Our verse for today comes from John 11:55, ” And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. “
I tend to pack for a trip as late as possible. As long as the clothes that I want to take are clean, I will generally put everything I need in a bag a mere hour or two before we head out. But I’ve got a couple daughters who begin their packing routine a good week or so before we load up the van. Outfits are chosen, as well as accessories, games, books, and any other form of entertainment, days before they really need to be. In A Few Good Men , this issue of packing for a trip is the undoing of Colonel Jessup in the case of the dead Marine in his outfit, Private Santiago. It seems that Santiago was miserable on that base and had written a dozen letters to superiors, begging for a transfer. But instead, a unit disciplinary practice, intended to punish Santiago for substandard performance, and then motivate him to improve, went south and cost the Private his life. His Colonel claimed he was being transferred the very next morning, but in the trial concerning his death, it was revealed that not one item had been packed by Santiago and not one person had been notified, even though his prayers had been answered and his release was forthcoming. In contrast, the defense counsel pointed out that Colonel Jessup had made a day trip to Washington for the trial, and had as a matter of routine made three phone calls to set up appointments and even packed a change of clothes. As was becoming clear to all, no transfer had been ordered, and Santiago was not going anywhere.
Many travelers to Jerusalem needed to prepare themselves to take Passover, as was written in the Hebrew scriptures. So they would arrive early and make sure that they were right to partake of the blessed celebration of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. And then there’s you and me. Is there any preparation for our day worthy of the deliverance we have been graced with? Is there cleansing before we gather to worship our Deliverer? Do we anticipate, or do our schedules and routines and busyness not allow for that?
As we seek Him today, make it a priority to be with Christ earlier than 60 seconds before it’s time. Purify yourself, and celebrate your freedom from bondage.