by Beverly Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Co-coordinator
I am reading a daily devotional about the life of Moses. It has been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust for a long time, and I finally decided to take it down, dust it off, and begin to use it. I’m glad I did! I am always amazed at God's timing. Much of what this little 31-day devotional covers is the story of the Exodus and the resulting institution of the Passover, which will be observed by Jews all over the world this week. Today’s reading was titled “Family Only” and brings up what many would consider a touchy subject.
In Exodus 12:43-45, God makes it very clear that the Passover was only to be observed by “the family.” “And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.’” God goes on to say in verse 48 that any stranger who desires to keep the Passover may do so, but only after being circumcised. The circumcision was an outward sign of the Covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendants throughout all generations. (Genesis 16:9-10)
On the night of the first Passover, the Israelites were to take the blood of a lamb and put it on the doorposts of their homes. When the angel of death swept through Egypt looking for the first born in each family, he “passed over” the homes that had the blood covering. While the Israelite children were saved, the sad reality is that the Egyptian children were not. There was “a great cry in Egypt that night” as mothers and fathers mourned for their children. (Exodus 12:30)
The devotional went on to say that as Christians, we observe a “family only” celebration as well–Communion, or The Lord's Supper. It was during the observance of Passover before His crucifixion that Jesus instituted Communion for all believers. Not just anyone is to partake of The Lord's Supper, as not just anyone is to partake of The Passover Meal. There is a “family only” requirement. God still has the circumcision requirement, but now it is a circumcision of the heart and not the flesh. As Colossians 2:11 puts it, it is “a circumcision made without hands.”
So, who makes up God’s family? How do you know if you meet the “family” requirement? I love the way Romans 8:14-16 puts it: “Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God's children. For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, Father! my Father! God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children.”
As we approach Passover and Easter, I hope that you are a member of God’s family. But if you find yourself on the outside looking in, join us! Take the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross, place it on the doorposts of your heart, and allow Him to circumcise you–not with human hands, but by His Spirit.