DAY 176- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE WILDERNESS
The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting some distance from it, each man under his standard with the banners of his family.
Reading: Deuteronomy 16:1-8; Matthew 26: 26-29
My favourite subject at school was History – my least favourite was mathematics. But even if you’re hopeless at maths, if you spend just a few minutes and exercise some rudimentary arithmetic, you will soon figure out, from the number of fighting men recorded, that there must have been around two million people in the Wilderness.
Two million! Imagine that! A huge crowd of people, who had known nothing but hardship and slavery, watching in awe as God fought for them. This God stopped at nothing to set them free. He first destroyed the Egyptian economy, then drowned their entire army in the Red Sea. That’s quite apart from the other mighty miracles He did, like parting the sea so that they could all walk through as though on dry land.
Even though they had experienced all this, they were still very slavish in their mentality. True, they had been taken out of slavery, but now slavery needed to be taken out of them. That’s why God gave them several practices, designed to reshape their thinking.
The first thing He told them to do was to put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes to escape the angel of death. This day was to be remembered every year at the same time and was called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the same day every year they would reenact this event and tell their children about how God had delivered them from slavery. This reminder was crucial to teaching their children not to think, feel or act like slaves – but to know themselves to be part of God’s very own nation.
We as God’s people have our identities changed when we remember our great escape through the death of Jesus on the cross. Eating the bread and drinking the wine at communion is a reminder of our deliverance and also a great opportunity to tell our children what it was like to escape from under the heel of slavery to sin and Satan.
PrayerLord Jesus thank you for instituting the sacrament of Communion. Help me to grasp my change of identity as I remember your death until you come again.
For the family
Today, take communion with your children. Allow them to help you to set it all up and then explain the similarity between how the people of God were escaped from Egypt and how we have been rescued by the blood of Jesus.