Passover and the Mangrove Tree

Holocaust Memorial Miami Florida
Holocaust Memorial Miami Florida | Source

Introductioin

I began reading the book “Love in a World of Sorrow A Teenage Girl’s Holocaust Memoirs" by Fanya Gottesfeld Heller on the plane en route to the Florida Keys for a vacation. It was so engaging and riveting that I finished it the next day.

I have heard many testimonies of those who survived the cruelty and hatred of the holocaust and I am always so amazed at the resiliency of the Jewish people. Not that they came through the experience unscathed by any means but their tragedies didn't seem to define their futures for success. They are truly a remarkable people who have overcome the worst of human adversities with grace and dignity despite the attempts of many to rob them of these very virtues. They truly are a testimony of God’s sovereignty in this respect. This people who could have blamed God for all that they suffered continued to revere Him which I do believe is the secret to their miraculous survival.

A Passover Seder meal
A Passover Seder meal | Source

A Vacation Revelation

I was at the local Winn Dixie grocery store in Key Largo and stumbled upon a cardboard display containing literature detailing the Pass Over celebration readings and activities. I made note that this very week we were vacationing was Pass Over Week and just so happens to coincide this year with the cultural Christian Holiday celebrated as Easter.

I took one of the booklets back to the Marina we were staying at and as I was reading the booklet I was so amazingly impressed by the focus of recitations, song, and general worship acknowledging God’s greatness, goodness, and sovereignty. I have become so used to our cultural form of worship that centers around what He does for us and how He makes us feel that it stood out to me. We worship God sometimes as if it were all about us. The Jewish people seem to know and understand that if God never did a thing for us ever again He is still worthy to be praised.

The Dayenu in Hebrew
The Dayenu in Hebrew | Source

The Dayenu

One example of this is a song that is sung during the Passover observance called “The Dayenu” It recites the many things that God has done for them and if He hadn’t, they sing, it would have been sufficient or enough.

How is it that in modern cultural Christianity we have permitted in arrogance to choose not to worship Him because we don’t like how life is going for us. We seem to worship God at times to the extent we believe He will benefit us. We tend to determine and measure God’s goodness by the yardstick of our personal circumstances. According to the Jewish people. God is good period! Not that they didn't have questions or despair at times but they maintained their faith and practice of it. I so admire their faithful attitudes and appreciation that truly God owes us nothing and anything he might choose to bestow upon us for good is a bonus and a blessing.

Passsover is one of the most widely observed holidays of the Jewish People and is considered the first, foundational, and significant of all the feasts. If we view this in light of This Holidays symbol of Christ our Passover lamb’s death on the cross to secure our deliverance from sin and the Satan, we can see how significant and foundational it truly is

Source

Christ Our Passover

“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” - 1 Corinthians 5:7
For no foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ.” - I Corinthians 3:11

The next thing I notice about the Passover observance is how many repetitions and recitations there are. It really is all about remembering. It reminds me of Jesus command

“Do this in remembrance of me - Luke 22:19

It seems absurd that we would forget or similarly become apathetic to such a great salvation we have been given.

“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation ~ Hebrews 2:3

And yet that is exactly what we do, forget. It is my desire someday take part in a Passover Seder to view the tangible lessons that display so perfectly the purpose and power of the ultimate sacrifice through the richness of its symbols and observances.

Mangrove trees bordering a tidal estuary in Everglades National Park
Mangrove trees bordering a tidal estuary in Everglades National Park | Source

The Mangroves Sacrificial Leaf

While in Florida we were introduced to the extremely common yet interesting trees of south Florida called the Mangroves. There were many fascinating facts about these trees but one in particular stood out to me in relationship to Passover.

Mangroves are the only trees that live in salt water and are able to make fresh water from salt water by depositing the salt which it intakes to what is known as "sacrificial" leaves these are certain leave on the tree that will absorb the salt and die and fall off the tree so the other leaves can live. What a spectacular picture of what Christ has done for us as the sacrificial lamb of God. If we think of the salt as sin and how without the sacrificial leaf the whole plant dies. So it is with us. Christ took on the sin of the world and became our sacrificial leaf.

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. ~ I Peter 2:24
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! ~ John 1:29

root system of the Mangrove
root system of the Mangrove | Source

Another spiritual lesson from this tree is that it drops its roots to the ocean floor and takes hold of the bedrock and these roots become anchors. The fact that Christ died for us and became our sacrificial leaf should cause us to drop down our roots and grab hold of the bedrock of this revelation of forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of God's one and only Son, and anchor our souls.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast...Hebrews 6:19

The Mangrove is also known as "The Walking Tree" because of the roots are observable above the surface and and appear to be standing or walking.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him...Colossians 2:6

According to NtheFloridaKeys.com

"As the roots get thicker they begin to trap sand , sediment, rocks and shells. This builds up thick layers of land and becomes elevated from the surrounding sea bottom. This process allows one mangrove to grow into an island and it allows for existing islands to grow larger" (1)
...rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 2:7

These strong root systems become a habitat for marine life and make for necessary food and nutrient. Most fish caught in the area spent time in the protected environmental root system of the Mangroves. I saw this as a picture of what the church is supposed to be.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, ~ Ephesians 2:19-21

Painting the Blood
Painting the Blood | Source

He Turns Our Lives Into Something Purposeful and Meaningful

Because we have been brought near by His sacrificial blood

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ~ Ephesians 2:13

This tree gives us another "useful" picture in that every part of the tree is useful.

"Fruits from the red mangrove are edible. Leaves have been used to make tea, as a medicine and feed for livestock. Wood from the red mangrove is strong and water resistant. It’s been used to make boats, furniture, pilings, and houses. The black’s flower produces nectar. Bee keepers like to place their hives near these to produce a great tasting honey. The bark was used for tannin and dyes. Charcoal was made from the dense wood of the black mangrove and the buttonwood. They’ve also been used as a safe place to tie up a boat during a hurricane or storm" ~ NtheFloridaKeys.com

Christ came that we might have His life and live it abundantly and usefully. A life without Christ and His life giving purpose is a wasted life. His sacrifice paved the way for the plans and purposes that God had for us before time began to give us function in the body as individuals for the greater good of the whole body.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them... ~ Romans 12:4-6

I am always so in awe how what God has created always testifies of Him and His ways so specifically and so clearly, just as we have seen in the mangrove tree. What He has made always has something to tell us about Him.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, ~ Romans 1:20

There are many more aspects to the Passover observance that speak to the details of Christs death, resurrection and what that all means. I have included a video done by Jews for Jesus that touches on these very things.

Watch and enjoy.

(1) http://www.n-the-florida-keys.com/mangrove.html

Jews for Jesus shows us Christ in the Passover

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Comments 28 comments

FriendofTruth profile image

FriendofTruth 4 years ago from Michigan

Blessings to you Tamarajo. This is a great comparison of Passover and the mangrove tree. You have shown so clearly how Jesus and His glory is seen in all the earth. It is amazing how the Jewish people have determined to praise and worship God no matter what - this is a great reminder for all of us who often have trouble doing that.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

How lovely of you to make this presentation. Passover is one of the holiest of days. I love the mangrove tree and see the allegory as you have shown it. Oh thank you for this one.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Tamarajo: As I was reading through this loving comparison, I was reminded of the first Passover, back in Egypt, and how the angel of death, passed by or passed over the homes that bore the blood of the sacrificial lamb.

This caused me to reflect upon the crucifixion of Christ, and how we as Christians are applied with the Blood of the Lamb of God, so that our spiritual selves will be passed over, as death destroys our sinfulness, and yet frees us into a spiritual re-birth in Jesus.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

So very interesting and it left much food for thought.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello FriendofTruth, It seemed like the whole theme of the vacation was Passover. I ran into it seems like everywhere I went. When I heard this explanation of the Mangrove trees I made the connection immediately and later after further research discovered how fitting an example it really is.

I think that everything God has created speaks something of His goodness, glory, and ways.

His people are the greatest testimony that He is.

Thank you for your visit and for commenting.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Hyphenbird, This Mangrove revelation was inspiring to me too. It just confirms that God really wants us to understand Him and His ways and He gives us tangible living examples of it everyday. I seem to find these things on vacations I think because I am not distracted by the mundane.

Thank you for your visit and your comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Amen Dave Matthews! That is the truly is the Passover story and the pointing forward to the cross of Christ. I would like to expand and expound more thoroughly on the Passover and might do so at a later time. The Passover is so rich with symbols of Christ.

Thank you for your comment and additional insight.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Eddy, Yes so much more to contemplate with this holiday it is so deep and rich with explanation of the cross of Christ.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Absolutely beautiful, TJ. I like how you hit the nail on the head with this line, "I have become so used to our cultural form of worship that centers around what He does for us and how He makes us feel...." We make it all about us when in reality it's all about Him.

What wonderful lessons the mangrove tree teaches. Thank you for sharing this with us. God never ceases to amaze me.

May I post this on The Great American Fast website?


VOICE CIW 4 years ago

God bless you Sister Tamarajo, this writing is so beautiful, inspiring, encouraging, and informative. God did so much for the Jewish People, and His Love for them always preserved them no matter what they did and went through. The Passover went back to the Old Testament when Moses was sent to deliver the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. The Passover was when God decreed that all the firstborn would be destroyed except for the Jewish People who put lamb's blood on the post of their door, so that when the Destroyer ( the Death Angel) sent by God came he would pass over all the homes that had the lamb's blood on the post of the door, these homes were occupied by the Jewish People. The lamb's blood was symbolically the Blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) Who died for us and delivwerd us from death which is sin. Sister Tamarajo you are so deep in the Lord, and yoor writings are special to me and others. You stay blessed, I love you in the Lord. By the way I need to ask, how is David doing?


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi lifegate, I was somewhat hesitant to share the personal observation about the current state of the church but concluded that it is true and painful observance that we need to be awakened to a passionate faith that causes us to live sacrificial lives. I made a point to speak in terms of us and we as I cannot exclude myself from the equation and problem within the church There are times when I sink into it too and it is truths and reminders such as the Mangroves that bring it all to life again.

Yes, you may post on the Great American Fast. I have a hard time finding computer time lately so I haven't been on much on either site.

Thanks much for reading and encouraging comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Voice, Your comment adds much to the article. At some point I would like to add to it the details you and Dave Matthews describe in how that all connects to Moses and the children of Israel being delivered from their bondage because it really is descriptive of our deliverance process from sin.

I thank you for all your kind words and encouraging commentary. I apologize for not getting over to your page more. My computer time is rare lately but will be over to read some soon.

Be blessed in the Lord Voice I appreciate your bold and strong faith.

P.S. Dave is still maintaining his position but have seen some rays of light peer through some places of darkness.


einron profile image

einron 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Tamarajo

Very beautifully expressed the love of God for His children. The love and sacrifice must be paased on from generation to generation. We cannot equal the sacrifice made by the Lord but can try to imitate His love for us.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you einron, yes His sacrificial love is the foundation of it all and I agree that it needs to be passed from generation to generation. That is a great desire of mine. and I agree with you as well that we should live lives of sacrifice as well in appreciation and understanding of what He has done for us.

Blessed by your visit and comment einron.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 4 years ago from Manila

Nice hub with great insights to ponder on. Truly as christians God called us to a life of great purposes. Only in remaining in the center of God's will, we can fulfill God's great purposes for our lives. Christ came that we can have a full life. There is no other better alternative for a christian but to remain in the faith amidst difficult circumstances of life. Blessings to you and to your family Tamarajo. Best regards.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

VERY, very informational and inspiring Hub! As always you let God use you! I am blessed to know you!! Voted-UP! I pray that things are going well with you and yours and when you get a chance, come and visit me. God Bless!!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you drpastorcarlotta, I am pleased to hear that you were inspired by the hub and found it informational. Things have been a bit unsettled as of lately. I am getting lots of opportunities to practice the things I write about. I am in the lab so to speak. I definitely will be by when I get the chance.

Blessed for you to stop by and thanks for the vote.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

tamarajo Sister I came over last week and read this. I thought I left a comment hmmmm Well my friend This is lovely. I truly enjoyed the teaching. In fact it is beautiful and dear. Your research and study is amazing. God smiles favor on you sister. You are precious. Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge. God is Awesome. His Holy Hand print in all things.

I have not seen you in a bit. I do pray all is well with you. May God keep you today and always. Keep going sister. U will Phil 4:13 Hugs Galore.

Love you

Beautiful up awesome useful


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Skye, Ya Im not sure what happened to your first comment. I replied to one another hub. Maybe that is what happened.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed the teaching. I love vacations as it always lends to those opportunities to slow down enough and try to take a good look at His incredible lessons all around us.

Your observation is correct I have not been around for a bit. This whole year has been a season of testing. Maybe the Lord wondering if I have learned the things I write about. I can get to my computer maybe once a week and I quickly get done what I can. Thank you for asking and your concern.

When the storms have past I will have a whole bunch more to write about the things I learned about Him on this journey.

I always appreciate your Hubpages presence, and encouraging faithfilled feed back.

Bless you Skye!!


no body profile image

no body 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

First I would like to say that I love America and I feel it is the best country on earth. But that said, we have a culture that has spoiled us. We have the nerve to get mad at God because we figure that we are good enough to never hurt at all. Now I lay this at the feet of American culture (or rather what the American culture has become) because American culture has bled into the rest of the world. We wanted to bring the gospel first but then with the gospel came our culture because of the wealth that God has blessed us with and thus distorted attitude of self worth. Now Christians in general behave just like you said, as if we measure God by what He has or will do for us. As you know I endeavor to read through the Bible every 4 months which makes me dwell in the Old Testament Scripture the vast majority of the time. It is constantly in there about how God is worthy and sovereign and nothing He does for us is necessary to make Him worthy of worship. However most Christians I know do not read like I do. They remain in those few hundred pages of the New Testament. They preach New Testament. If they study the study Greek and rarely ever Hebrew. Now there is what is slowly becoming a trend to call Christian churches New Testament churches. God never intended us to have such tunnel vision. The N.T. was written by Jews, with background thinking of Old Testament. The reasons they said what they did and did all the quoting they did is because they were familiar with Hebrew Scriptures. My mentor was right to beat into my head to read cover to cover but I am looked at like I am strange because I see things so differently. I thank you also for the picture of the mangrove. I didn't know anything of the mangrove and it is a wonderful picture whose story you have told so beautifully. I am truly sorry sister that I have not commented on your articles as often as I should. Please forgive me and I will try harder to give them the attention that they so deserve because they help make me a better Christian and strong. I love you Tam.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Agreed Bob that reading the Old is just as relevant as the New. At times I wonder if the New is understood as well without the understanding of the Old. I'm not sure if I could get through it in 4 months though that is pretty good : )

The culture of the nation (world) is to be expected I suppose but the church itself as you say is so well blended with the culture around it that it isn't very distinguishable from them. I can't entirely exclude myself from the equation but sure hungering and thirsting for a fresh wind and rain from the Spirit. It has felt so dry and arid for awhile.

I do think it has to do with our complacency and although I understand that it isn't obeying the letter of the law that procures salvation. I do admire the Jewish people for so tenaciously hanging on to what they believe no matter what.

Thank you for visiting Bob and your additional insights. No problem on the visits. I'm having a hard time getting to everything myself. Stop by when you can and I will stop by when I can.

Be blessed my friend!


no body profile image

no body 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

Actually Tam, If you read 10 chapters a day that is all it takes. But you have to know that this reading is a different reading than you do when you meditate or when you study. This is an overview which brings about a different kind of blessing. Firstly, the Bible is not really 66 books but is one volume written by the Holy Spirit using the 44 different authors. There is a scarlet thread that is woven throughout that you miss if you don't read cover to cover. It would be like taking lines 12, 16, 56, 78 of a Shakespear play and studying them over and over without reading the entire play. Perhaps with the right amount of highlights from the play you know what the story is about and know the "best parts" but you miss the nuances and sweep of the story, its cultural flavor and so on. It is the same with Scripture. If you read it like one Book you get the themes, the sweep of the timeline, the cultures and peoples development, the consistency of Scripture. The power of the Spirit in the happenings of History. Without the overview you miss many small things too, that God makes to pop on each time through. It is amazing the new things learned. I make sure I have a pen and paper. I may make a few notes for later. I do not stop and go back until after the reading. But when I go back to that note the question I have has been answered, the power I noticed is even more impressive. My father in the Lord told me to do this and it was required in Bible college. The value of this is immeasureable. I have learned that the treasure house that is contained between those two covers contains so much more than what most people ever know. The vast majority of pastors have never read the Bible from cover to cover. Only a handful read for an overview. Most argue against it saying it is not how a person studies. Some say it dishonors the Scripture and treats it like regular literature. I am not reading it like literature. I am a surveyor that scans the horizon for landmarks that I may have missed. Many times the Holy Spirit lets me see that "landmark" in a whole new way. Almost always He give me answers to things I have needed my whole life and with each read through my life has changed for the better in ways I never would have imagined. I'm sorry but I know that anyone that reads this comment may already be formulating some "good" reason why a person should not do such a thing and I wanted to get a few good points that I have learned by doing it. I would say in my church is more people doing it than in the vast majority of churches and I dare say if there is 10 people in my church i would be surprised. I carry on because I promised my dad I would and now it is more than just that promise to a man that I respect, it is now essential to my staying grounded in the word.

I admire the Jewish folks that do so many things because of a very welllthought out tradition that when followed is what the Bible has said to do. The more folks that get it through their heads that Christians are a branch grafted into God's people, the more folks that will realize that to know Old Testament is to know the New. Nice talking to you again, Tam. Love ya.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello again Bob I agree that both a telescopic and microscopic view are necessary to get the well rounded view of the scriptures. I really liked your example of only reading certain lines of a play and not getting the correct view of what the whole play is about. My goal has typically been to read it through within a year.

I am shocked and surprised too at how many Christians including pastors have never read the whole Bible from front to back which makes the same point of why the church is in the current state it is in being without much power and influence and largely ineffective presently.

Wonder if this is where we are at...

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“when I will send a famine through the land—

not a famine of food or a thirst for water,

but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. ~ Amos 8:11


no body profile image

no body 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

Just so you know - you aren't that far off from the requirement for the college I went to. There were 8 month, 4 month, 2 month, and 1 month choices for those who attended. The reading was manitory to get the credit for the courses. Each semester all you would do was read and state you read at that pace to get the credit for it. I chose the 4 month once I saw that 10 chapters were all it took to go through it. I couldn't imagine doing it the way my dad did (and one or two others), in only one month. What I do is turn on the recorded Bible and follow as the guy reads it to me. It keeps it moving and at a pace I can follow. I may pause it a moment or two, here and there. A year is a good time period. That is why you are as knowledgeable as you are and why you are used so mightily of the Lord. Be blessed my sister


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

I like the listening and reading along idea. might borrow that one.


no body profile image

no body 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

I have to. With the dyslexia and the attention/distraction thing about me, I would never get any reading done. Another reason it takes me a long time to comment on a sister's hubs. : )


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Tamarajo... what a great article... I was once invited to a traditional Passover meal and what a blessing it was to attend... Great hub and very enlightening.

Hugs from Canada


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Rolly, Glad you enjoyed the article. I would love to attend a Passover. I am sure your experience was quite a blessing.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Blessings from Minnesota.

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