Life at its Best: Jesus laid foundation for family
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By Jim Graff
As a kid, Sundays were always pretty predictable at my house. After church, we would pick up my grandmother and bring her home to enjoy lunch and the afternoon with our family.
Sunday lunch was quite a feast, something I always looked forward to.
Our afternoons were spent visiting, watching football, playing cards or engaged in an exciting game of backyard Wiffle ball with cousins and uncles who came to visit.
Whatever we did on Sundays, we were together as a family. We had plenty of freedom the rest of the week to pursue our own agendas, but Sunday was non-negotiable.
Mom was pretty relentless about establishing in our hearts a devotion to God and family.
Often in scripture, we see where God set apart certain days of the year to establish important truths in the hearts of His people. He called these days "sacred days."
Sacred, according to Webster's dictionary, means to dedicate and set apart for the service and worship of deity. One of those sacred days was called the Passover feast, instituted by Moses 3,500 years ago.
During the Passover feast, every father in Israel's community would provide a lamb for his family. It had to be a year old, male lamb without any defect or flaw. They would keep the lamb in their home for a few days and then slaughter it for the family. The lamb's blood would then be placed on the door frames of their home as a sign of protection against death.
As Israel observed these sacred days year-in and year-out, God was reminding them of what was to come. He knew down the road, He would provide a lamb, a lamb who would be His very own son. This lamb would also be without flaw, perfect, "One who knew no sin."
He understood that one day, Jesus would be brought before the religious leaders to be examined, condemned and crucified as a sacrificial lamb. John the Baptist declared He was "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29)
Friends, every year as we approach the Easter season, we can celebrate that God has provided for us a Passover lamb that paid the price for our sins.
Christ's death and resurrection falls in springtime as reminder to us that something fresh, new and beautiful can begin to grow in our lives.
Condemnation and sin are like the death of winter that stifles the beauty that God wants to bring about in our lives.
Remember, regardless of where we are today or what we've done, God won't ever hold our past against us. He desires to forgive us and free us to pursue a new season of blessing and fruitfulness in our future.
Let's take time on this sacred holiday to reflect on God's goodness to us in sending Jesus. Then let's resolve to live daily in the light of His forgiveness and power that He so freely provides.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, www.faithfamilyvictoria.com.