(This is a guest post from Everett Reiss.)
“All year we’re kind of like puffed up leavened bread, but passover is a time for us to become like stripped down matzah bread,” said the rabbi at a small group meeting at a Jewish community center in Philadelphia. I recently started attending on Thursday nights. I never looked at passover this way, but he’s right.
Throughout the year we add many things or extra layers to our lives – material goods, ambitions and desires, and habits. So this passover I want to simplify and be more like matzah.
But what does that look like? Jesus demonstrates this best. John in his gospel recounting Jesus’ last passover meal on this earth shortly before his crucifixion, writes, “[Jesus] had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end… So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him” (John 13:5).
Here we see God in the flesh take on the role of a servant washing his disciples’ feet – including the feet of Judas, the man who he knew was going to betray him. Later that night Jesus instructed, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34).
Our human nature is to build and puff ourselves up, and manage and promote our reputations; but as a follower of Jesus, this passover is the perfect time to follow his example and make myself nothing, and consider others more than myself – essentially be more like a matzah than a puffed up croissant.
For more on Jesus’ attitude of humility, check out chapter two of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians.