Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover, Easter and Chocolate Nests

Chocolate Nest with Candy Eggs

It is the blessed Easter Week and...
Sunday is coming! 

I love Easter and hold the sacredness of this holiday close to my heart.  I eschew the Easter bunny in favor of Our Risen Lord and the price he paid on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.  Easter IS a time of renewal, of spring bunnies and chicks, of chocolate eggs and hopeful beginnings, BUT it is so much more.  Easter means Resurrection, hope and newness of life.  It means when we trust Jesus to save us from ourselves, one day we will be resurrected with him, with all believers, for an eternity of joy and peace.  No more sadness.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."  Rev. 21:4

Because I am in such desperate need to be saved...because I can not go one day without selfishness and sin, I am all the more grateful for a perfect God who lowered himself to become man, and though was tempted in every way, remained sinless and then sacrificed himself in my place.  It is sometimes hard to conceptualize that sacrifice, to really feel the weight of the sin that entangles me and then realize the penalty that had to be paid.

This is why tonight our family will celebrate Passover.  Technically, Passover is a Jewish holiday, a tradition of remembrance of God's deliverance out of slavery in Egypt.  But what does that have to do with Easter?  In fact, the Last Supper was Christ celebrating the passover meal with his disciples. Do you remember those Sunday school stories about Moses?  Oh, yes!  "Set my people free."    God sent plagues that reigned down on Pharaoh and his people because he refused to listen to Moses and obey God by setting the Israelites free.  Each plague was sent to show God's power and to give Pharaoh a chance to repent.  Finally, the last plague was the death of the first born son of every living thing in Egypt.  The angel of death was coming to destroy.  But the people were given a way of escape. 

A continual story of a JUST God full of MERCY making a way for man.  If they sacrificed an innocent, blameless lamb and wiped the blood on the door posts, the angel would "pass over" the house and spare the life inside.

Can you imagine?

We have a baby girl who adores animals.  You remember the pictures from The Little House on the Prairie Party.  Remember her holding the baby goat in her arms.  Last night as she lay in bed, we were discussing the Passover story.  She reached out her hand to me and said, "I could not cut that baby lamb, Mommy."  I looked her in the eyes. 

"What if you had to do that every time you did something wrong?  Would you want to try and stop doing wrong things?"

She replied, "But I can't stop doing wrong things!"  Oh, sweet baby girl is right!  We can not stop doing wrong things, as much as we may try.  The number of innocent sacrifices would be too many to count.  But a JUST God full of MERCY made a way for you and me.  One perfect sacrifice.  God in flesh.  No more are needed.  It is finished.

"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:30

We will have our Passover Seder tonight.  Our family will gather around the coffee table and follow the order of the Seder service.  We will wash each other's feet, I will light the Seder candles, "baby girl" will ask the four questions, we will break the bread and drink from the cup.  We will remember and be so thankful that the sacrifice is complete and it is indeed finished!

Chocolate Nests

1 can  sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

1 package of (16 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 large bag  (12 oz each) of  chow mein noodles
Chocolate Easter candies eggs

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper. Lightly coat with nonstick spray.  Pour condensed milk into a medium microwave-safe bowl; add chocolate chips. Place in microwave on high 30 seconds, stir, and heat again for 30 seconds.  Repeat until chips melt and mixture is blended and smooth.  Put noodles into a large bowl, pour the chocolate mixture over the noodles and toss with a rubber spatula until noodles are coated.

Drop generous 1⁄2 cups on prepared baking sheets. Lightly spray fingertips with nonstick spray. Form mounds into nests making a depression in the center to hold candies. When the nests begin to set, fill with candies.  Enjoy!

Do you want to learn how to host a Christian Passover Seder?  Visit Chosen People Minsitries.

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