The Art of Remembering
Always remember this day. You and your children after you celebrate this day as a feast to honor the Lord. Do this for all time to come (Exodus 12:14).
March 26 – April 1 (Nisan 4 – 10)
In Hebrew, the word for "memory" is zecher. One of the Hebrew words for "man" is zachar from the creation story in Genesis. Both come from the same root word, and the similarity is a good reminder. Memory doesn't just tell us what to recall, it informs us of who we are created to be.
To be clear, remembering isn’t just a human activity. When men did evil things on earth, God “remembered” Noah. God “remembered” His covenant with Abraham, and “remembered” His children in Egypt when they cried out for help from Goshen, Egypt. In each case, remembering prompted action.
By the second week of Nissan, God had already taken action to save His people from the bondage of slavery. With a “strong arm and a mighty hand,” He initiated nine plagues as part of the rescue operation. Nine plagues dismantled the nation, stripped the land of its elite, and disrupted economic viability leaving undrinkable water, widespread disease, and an unbearable stench.
This all led up to the most seminal event in Biblical history—the Exodus from Egypt called Passover. God said, “Remember this day every year without fail.” Why? He never wanted people to forget that He hears and has the power to save.
In fact, he used the same date again later in history to emphasize the same truth. In the time of Jesus, while everyone prepared to celebrate Passover, Jesus was getting ready to launch another rescue operation. In the middle of the month, on the same day, He gave His life for the sake of the whole world.
For those with an ear to hear, the connection between the first Passover and the Passover when Jesus died, the Last Supper, are inextricably linked. The apostle Paul even seems to indicate that celebrating Passover, with truths tied to the festival season, may help Christians maintain honorable lifestyles. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
This week became a week of preparation and a reminder that no form of slavery, not even the slavery of sin, has the power to reign. So, followers of Jesus prepared a table to recall the Exodus from Egypt. They picked a lamb, sent out invitations, removed leaven from their houses, rehearsed the story, and had a big dinner. They praised God for his goodness and relentless pursuit of intimate relationships.
As Christians, adopted into the big family of God, Jesus is our Passover lamb. This ancient rescue operation becomes our family story. Like never before, the art of remembering informs us of our identity—no longer orphans without hope, but children of the King—loved, cherished, pursued, and saved from calamity. The words of God through Moses still resonate, “Always remember (zecher) this day.” (Exodus 12:14)
So, this is our family story. If it sounds all new, take heart. Let the art of remembering guide you as you see your part in the history book of the King. You’ve always been an active part of God’s memory. He planned these things since the beginning of creation with you in mind. He remembers you and is ready to part the sea on your behalf. What a rich family inheritance.
Thank you, Father, for giving us things to remember that are close to your heart. Thank you for hearing me when I call you. You’ve always gone before me, and you always will. I declare that you have the power to save. I am loved by you. I was created by you. I am safe in you. I choose to remember this is the day that You have made. I will rejoice in it and be glad. Thank you for sending your son to die for my sins; thank you for grafting me into your family. I rejoice in times of preparation that point to you. I choose to step into my full inheritance in Jesus. Continue to teach me, guide me, and lead me into all truth. Amen.
BIG CALENDAR DATES:
Next week contains two big events on the Biblical calendar: Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- Passover begins on Wednesday at sundown (April 5th); that’s Nissan 14 and ends the next day, Thursday, at sundown. *
- Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at the same time: Wednesday at sundown (April 5th) and continues for seven days. So, it ends Wednesday, April 12 at sundown.
If you want to prepare for the festivities, download a copy of How to Celebrate and Passover Background and Meaning. These two documents will help you get more knowledge. Then gather family and friends for dinner Wednesday evening!
- “Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us; therefore let us celebrate the festival!” (1 Cor 5:7-8).
- The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (Matthew 26:17)
- “Always remember this day. You and your children after you must celebrate this day as a feast to honor the Lord. You must do this for all time to come. (Exodus 12:14)
- “… on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” (Exodus 12:3)
- Paul made the connection between Jesus, Passover, and the removal of leaven (yeast) when he said, “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)
- In the words of Moses to the people, the word “remember” is “zecher.” “Always remember this day. This is the day when you came out of Egypt from a house of slavery. God brought you out of here with a powerful hand.” (Exodus 13:3)
- “When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord … (Exodus 12:25-26)