"This month shall be the beginning of months for you;
it is to be the first month of the year to you."
What month is God talking about here? The month of the Passover.
Years ago, while still a resident of California, Nana was here for a visit.
Both of us remember the day clearly.
Leisl was four years old and her favorite movie at the time was Prince of Egypt.
We had peace with her watching the movie even though it was rated PG.
I was usually a running commentary when she watched a video the first few times and there were several areas I wanted to make sure she understood about this film in particular.
Nana and I were sitting at the kitchen table while the girls conveniently watched in the family room.
The final plague was about to hit the land of Egypt and the Hebrews were carrying out God's instructions for the Passover.
Some of the instructions were to--
• Each one to take a lamb for themselves...
• Your lamb must be unblemished, male lamb a year old (it's prime of life)
• The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight
• They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel
Why would they do this?
"For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you."
As the characters on the video were wiping the blood on the door posts, I walked over to Leisl and explained that this is a true story, yes, but also an Old Testament picture of Jesus.
I explained to her that Jesus is our Lamb that was slain and when we accept that Jesus shed His blood for our sins, we are covered by His blood in the same way that those doorposts and lintels were covered. When God's righteous judgment comes, He will see the blood of Jesus covering us and pass over-- and we will not be destroyed but preserved, by the blood.
As I walked back into the kitchen, Nana, looking quite pale, pointed to my seat at the kitchen table and said, "Sit down, say it again, this time slowly."
I said, "Say what?" in complete confusion.
"The whole thing-- the lamb, the blood, the whole thing."
Pointing towards the T.V., I said, "What? That?"
"Yes!" she pleaded.
So I repeated it slowly and allowed her to interrupt with questions to clarify and expand on what I meant.
I grabbed my bible and showed her John 1:29 which says,
"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
At this point, Nana was a bundle of emotions. Excited and dumbfounded, she couldn't stop saying,
"That's it. That's what it means. That's why."
I was still confused so all I could say was, "Why what?"
Nana opened her heart to me and shared...
"All those years sitting in Mass, I would say these words,
"The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world" and I never knew what they meant.
I always thought to myself, "Why a lamb? Why not a tiger or a horse or a lion? Why a lamb?"
It wasn't until you were talking to Leisl that I finally understood, that Jesus is the Lamb, the perfect, unblemished Lamb, that died so His perfect blood God would see and not punish me."
All I could say was, "Oh Nana!"
We hugged and cried and it was a beautiful moment watching her understand, for the first time in her life, the truth of God's extraordinary love-- that He would send His Son--for her.