Today’s clue about Jesus’ birth isn’t as obvious. It took 1,476 years for the people to understand what God was doing. Sometimes hidden clues are more exciting because we are more surprised when we find them.
“Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on the sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.’” (Exodus 12:21-24)
Just imagine one day we were at the Grand Canyon. We were walking along one of the edges, and all of a sudden your foot slipped. You started to slide down and at the last moment Dad grabbed your hand and saved you from falling down into the canyon. We were so thankful you weren’t killed that every year we celebrated this day. Each year on that day we ate a special dinner, and talked about what happened at the Grand Canyon. We never forgot it because we had a party every year.
This is exactly the scene of today’s Bible verse. Do you remember when God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Pharoah wouldn’t let them leave, even though nine plagues almost destroyed Egypt. Finally God said He would send the death angel to kill the first born son of all the Egyptians, but He would save the Israelites if they did exactly what He told them to do. Our verse for today tells what Moses told the people to do. They were to kill a lamb and brush some of the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. What does this make? It forms a cross.
The Israelites obeyed God, and he saved all of the first born sons. The Israelites left Egypt and began their journey to the Promised Land. God told them to celebrate the Passover every year so they would never forget what He had done to save them. They celebrated it for 1,476 years. That’s a long time! The people didn’t know this was a clue for finding Jesus one day, but we can see it was a clue. God was showing the people that a lamb of God would take away death.
We are walking to Jesus manger. Do you know what a manger is? It is where animals eat, and it wasn’t by accident that one day Jesus would lay in a manger.
What is your favorite clue so far that God gave about Jesus’ birth?
Making a Treat with an Object Lesson
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup non-dairy creamer
1 dash salt
1. Combine ingredients and mix well. Store in airtight container. This recipe makes 4 cups of mix, and it can be easily doubled to give as a gift.
2. To enjoy: add 4 Tablespoons mix with hot milk or water. I love to use milk because the hot chocolate is more creamy and rich. Top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.
Do you see all of the ingredients that we use to make hot cocoa? Each one by itself doesn’t make the right combination for hot cocoa. The cocoa powder is bitter without any sugar, and the dry milk is bland.
Life is just like making hot cocoa. God gives us many different experiences, some sweet and some bitter and some seem pretty boring, but mixed together they make something amazing. When we are going through situations that we don’t like, we need to remember that God really needs this ingredient or situation in our life to help us become the beautiful person He has planned.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
A friend made this for me last year, and I love the idea. Simply use the homemade hot cocoa mix, and place it in a beautiful jar. You can add chocolate chips like she did to make three layers. It makes a great gift for anyone. Who doesn’t love hot cocoa on a cold evening?
The assembly of this gift is very easy.
1. Fill a decorative jar about ¾ full with the hot cocoa mix. Place mini marshmallows on top of mix to fill jar. Seal tightly.
2. Tie a ribbon around the far and attach gift tag with instructions to use 4 T of mix with hot milk or water.
Copyright© words and photographs by Jane Carole Stein