Friday, November 23, 2018
Passover, The Story of Easter from the Beginning by Nathan Slegers - Book Review by Laura Davis and Excerpt
Passover and Easter are pivotal events in Christianity that have divine connections. In Passover - The Story of Easter from the Beginning you'll be taken on a journey that explores the coherency of God's plan of redemption from creation to the resurrection. In a theologically rich, yet easy to read manner, the Passover and Easter will be traced as they unfold through some familiar connections such as Abraham, Isaac, and the Exodus, to many less known connections such as Joshua, Rahab, and Ruth. The result is a deeper understanding of both the Passover and Easter that will lead to a sharpened view of redemption and its transformational nature.
This perspective will enrich the redemption story that you think you know with new depth and appreciation. In essence, the goal is that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Often we already have an understanding of the individual stories, but, when woven together as one, the complete story provides a new peace that transcends the parts.
Review by Laura Davis:
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't wait until Easter to buy this book. You need it now!
If you have ever wondered what Jesus said to his disciples that day on the road to Emmaus (after he rose from the dead), it might have been similar to Passover, The Story of Easter from the Beginning by Nathan Slegers.
I've always known the connection between the Passover of the Old Testament and Jesus crucifixion, death and resurrection, but never have I seen it with such clarity as the author details in his book.
He doesn't just talk about Moses and the first Passover, he tells you about God's plan for humanity from the very beginning of creation. A plan for the redemption of humanity - a plan He set in motion before the beginning of the world. I was interested when the author brilliantly and succinctly laid out the reasons why the moon was so pivotal in marking the months for Israel and marking their feasts and festivals. I knew a little about this already, but I was delighted when he showed how God had planned these appointed times (like the Passover) from the beginning of creation. It was a giant light-bulb moment for me, and I loved it.
There were a lot of those in this book, and it will be something I treasure and keep close to me this Easter (yes, I will reread it). The author has provided details on which chapters to read as you head into the Easter season. I genuinely believe that anyone reading this book during the Lenten season will not regret it.
The author breaks down the Passover into essential sections and how they relate to Jesus and our redemption. Using the stories of Moses, Joshua, Jacob, Ruth and more, we begin to see how acutely aware God was before He even started to create us, that a plan needed to be in place for our redemption. More stunning of course is that the Bible, written by various authors over a span of hundreds of years, had the same redemption theme running throughout it.
I have never read a book that presents this so precisely. I invite you not to wait until Easter to read it, but to pick it up now! It will enrich your spiritual life and give you a new appreciation for what the Lord has done for us.
It’s been almost a decade since my pastor at the time invited a Messianic rabbi to speak at our c It’s been almost a decade since my pastor at the time invited a Messianic rabbi to speak at our church one Sunday morning. He came in preparation for an evening Messianic Passover meal, called a Seder, which he would lead us through to illustrate some of the Jewish connections to Jesus.
His premise was simple. He linked the sacrifice of a lamb without defect to provide redemption from Pharaoh at the first Passover with Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, who was also sacrificed at Passover to provide our redemption. This is familiar ground for most of us. Something we’ve heard preached many times.
However, in the midst of this familiarity, he mentioned some details that I’d never before connected. He started by identifying the prescribed timing of the selection, inspection, and sacrifice of the Passover lambs in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. The precise instructions were to happen on specific days of the month. Next, he reconstructed the days leading up to the crucifixion and showed that they aligned with the twelfth chapter of Exodus. Jesus and the Passover lambs were brought to Jerusalem at the same time, inspected together, and then sacrificed. The facts were not new to me, yet having both events overlaid and shown to match so closely seemed momentous.
As I later asked around, there were people who, like me, were not aware of these connections. And yet others were aware. It made me ask, “How many other connections were known about which no one ever told me?” And, just as importantly, “Are there any connections that may have begun to evaporate from common knowledge over the decades?”
I immediately started searching for other connections between the early Passovers and the final week of Jesus’s ministry. Very quickly, links between Moses, the Exodus, and Jesus became apparent.
One of the first I discovered was Luke connecting Jesus and Moses in a significant way, which only appears as a footnote in most Bibles. In Luke’s account of the transfiguration we read: “Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30-31, emphasis added). The word “departure” is the translation of the Greek word exodus. It’s a subtle link, but using my paraphrase, one could read it as, “Moses and Jesus spoke of Jesus’s exodus, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Both Moses and Jesus having an exodus seems significant.
The words Jesus chose to use at the Last Supper also connect that week to Moses and the first Passover. God told the Israelites before leaving Egypt, “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance” (Exodus 12:14, emphasis added). Compare this to Jesus’s words:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
At this Passover Jesus also declares, “Do this in remembrance of me,” meaning, commemorate this Passover. Even more striking are the symbols of the covenant. Jesus marks the new covenant with wine representing his blood. Similarly, “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’” (Exodus 24:8).
The connections between the first Passover and this one run deep. Both tell of redemption: one within an old covenant; the other by defining a new covenant. The purpose in Jesus’s declaration was to link his words and actions to the Old Testament and to establish a unity of purpose in his ministry and in the entire history of redemption.
After the resurrection, the events on the road to Emmaus that opened this chapter (Luke 24:27) provide another significant connection. Any doubts that the Passion of Christ was not included in the ancient prophecies are put to rest with this grand declaration.
Nathan Slegers PhD
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
George Fox University
Friday, November 16, 2018
Friday, November 9, 2018
Touched my heart in a way I didn't expect. I found myself reliving moments that had been buried deep in the sands of time. And that's what good poetry does. It lingers, makes you stop, and remember - the hills, the valleys, the ebbs, the flows, the good, and the bad. A Dime is a Sign allowed me to open up my feelings to myself.
I think sometimes I'm afraid to feel. Or I'm afraid to think about difficult subjects - love, loss, failure, disappointment, broken friendships, the "what could have been's " - and yet, how can we appreciate God's goodness if we don't remember the hard places we've endured, those unfortunate turns that sent us screaming, crying, shouting, or pouting?
I remember one poem brought to mind some roses that I admired many years ago that were part of a rose competition. I never knew there could be so many different varieties, so many different colors, and so many spectacular blends. How could the judges choose just one winner?
I think Dime is a Sign resurrected that memory because God has been telling me for a while - stop and see the beauty in the land of the living. Feel more, taste more, dream more, embrace life more - in all its fullness and nuances. Don't be afraid to feel love, sadness, dejection, or anger. It's in feeling that God restores our soul and gives us more of Himself.
In this fast-paced world in which we live, perhaps it's just too easy to forget the beautiful sounds and rhythm of well-written poetry. We need to remember the beauty of words stunningly put together draw a portrait of our humanness. It's our frailties, passions, hopes, and despairs that give us commonality with the world and with each other. I needed to be reminded of many things that had been put away in a crowded box of the forgotten. In feeling deeply, I know I'm still alive.
I thank Sherrill S. Cannon for taking me down a road less traveled (at least for me) and helping me to be more than I was before. Helping me to slow down and risk living at a slower pace
I'm good at building invisible walls so I stay in the middle of the road on which I travel. At least today, I ventured out along the edges where I stopped and picked up stones that were beautiful and redemptive. Beautiful poetry has a strange way of doing that.
A Dime is a Sign is vulnerable, introspective, and a masterpiece of emotional catharsis. Enjoy the read to the fullest.
Friday, November 2, 2018
A Christopher Cyprus Bible Adventure
Buy on Amazon US
Released from Fox Ridge Publications Sept 28, 2018
Christopher Cyprus, aged twelve, has stepped into his grandfather's shoes as God's Secret Agent and Legacy Holder. The Lord calls Chris to help during the time of the Hebrew’s deliverance from Pharaoh. But the portal slams mysteriously shut when he arrives in Egypt. He and his new friends must solve the Pharaoh’s Enigma or risk losing the power of God’s special relics, including Moses’s staff and the portal.
Review by Martin Roth
This is another in the intriguing Relics of Power series. It is a great concept - 12-year-old Christopher Cyprus is God's secret agent and caretaker of God's special relics. These relics are needed to help the ancient Israelites when they are in trouble. In this book Christopher must head back in time to help the Israelites in Egypt in their battle with the Pharaoh. I recommend this book and the entire series.