or resurrection. Why would you ever even want to connect the two?
G-d told us about Passover, commands us to observe it and He told us not to change His Word in any way. What will you do? Accept G-d’s Passover Lamb or accept the Easter ham? Speaking of ham – do you realize what a slap in the face of G-d it must be to serve ham in the supposed honor of Resurrection Day? Pigs are the garbage cans of earth, created to clean it.

Isaiah 65:3-5 “A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; ……. Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.” Leviticus 11:4,7&8 “…..you shall not eat ….. the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.”

Y’shua/Jesus never ate pork or a ham sandwich in His whole life. He ate according to Leviticus 11. (No pork products) He told us to do what He did. So again I ask – it is Lamb or ham? When you stand before the Lord – what will you tell Him?

See you nert time!
Shalom! Sharaka

Passover – First one without him!

In honor of Kenneth L. Carlson
11/19/28  -  9/8/08

Chag Sameach – Happy Passover!

Happy Resurrection Day

You’ll be home soon, too.
You may not have noticed it
but you are closer to home than ever before.
Each moment is a step taken. Each breath is a page turned.
Each day is a mile marked, a mountain climbed.
You are closer to home than you have ever been.

Before you know it your appointed arrival will come;
You’ll descend the ramp and enter the City.
You’ll see faces that are waiting for you.
You’ll hear your name spoken by those who love you.
And maybe, just maybe – in the back, behind the crowds -
The One who would rather die than live without you
will remove His pierced hands from His heavenly robe
… and applaud.

Max Lucado, “The Applause of Heaven”

Will you be ready?

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

Happy New Year!

Today is the 4th of Nissan on G-d’s calendar. The calendar we all use is called the Gregorian calendar and was put together under Pope Gregory XIII. The Wikipedia Encyclopedia on Google says, “The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today………. decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was named, on 24 February 1582. So it can be properly called a Catholic calendar. They say the new year begins in January. G-d says it begins in the spring on the 1st of Nissan. (Sometimes March – sometimes April)
Kevin Geoffrey, a Messianic Believer, says below “we lonely few” … Isn’t that so true? The Jews on one hand don’t accept Y’shua as the Messiah, the Christians, who do accept Him, totally reject Torah (the so called “Old Testament”) as relevant in our day. We Messianics, who believe both, are not accepted by either! That surely does make us “the lonely few”.
According to the Bible, the new month started last Sunday. Each month on G-d’s calendar begins on the new moon. I am including Kevin’s short e-mail message to me. Hope you enjoy it. FYI = Adonai means Lord and is used for God’s name.
Shalom and Blessings!

And Happy New Year, too!

Yes, the new year of Israel’s calendar has begun, and as usual, our people have no idea. Sadly, as far as the Jewish people are concerned, the new year doesn’t begin for another six months, on the first day of the seventh month, known as “Rosh HaShanah.” And so, in the quiet company of the Scriptures, we lonely few celebrate the new year Adonai actually instructed Israel to observe.

In Exodus 12:1-2 and 23:15b, the Torah teaches us, “Now Adonai said to Moshe… ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you…. the month of Aviv, for in it you came out of Egypt.’” So where did Israel get the idea to celebrate the new year at some other time? By whose authority was Israel’s calendar “changed”?

As we prepare our hearts to begin again the calendar Adonai gave to Israel, my thoughts turn to my people, and I ask, “How can they ever be reached?” If their eyes are blind to the simple teachings of Scripture, how can they ever be opened to the truth of Messiah?

In this new year season and the forthcoming season of Passover, let us renew our dedication to Adonai—to live completely and utterly “sold-out” to Him. Only when we sell ourselves out to God and follow wholeheartedly in the ways of the Master will we be able to reach our Jewish people… indeed, the ends of the earth! As long as we are wishy-washy on the Scriptures and convictionless with how we mix ourselves up with the world, we fail in our calling as disciples of Messiah. Now is the time to stand in the authority given to us by the Master, and fully embrace our identity in Messiah every moment of our lives.

Let us begin by forsaking our own lives, dying to self and giving ourselves to Him, then making this resolution new once again: “With Messiah I have been crucified, and no more do I live, but Messiah lives in me…” (Gal.2:20)

In the Master’s service,

Kevin Geoffrey
President and Founder
Perfect Word Ministries

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

Do the Math!

The Bible says, “Come let us reason together.”  So let’s do that.

We know Y’shua (Jesus) wasn’t in the tomb on Sunday morning. But when did He die?

The church believes Y’shua (Jesus) was crucified on a Friday. They get this from John 19:31 where it is mentioned they wanted to remove Y’shua’s body before the Sabbath. The church assumes the Bible means the weekly Sabbath (Shabbat/Saturday).  The Bible states:  “31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day),……….”   I believe what the Bible says, not what somebody made up.

Y’shua was crucified on Passover, which had to have been on a Wednesday that year. The Roman Church under Constantine, degreed the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st of March, which is the Spring equinox is “Easter”.  This is the English name of “Ishtar”, the Babylonian goddess of fertility. That’s why there are eggs and bunnies – symbols of fertility. The Roman holiday of Ishtar has what to do with Y’shua’s death and resurrection?  The Bible plainly tells us exactly when Passover is and three days later came the Resurrection?  Mark 14:16-17 tells us: “16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 In the evening He came with the twelve.”   After the Seder (the Passover meal) was eaten, Y’shua went to the Garden with His disciples and there was betrayed by Judas. He was taken, beaten, sent to a mock trial, condemned to die, put on the cross, died, was buried – all in the same 24 hours.

He had to be taken down from the cross before sunset that night because the day after Passover is a high Sabbath. It is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Every holy day, each day that G-d calls a Sabbath, is a high Sabbath – and not the weekly or seventh day Sabbath. See Leviticus 23 for all the Holy Days. G-d’s days – Biblical days – begin, not at midnight, but at sunset. Genesis 1:5 says: “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Y’shua was hurriedly placed in the tomb just minutes before sunset. If He died at 3 PM, and they had to go “beg the body” from Pilot, get it to the tomb, wrap it in strips of linen with 75-100 pounds of myrrh and aloes first (see John 19:39-40) it would have been a race with the sun to get Him into the tomb by sunset. Mark 15:33-37 states: “33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. …… 37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.”  The ninth hour is 3 PM. Wednesday ended at sunset. Thursday began at sunset. Y’shua said He would be in the grave three nights and three days. Thursday would be the first night and day that He spent in the tomb. Friday would be the second night and day. Saturday would be the third night and day. Just minutes before sunset on Saturday (Shabbat) would be the full three nights and three days!  That’s when He said He would rise from the grave. And he did!   Do the math…     If He didn’t do what He said – He would be a liar. I don’t think so. Do the math…

How can you get three nights and three days from Friday to Sunday?  It ain’t ever gonna happen!
Just do the math.

See you next time,                                                                                                                                                                             Shalom, Sharaka

Passover – Bedikat Chametz

Removing the Leaven

We are required to remove all leaven (which represents sin) from our homes before Passover begins. There is an old tradition called “Bedikat Chametz” which is done the evening before Passover. The house has been thoroughly cleaned (beginning the day after Purim) and there is no yeast, baking powder, flour or products made with flour in the house. A Jewish friend of mine went so far as to feed her dog outside during this time, not even wanting dog food in the house!

Each Congregation and even each family has their own version of how to accomplish the tradition of Bedikat Chametz. The following is mine which was taught to me by my dear friend, the late Ruth Specter Lascelle, whose grandfather was an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem. Ruth loved her Messiah and taught many, many others through her books, her brother’s radio program, Seattle Bible Training School and in speaking engagements throughout the country. I loved listening to her stories. You can find her books through her late brother, Hyman Specter’s “The Rock of Israel” rockofisrael.org website. I have added some of my own thoughts as well as from Eddie Chumney and others.

Now for the ceremony:

Father, in the darkened house, lights a candle and with the children in tow, goes about the house searching for chametz.

Mom has placed 10 crumbs of bread in plain sight somewhere in the house for them to find. When they are found, they are swept onto a wooden spoon with a feather, then dumped into a linen cloth. The cloth is put into a paper bag and left outside the house until morning when it is burned. Father prays that to his knowledge, all chametz has been removed from their house. Any unseen or unknown chametz is declared null and void. Now they are ready for Passover!

Symbolism:

Father is the head of the house and the priest of the family. Ephesians 5:23 – ‘For the husband is the head of the wife …”

Mother (woman was made to be a help to her husband. They are to submit to each other in love.) Genesis 2:18 -“ ….it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper…..”)

Searching for chametz (anything made with leavening). Zephaniah 1:12 “…I will search Jerusalem with lamps (candles)….” The Lord was looking for sin.

Chametz = any grain that can ferment, or flour made from any grain, (typically bread crumbs) is leaven (yeast, Baking Powder, etc. ) symbolizes sin in our lives. Exodus 12:19 – ‘For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses……’

Candle (light) = G-d’s Holy Word which shows us our sin. Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Feather = the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit, which shows us truth – teaches us.                                                         I Cor. 2:12 – “…. we have received … the Spirit, who is come from G-d that we might know the things that are freely  given to us by G-d.”


Linen cloth = what Y’shua was wrapped in John 19:40 – “Then took they the body of Y’shua and wound it in strips of linen ….

Wooden spoon = the tree (or cross) where Y’shua was crucified Deut 21:22

Paper bag = the tomb John 19:41,42 – “…. A new tomb ….so there they laid Y’shua…”

Burning = Y’shua descending to Hades, a place of burning Acts 2:27 – “Because You will not leave My soul in Hades.”

I have found this little ceremony to be very helpful in knowing I have done my best to remove leaven from my house, according to G-d’s commandment and more importantly, that I have prayerfully asked the Lord to show me any sin in my life so that I can repent and rebuke that which is not pleasing to Him.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

House cleaning for Passover?

Where to Start?

House in trouble? Don’t know where to start? Take a tip from everybody’s friend, the FlyLady! Flylady.com (and she’s a Believer!) If you are like most of us housewives …. Guys, you can benefit from this, too! … you want everything to look nice but the housework just seems to get away from you. So much to do – so little time!!!

I’ve created a new habit for myself – just for starters. If you do this consistently, you will be on your way to a cleaner house.

Don’t you hate to be at a nice restaurant, go into the Ladies’ Room or Men’s Room, as the case may be, and find a sink all spotted with water and soap scum here and there? Well, you really don’t want to face the same condition at home, do you?

Here’s whatcha do – every time you use a sink in your house, finish up with a paper towel or whatever you use, and wipe up your sink. Get rid of water spots, soap scum and polish the Faucet! Make your sink look like new. Soon, with a little encouragement, your family will begin to do the same. When you have a beautiful shiny sink, the counters will look so much better if you remove all the unnecessary clutter and wipe them down, too. Before you know it your whole kitchen and bathroom will be a thing of beauty! At the very least, your sinks will sparkle and you will feel a whole lot better about yourself! Just try it for a week and see. Would ya? Passover’s coming!!!!

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

A Story for Resurrection Morning

Resurrection Morning
A story of Kefa, Yochanan and Miryam in John 20, by Fern Julian Carlson © 1986

Miryam* from Magdala, whose life had been so changed by the Master, just couldn’t stay away any longer. She rose before the first rays of spring sun streaked the eastern sky; dressed by the light of the tiny oil lamp and hurried outside the gate toward the Place of the Tombs.

By the time she reached Yosef’s* tomb in the gray-pink dawn, she was chilled to the bone and the horror of the past few days flooded her mind. She had to go, there was still something she could do for her Friend.

But where were the soldiers and ………… what!? The still dim light revealed the stone, pushed away from the small chiseled out hole in the rock wall, lying on its side. “The Romans couldn’t leave Him in peace – even in death!” she thought as she fled back to the City, hot tears again coursing down her cheeks.

Kefa*, too, had risen early. Sleep didn’t come too easily these days. The shame of his denial had only increased and in the quiet darkness, he could still see those eyes, boring into his soul. Over and over again he’d relived the happenings of the past week. The joy of celebrating yet another Pesach with the Master and that after the tremendous “welcome” into Yerushaliyim*. But after that nothing had gone right. When he had sliced off Malchus’ ear, Y’shua* had severely rebuked him and then that awful business in the Courtyard. He just couldn’t go into the Palace of the Kohen HaGadol* with Yochanan* when they had taken Y’shua* in for questioning. Instead he had stood by the fire and said those unthinkable words – “I never knew Him!”

“Kefa*? Are you ready? Let’s go!” Yochanan’s* call jarred him back to the present. He finished rolling up his sleep mat, tossed it on a shelf and started the reluctant journey to the tombs.

“He’s gone – they’ve taken His body away!”

They left the trembling Miryam* on the path and raced to the sepulchre. Yochanan*, reaching the rough hewn opening first, stood frozen at the door staring (1) at the burial sheets. Kefa* pushed past him and saw (1) the body lying on the rock slab but the face cloth was neatly folded and set aside.

When Yochanan* came the rest of the way into the tomb, he saw (2) and believed! He immediately knew the Greatest Miracle of all had taken place. Yochanan*, the Beloved Talmidim*, and the only one to die a natural death, was the first to really experience the fact of the Resurrection.

The burial sheets, (the strips of linen soaked in 75 – 100 lbs. of myrrh and aloes like the Egyptians had taught them had been wound around the body) had hardened into the exact shape and form of the Saviour! The face cloth, being removed, left only a hole in the hardened strips revealing the fact that THE BODY WAS NOT THERE!

Oh Hallelujah! Our Messiah has risen! Y’shua HaMashiach* is alive!

Strong’s Concordance explains the Greek words used.

staring (1) = to see, behold, look at, perceive
saw (1) = to see, behold, look at, perceive
saw (2) = to see, to know, to be sure, to understand

Hebrew words

Miryam from Magdala* = Mary Magdalena
Yochanan* = John
Talmidim* = disciple or student
Y’shua HaMashiach* = Jesus the Christ
Kohen HaGadol* = High Priest
Yosef’s* = Joseph of Aramathea’s
Kefa* = Peter
Yerushaliyim* = Jerusalem

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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About the Crucifixion

This is an article by a physician and concerns the technical matters of crucifixion. It is very detailed and graphic. You may or may not wish to read it, but I think it is good for us to know a little more of what Y’shua went through ——— for us.

A Physician Testifies About the Crucifixion
by Dr. C. Truman Davis
About a decade ago, reading Jim Bishop’s The Day Christ Died, I realized that I had for years taken the Crucifixion more or less for granted — that I had grown callous to its horror by a too easy familiarity with the grim details and a too distant friendship with our Lord. It finally occurred to me that, though a physician, I didn’t even know the actual immediate cause of death. The Gospel writers don’t help us much on this point, because crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetime that they apparently considered a detailed description unnecessary. So we have only the concise words of the Evangelists: “Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified — and they crucified Him.”

I have no competence to discuss the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate God atoning for the sins of fallen man. But it seemed to me that as a physician I might pursue the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord’s passion. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?

This led me first to a study of the practice of crucifixion itself; that is, torture and execution by fixation to a cross. I am indebted to many who have studied this subject in the past, and especially to a contemporary colleague, Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who has done exhaustive historical and experimental research and has written extensively on the subject.

Apparently, the first known practice of crucifixion was by the Persians. Alexander and his generals brought it back to the Mediterranean world — to Egypt and to Carthage. The Romans apparently learned the practice from the Carthaginians and (as with almost everything the Romans did) rapidly developed a very high degree of efficiency and skill at it. A number of Roman authors (Livy, Cicer, Tacitus) comment on crucifixion, and several innovations, modifications, and variations are described in the ancient literature.
For instance, the upright portion of the cross (or stipes) could have the cross-arm (or patibulum) attached two or three feet below its top in what we commonly think of as the Latin cross. The most common form used in our Lord’s day, however, was the Tau cross, shaped like our T. In this cross the patibulum was placed in a notch at the top of the stipes. There is archeological evidence that it was on this type of cross that Jesus was crucified.

Without any historical or biblical proof, Medieval and Renaissance painters have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross. But the upright post, or stipes, was generally fixed permanently in the ground at the site of execution and the condemned man was forced to carry the patibulum, weighing about 110 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution.

Many of the painters and most of the sculptors of crucifixion, also show the nails through the palms. Historical Roman accounts and experimental work have established that the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists (radial and ulna) and not through the palms. Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when made to support the weight of the human body. The misconception may have come about through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Observe my hands.” Anatomists, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrist as part of the hand.

A titulus, or small sign, stating the victim’s crime was usually placed on a staff, carried at the front of the procession from the prison, and later nailed to the cross so that it extended above the head. This sign with its staff nailed to the top of the cross would have given it somewhat the characteristic form of the Latin cross.

But, of course, the physical passion of the Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of this initial suffering, the one of greatest physiological interest is the bloody sweat. It is interesting that St. Luke, the physician, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in Agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

Every ruse (trick) imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this description, apparently under the mistaken impression that this just doesn’t happen. A great deal of effort could have been saved had the doubters consulted the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress of the kind our Lord suffered, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process might well have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was next brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiphus, the High Priest; it is here that the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiphus. The palace guards then blind-folded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat upon Him, and struck Him in the face.

In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, Jesus is taken across the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to pass responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

There is much disagreement among authorities about the unusual scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.

The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.
The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.

After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, its removal causes excruciating pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed.

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.

The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock, until the 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed.

Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences recorded:
The first, looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The second, to the penitent thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John — the beloved Apostle — he said, “Behold thy mother.” Then, looking to His mother Mary, “Woman behold thy son.”

The fourth cry is from the beginning of the 22nd Psalm, “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?”

Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins…A terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue; the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry, “I thirst.”
One remembers another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death.”

A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionaries, is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremes, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His sixth words, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished.”

His mission of atonement has completed. Finally He can allow his body to die. With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father! Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

The rest you know. In order that the Sabbath not be profaned, the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the crosses. The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the legs. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; thus the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers came to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
Thus we have had our glimpse — including the medical evidence — of that epitome of evil which man has exhibited toward Man and toward God. It has been a terrible sight, and more than enough to leave us despondent and depressed. How grateful we can be that we have the great sequel in the infinite mercy of God toward man — at once the miracle of the atonement (at one ment) and the expectation of the triumphant resurrection morning.

Dr. C. Truman Davis is a nationally respected Opthalmologist, vice president of the American Association of Ophthalmology, and an active figure in the Christian schools movement. He is founder and president of the excellent Trinity Christian School in Mesa Arizona, and a trustee of Grove City College.

If you have never accepted Y’shua/Jesus as your Saviour, now would be a great time to do that. He died for you and He wants you to live for Him. Let Him be the Lord of your life, surrendering all that you are and ever will be into His care. Ask the Lord to direct you to a good G-d-fearing Congregation that believes in the whole Bible and keeps His commandments. Y’shua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” May the Lord bless you as you consider these words of life eternal.

See you in the Olam Haba – the World to Come!
Shalom, Sharaka
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THE LAMB WAS SILENT

This is not a nice story. But life is like that sometimes. I received it a few years ago from Jerusalem and share it with you today.

FINALLY TODAY – FROM ISRAEL THE LAMB WAS SILENT

A group of us were going to have the special Seder meal together and I offered to bring the lamb. There is a believer who runs a sheep and goat farm just outside Nazareth and as the days grew closer I knew deep inside I was not only to bring the lamb but go see him be slain. (Most people say “yuck, oogh or something” about this time in the story – - so go ahead.)

Anyway, I called and set the time to meet the butcher at the farm and follow him to the place. Overnight the plans changed (as they often do here!) and so upon arrival we saw a kid born only minutes before, then went to meet them at the shop. It was a reminder of the ongoing cycle of life and death. The sense though of being drawn to watch all this was not a logical thing at all, so I simply decided to open my heart and eyes to take everything in and hope to hear what the Holy Spirit was wanting to reveal.

I didn’t have any idea what to expect except a lot of blood poured out of course. There he was with his two hind legs and one front one bound together, laying silently (those are key words) on the slab. At first I thought he’d been drugged because he was just quietly waiting as if he knew this was what he was born for. There was no struggle at the condition and strange place he found himself in. I petted his nose and looked into his eyes. He showed no fear or panic. I’m known to often talk to animals, but what do you say to someone who’s about to die for you?? No words came. Then the butcher pulled him up onto the pallet and began washing his neck. The sound of the rushing water startled him, he tried once to get up, but not like he was trying to escape. Then he lay quietly back down again as the knife was put to his neck. My friend was taking pictures and he even held the knife there for what seemed like ages. There was no “rushing to get it done quickly” here. Then one swift cut and the blood flowed. But…… NEVER DURING THE WHOLE TIME DID HE OPEN HIS MOUTH!! NEVER – NOT ONCE. Think of it. Isaiah 53:6-7 .. and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, YET HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH; He was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, SO HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH.

It says this is how it was, but to watch it with your own eyes! It was not so much the fact of his death – of the life, the blood, being poured out that struck me. It was the manner, the character in which he went through it that pierced my soul. Here before me was absolute trust, obedience and submission. His innocence wasn’t cause his wool was all white, bright and fuzzy (it wasn’t anyway!) And he took it so quietly, willingly, patiently! It was then that I felt so unlike the Lamb…..

Not only this dying one before me, but the One who died that we might have Life. I’m so quick to want to speak out against injustice, use and especially abuse in the Body of Messiah. I haven’t even fully mastered counting it all joy in my trials and now we’ve moved on to the must of learning to die silently. Ouch. What I heard that day is that it isn’t enough to thank and worship Yeshua, the Lamb of God, for what He did for us nearly 2000 years ago, the fact of His death. Without one word in this drama, He seemed to be calling us up higher to become like Him…not just apply the blood to forgive our sins, but feed on the Lamb and let Him get inside. It’s a place where we must take on His Life and nature and give our “unlamblike” character to Him in exchange! All creation is eagerly waiting (on tiptoe) for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19). He will have a bride of like character.

May we all take communion some time this weekend with a new commitment to become one heart with the Lamb!
WORTHY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN……(Rev. 5 all!)

AUTHOR: Barbara Richmond, from Jerusalem, April 2001

To those celebrating Pesach today – Chag Sameach!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Nisan 10 – “The Price of Special”

“This is the day that the Lord hath made – let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

We are ‘special people’ – the Lord called us His ‘peculiar’ people. Some of us are more peculiar than others but we won’t talk about that today! The word ‘peculiar’ can mean strange or odd but it also means “uncommon, unusual, exceptional, extraordinary, unique, special’. We are special unto the Lord! – and there is a price to be paid for special.

Shabbat HaGadol! – the Great Sabbath! The Sabbath just preceding Pesach. Tradition says, according to Alfred Eidersheim, the noted Austrian Jew, who converted to Christianity, and lived from 1825 – 1889, that the 10th of Nisan, fell on a Sabbath at the time of the Exodus. (Ex. 12:5). It was probably around the year 1446 BC.

Nisan 10 was the day to ‘put up’ the lamb. I believe it was a Sabbath the year Y’shua was crucified. This is in keeping with a Wednesday crucifixion. Some say the crucifixion took place on Thursday. Whichever it was we know it wasn’t Friday! This was to be ‘a lamb of the first year (could have been as young as eight days) without spot or blemish’. Interestingly enough, it could be either a sheep OR a goat. You don’t hear much about them using goats but it was permissible.

Flavius Josephus, the famous Jewish historian, whose Jewish name was Yosef ben Mattias, born in AD 37 or 38, gave a good account of the number of people in Jerusalem during Pesach. He gives a number between 2,565,000 thousand and 3 million! That means counting the lowest computation of one lamb for every ten persons, at least 256,500 lambs were slain every Pesach! This was done over a very short period of time in the afternoon of Nisan 14. The Pesach celebration – the Seder – was a private home celebration rather than a public event. There were to be no less than ten around the table and no more than 20. The lamb was to be roasted on a spit made of pomegranate wood.
Pomegranates refer to kingship!

Now let’s put ourselves back into that picture – it’s the 10th of Nisan and I want to talk more about “lambs”. Just think of bringing that little fella into your home and carefully tending it, feeding it, watering it, making sure the younger kids were kind to it and looking over every inch of it to make sure there was no blemish. The kids may have fought over it to see who was going to get to take care of it the most – or they may have fought over who was going to have to clean up after it!

Four long days went by. The lamb by now had become part of the family. Just when you are really used to it – Dad takes it to the Temple and slits it’s throat! The law decreed he had to use a very sharp knife and do it just right. The knife must be very sharp and could have no knicks in it. Even ‘tho God demanded them to kill the sacrifice animals, He wanted it to be done in the most humane fashion possible. (I’m so glad I didn’t live then!) That had to be a ‘special’ lamb. It had to be treated just so.
And then look what happened to it.

Y’shua was special! He was God’s only Son. He left the glories of heaven to come to a dirty stinking old poverty filled planet to live amongst sinfiul men in a dusty hot desert. To be watched over and whispered about. Even the circumstances of His birth was in question. The other kids could have even called Him names and made fun of Him. His family was poor; His parents could only afford to pay for turtledoves for the sacrifice at His 40 day Presentation at the Temple. He gladly and willingly came to endure it all for the sake of “the joy that was set before Him.” They have called the Jews Christ-killers for 2,000 years but that’s a lie. Nobody killed him – He simply lay down His life – like the little innocent lamb that never did any body any harm – He just let them take Him away to the Cross.

He paid the price for being “Special”.
Would you like to guess how many times the word “lamb” appears in the gospels? Everybody knows that famous quote, “Behold! the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” Well, that’s it! John said it at the baptism in the Yarden or Jordan and again the next day when he saw Him approaching. Twice. In the four gospels. It is written 27 times in the Book of Revelation. And who was it that wrote the Book of the Revelation? John, again. Cousins sometimes can be closer than brothers and in this case it was only John, His cousin, who recognized Him as the Lamb. We see that the Lamb will be very much in view in these last days. Let’s be like John and know Him for who He is.

We can know Him – because He is special!

So what’s in it for us? God said we are His “special people”. We are to be spotless and without blemish. We are peered at and whispered about. If everybody loves you – something is wrong! Y’shua said we would suffer, too. “Count it all joy when ye come into divers temptations”
Is that what it says?

You might be tempted but you don’t have to give in to it. Like the old saying goes, Maimonodes I think,”You can’t stop the birds from flying over head but you don’t have to let them build a nest in your hair!” Go ahead – be Special! Be one of God’s peculiar people. Accept the price He paid for you with His death and then pay the price to live for Him. He only asks for everything you have – for the rest of your life!

Is that special enough?

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“Why This Night?” – a Passover Poem

It’s almost time for Pesach – Passover. The first Feast of the year!

When my husband and I became Messianic some 20 years ago, our children did not embrace our Hebrew roots as we did. This poem was written to help explain Passover and why we celebrate it. I’m still praying for that to happen. I know G-d is faithful and hears my prayers. I have the utmost confidence that it WILL happen one day! Never give up on your loved ones. Keep praying for them. My children are Believers for which I thank G-d, and most of my grandchildren are, too. I expect to spend Eternity with ALL of them!
A Messianic pastor friend made the last verse and the chorus into a song which they sing at their Congregation every year at Passover.

“Why This Night?”

In the beginning God made Man, a gentle and pure creation.
Sad to say, sin came along, causing instant separation.
Abraham of old, God called; his son and grandson too.
To be the fathers of the new, mighty Nation of the Jew.

To Egyptland they made their way, hungry flocks and families came.
Kind Yosef offered food and drink – he didn’t play their kind of game.
That Nation, blessed of God, grew strong ’til a new Pharaoh began to rave.
He decided then and there to make each Jew into a slave.

Four hundred years they bowed their backs, they toiled for the rotten king.
But God had a plan and Moshe was born to lead them out, to dance and to sing.
First came ten plagues with destruction and death. But our heroes all made it out.
They crossed the Red Sea and made it home – with only forty years of doubt….

The night ‘fore they left, they killed a lamb, it’s blood marked the place to be passed.
God’s Chosen were spared and they were set free to claim God’s Promise at last!
So this night we remember the Lamb that was slain. Y’shua, the Passover Lamb.
Not from Egypt, we’re freed but from sin’s dreaded curse and oh how grateful I am.

May you each accept Him –
the Passover Lamb and into your hearts receive
the One who died and rose again.
All you need do is Believe.
All you need do is Believe!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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