Ah, those colorful doors of Ireland! Whether you’ve been to the fair island or not you’ve seen them in photos, door after cheery door painted bright blue, red, yellow or green. On a fine soft day, a day of lashing rain or in the clear, bright sunshine, these doors evoke a smile. Inviting, yes. Whimsical, definitely. This unexpected burst of color on the front door of a home hints that something more is going on inside than meets the eye. It’s good to paint joy on the entrance of ones heart and ones home.
We have just entered a week of doors, of being led out and onward. It is a week to remember what happened in the past and consider what the Lord might want displayed our ‘door’ this week. It is Passover.
Passover was initiated so very long ago when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. You know the story, and if you don’t you can read it for yourself in the second book of the Bible, The Exodus. After generations of Hebrews had been enslaved to Pharoah, reputed to be the god of this world by his own people, the God of Israel initiated a series of events that would lead to their freedom. Moses was God’s chosen deliverer, having himself been delivered as an infant from Pharoah’s killing madness. Throughout his life Moses bore the signature and was the sign of God’s faithful intent to save His chosen people.
Deliverance is the action of being rescued or set free. God always has a strategy and solution to set people free from slavery and oppression, whatever form it takes. Satan, the god of this world, came to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to bring abundant life, a life force so forceful and surging in its expression that it would flow out of us like a river. So to assume slavery in any of its guises – poverty, sickness, broken relationships – is God’s will for us is to assume the Living Water of His presence within us is polluted. It does not flow from a polluted source so I’m not buying it.
At that first Passover in Egypt the children of Israel were told to paint their doorposts and lintels red, blood red. That is, they were to take the blood of a lamb that had been sacrificed and paint it on the border of the entrance to their home. This burst of color, of blood, would be the sign for the death angel to pass over their home; anyone not applying the blood of the lamb as God directed through Moses would lose their firstborn in death. In a clear prophetic symbol of the blood of Jesus being applied to our lives as a seal of our adoption into His family, this beginning step of deliverance opened the way for them (and ultimately for us) to walk out of captivity and into freedom. This is the week we remember and celebrate that. More than celebrate, may it be the week we walk into new levels of freedom emotionally, financially, physically and in all ways! The blood of Jesus applied to our lives is the sign that seals and delivers.
In China, doorposts are decorated with red paper at Chinese New Year. Across the top and the sides of the doors are blood red papers with black letters of a blessing. Though many in China today consider this a way to ward off evil spirits, I can’t help but wonder if the tradition has its roots in the recollection of a story, the Passover story. While in Asia I have held young women in my arms, those who escaped from child soldier camps in another Asian country. As they sat and wept for all that was lost, once composed these young girls radiated with the fire of God in their bones. They were sustained and walked in increasing amounts of freedom by the joy and comfort of having been rescued by Jesus, the One to whom they called out in their bondage. The One who set them free and to whom they now belonged. Refusing to be victims, these powerful girls displayed what it looks like to be signed, sealed and delivered by a Father who is good.
Freedom is the domain of being free and it always comes at a price. The price was paid by Jesus and the way has been made clear for us to run into freedom by His blood. God’s declaration to His children in Exodus 6:5-7: I have heard your groaning. I have remembered My covenant. I will bring you out. I will rescue you. I will redeem you. I will take you as My own. Passover’s promise is the same for us as it was for the children of Israel. It applied to Rahab the harlot of Jericho, the present day rescued girls in Asia – and it applies to you and I.
This Passover week may we willingly repent (change the way we think), ask for forgiveness where it is needed, and walk forward into the domain where we are free. As we do so the River of Life within will be unstopped and the force of its flow will take us into the celebration of His resurrection, Loving Ourselves To Life.