Elohay Selichot

Warm, sticky liquid coated his hands, deep crimson staining from his fingertips to his shirt; smearing, painting the doorway across the top casing with blood.

As he labored, his sweat mingled with the blood of a young calf, a sympathetic Egyptian's stock, and the fluids ran freely down his neck, along his spine. With every heartbeat, a steady drip of blood left his tunic for the ground: signifying his own death, his family's forfeiture to the will of Elohim. A blood sacrifice for the life of his first-born.

A sacrifice for salvation of the Jews, from slavery — centuries later, a sacrifice for all God's chosen people, for every human soul across the ages.

In Exodus 12, Moses provided an ultimatum for the Pharaoh, a promise of destruction and death to the Egyptians should they not release the Jewish people from their toilsome captivity: with the 14th day of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar, the Angel of Death would visit the city, taking the life of every first-born child unless protected under a delivering sacrifice by God's covenant with Moses.

Precise obedience was key: a diet of unleavened bread and a single lamb for each family (or for small families to share with neighbors), sacrificing the lamb on the day of Pesach seder, then painting the blood across the doorway of the household as a sign of obedience. For obedience, God's punishing plague would pass over the doorway — leaving the firstborn unscathed.

Good Friday, the day of Jesus' death, marked the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb by the high priests of Solomon's Temple. As God would have it in His master plan, the day marked the sacrifice for all of humanity, not only the Jews. With the death of the lamb atoning for sins of God's chosen people during the past year, Christ died in atonement for the sins of all men across time, opening the gates of heaven and the floodgates of God's mercy and grace. As Jesus last breath broke, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," the temple veil tore from top to bottom; with death of the Son of Man, the Holy of Holies — the seat of God, the most holy place in the temple in which only clean, appointed priests could enter — released the Holy Spirit and broke the barrier between God and man.

Following Jesus' death was the Sabbath, coinciding withthe Festival of Unleavened Bread and completing a symbolism in the midst of ancient Jewish culture, rich depth and symbolism contributing to the theology and beautiful nature of the death of Christ. Specifically, bread forms by mixing finely ground wheat, water and yeast, whereas unleavened bread remains without. Yeast symbolizes sin or impurity (noted in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8), similar to the iniquities of man taken upon the Messiah in His crucifixion. Also, wheat seed must die to produce crop, and thus Jesus died to offer life to His faithful.

 "And on the third day," God's blood painting completed, splashed full of life and reunion between God and His fallen creation, bridging the rift formed in The Fall. The Feast of the First-fruits celebrates the beginning of the harvest, and on the day of the Messiah's rise, a greater harvest began with the reaping of souls for the golden streets of heaven! In the feast of the first-fruits, the Jews offered to God the first and best of their harvest in sacrifice and thanks to God's faithfulness; in turn, Jesus' resurrection portrayed God's first-fruits to man, a guarantee of the complete covenant to follow.

From death and disobedience, pain and separation, Mosaic Law and the Abrahamic Covenant reached fruition in the death of the perfect 'Son of Man', the son of God.

God didn't have to forgive us, but by mercy and grace, in His infinite wisdom, He did. Moreover, God didn't simply offer an acceptance of apology but in fact stepped even further and fulfilled both sides of the covenant; just as in His covenant with Abram, God offered the terms and fulfillment, the solution and sacrifice, on His own. With no obligation, man is free to choose his own path, to follow God only by personal choice. Nehemiah 9:17 speaks of Elohay Selichot:

They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them...
— Nehemiah 9:17

Looking at God's proposal, His romance for our souls, Easter takes a brighter light. Remember the bloody, gruesome origins of Easter, but most importantly never forget that people are beautiful, worth the passion of Christ on the cross.

Never forget: God loves you.