Malankara World

Today with Jesus

Passover (Pesha)

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

'When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plagues of death will not touch you.' (Exodus 12:13)

Discussion

Passover (Pesha) festival! Is it just for a social gathering or a renewal and refreshing of your life for eternity?

Passover from death is the central theme behind Pesha. If immortality is possible here with blood and flesh, is the best, if not, then in life after.

The reality is that if we are born, then death is real. But the Bible says, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus - the Lord and God - gives and insulates immortality. A practical mechanism he has instituted for it - the real meal - the bread and wine as his flesh and blood. That is the way to pass over from death and sin. "Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.

This bread is my flesh' (John 6:51).

This celebration of Passover is an unbroken historical truth from the time of Pharaoh Ramsey 113,000 years ago under Moses in remembrance of freedom and death from the slavery of Israelites under Pharaohs in Egypt. Till the death of Christ, it was with the animal, lamb, that the people had celebrated Pesha.

Before the Passover festival, Jesus did it with bread and wine as his flesh and blood instead of animal sacrifice for propitiating sins and death of human beings.

Jesus is the real lamb. When John the Baptist saw Jesus Christ, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God" (John 1:36 ). He was crucified exactly the same time the Israelites celebrated the Pesha perunnal. Jesus commanded the disciples, 'Do this in remembrance of me' (Luke 22:19). The disciples did what Jesus told them to do. "They worshiped together at the temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's supper (Peshaha), and shared their meals with great joy and generosity" (Acts 2:46).

It is the time for unity in Jesus and renewal of personal, family and community life for us. We have to question our conscience as to who we are and what values we stand for. Are we the children of Jesus? Do we stand for the values of Jesus and eternity?

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), the author of UTOPIA, was the tutor and then the chancellor in England under Henry VIII. When the king wanted to divorce his wife Catherine to marry Annie Boleyn, Thomas more did not support it. When he was forced to sign the Succession Act letter to Pope, he did not budge and was silent, and he resigned the Chancellorship. This made the king very angry. He was arrested and put in Jail. At one point, his wife, exasperated and fearing for his life, urged him to sign the paper to allow the King to divorce Catherine. Thomas' response was, "My good woman, you are not good enough at doing business. Do you really want me to exchange eternity for 20 years of life?"

Five years later, he was beheaded. As he went to the scaffold, Thomas proclaimed to the crowd that had gathered to witness his execution, "I'm the king's good servant, But God's first." As he knelt down before the block, he recited the words of the Psalm that begins 'Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness.' His head was severed and boiled and then impaled on a pole and raised high above London Bridge.

"If any one wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). We have to change the gatherings on Sundays for the Holy Communion into the real renewal of our life in Christ for eternity and remembrance of the death, resurrection and the second coming of Jesus to judge the world in justice according to our deeds instead of social gatherings and show off. A real Pesha!

Prayer

Jesus, we remember the institution of the eternal food and water - the Eucharist, the holy Qurbano. Let us renew our life according to your values an dictums. Let those who receive the holy communion be healed from all infirmities and sins. We pray for all the priests who are in your service. We pray for those who help in churches, homes and places for conducting your service. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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