Getting passed over is good
Updated: Apr 1
Getting passed over for a promotion or for things we expected for a long time is never a pleasant experience. We are hugely disappointed for missing out on what could be a significant turning point in our lives.
There is one instance in history though when getting passed over meant an entire nation escaping death.
Last Saturday evening, Jews and those who follow the Biblical festivals celebrated the first day of Pesach week. Christians on the other hand observed Palm Sunday which signals the start of the Holy Week.
For hundreds of years, Israel lived in Egypt to escape a worldwide famine. Towards the end of their stay, Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt began to be intimidated by Israel's strength and numbers. He made their life unbearable by enslaving them to build cities for him.
The more the Jews were oppressed, the more they multiplied though. This built up more fear among the Egyptians that they ruthlessly made them work like slaves with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field.
Pharaoh then ordered every Hebrew boy born to be thrown in the river. The cries of the people reached the ears of God and He sent Moses to Pharaoh to intercede for the Israelites. Unfortunately, despite Moses' plea and nine plagues where the Egyptians enormously suffered, Pharaoh's heart was still hardened and did not set the Jews free.
The 10th plague was inevitable. It would be the final stroke that would force Pharaoh to finally release the Jews. At midnight on the 10th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, all the firstborn in Egypt, men and animals, would die.
Wailing and mournful cries were heard throughout Egypt while the people of Israel were in their houses sitting around the table for a meal. They followed God's commands, the foremost of which was to take some of the blood of a lamb or goat without defect, and put it on the two door posts and on the lintel.
This was a sign for God to pass over (pasach) the house and spare its inhabitants from the plague. This was the Lord's Passover (Pesach) and instituted by God to be commemorated by Israel perpetually.
1,400 years later
It's five days before Passover and Jesus is entering Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there. By this time, Jesus was already famous because of all the miracles He had performed and the teachings that He preached. On top of all that, word had already gotten out that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
The people were so excited to see what they thought as a great Prophet or better yet the Messiah Redeemer Israel had been waiting for. As Jesus' rode His donkey into Jerusalem, people laid their clothes and palm branches on the road and proclaimed, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”
Jesus was fulfilling the prophet Zechariah's prophetic words:
Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Tziyon!
Shout out loud, daughter of Yerushalayim!
Look! Your king is coming to you.
He is righteous, and he is victorious.
Yet he is humble — he’s riding on a donkey,
yes, on a lowly donkey’s colt. (Zec. 9:9, CJB)
In ancient Biblical times, a donkey symbolized peace. A king who enters a city on a donkey means he comes in peace. Jesus indeed entered Jerusalem victoriously because He came to establish peace between God and men. His role as the sacrifice for men's sins erased any enmity between God and men for eternity.
The Jewish people thought otherwise and was looking for a conquering hero to free them from oppressive Roman rule. A few days later, on Passover, this jubilant crowd would become a riotous mob screaming for the crucifixion of Jesus.
It's been almost 2,000 years since Christ died on the cross and rose again on the third day. Still, the meaning of His sacrifice has not changed and is significant as ever.
All of Israel's firstborn were saved (passed over) because of the blood of an unblemished lamb or goat. Without the shedding of the blood there would be no chance of salvation. Today, Jesus is our Passover lamb - perfect, humble, and righteous.
The fulfillment of the Lord Jesus Christ's mission on earth was the shedding of His blood on the cross. He made that sacrifice so that our sins will be washed away with His blood.
If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead then we will be saved. The punishment and curse of sin will pass over us.
We can now have a guilt-free, curse-free, and punishment-free existence. What's more is we can have the abundant life that Jesus promised. The best thing of all, it doesn't end when we finish here on earth, but we get to continue that life in heaven as we are united with our Father and all those who have gone before us.
While waiting for that time, let's continue in His ways and in His love. Let's live in the freedom that we received from the sacrifice of our Savior - our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.