“Passover and Salvation”
This Sunday, we will be looking at the story of Passover; however, the true meaning of the passage is often missed by Christians. We see it only as a Jewish holiday, but we miss its importance in the Christian faith modality.
The idea that Exodus is historically accurate did not come into existence until the late 1800s when the theological error of biblical inerrancy became the battle cry of conservatism. By the way, my instructors at the conservative seminary even admitted that this concept could not be defended scholarly.
The story of Passover cannot be looked at as a historical event but as another modality of the salvation paradigm in the Bible. There are several salvation modalities, including the creation, Noah and the ark, calling of Abram, Moses in the Nile, Moses and the burning bush, Passover, exodus, circumcision of Israelites, David and Goliath, cleansing of Naaman, purifying of Isaiah, baptism, and many more. And, of course, we must remember Jesus, not just the death on the cross but also healing, baptism, washing of the feet, and sharing a meal, among others.
Passover is the pinnacle of salvation motif in the Old Testament as God kills the firstborn of every human and animal in Egypt, except for in the homes of those who had the blood of the blemish-free-one-year-old-lamb or goat on their doorpost. If your Sunday School teacher was like mine, they made it sound like all Israelites' children were saved, and all Egyptian’s children were killed. However, the emphasis was on the power of the blood, and the logic would dictate that if an Israelite slave told his Egyptian master and that Egyptian put the blood of the lamb on their doorpost, that family would also be spared. Also, if any Israelite did not do so, then their child and animal would have died.
We do not see Passover as an important explanation of faith. The Bible is clear that the people only had to put the blood on their doorpost, but not necessarily believe that it was going to save them. I am sure that there were many who had some serious doubts, but they might have said, “Well, I don’t know if I believe this, Moses, but what harm will be there in just doing what he tells us to do?” As long as they put the blood on the doorpost, they were saved.
Passover tells us that faith is not about what doctrines we adhere to, nor about the fervency of our passion, but our faith is about our actions. We quote James often, but we don’t live out his teachings, “Faith without works is dead.”
Let our faith be active faith, not empty words.