Passover is a springtime celebration—a time of new plantings and new beginnings. Passover and Israel’s exodus from Egypt marked a new beginning for Israel and served to illustrate God’s redemptive work. This is the event that the prophets and psalmists look back to and celebrate, even as followers of Jesus look back to and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and our deliverance from the bondage of sin to freedom in Christ.
On its surface, this passage looks like it means that one’s eternal salvation is determined by one’s acts of compassion. Whenever we help the disenfranchised and the downtrodden of society, our entrance into heaven is all the more assured. On the other hand, as I heard one famous teacher describe it, Jesus will turn away at the final judgment from self-identifying Christians who failed to help the poor during their lifetime, saying, “I don’t want to hear it!”
The next chapter in our Bibles is called the “General Epistles.” This is the traditional designation given to the eight New Testament letters that were not written by the Apostle Paul.
Readers of Scripture often find the prophets confusing because they don’t understand the historical context in which they ministered. Many students of the Bible have found it helpful to study the prophets in the chronological order in which they ministered rather than the canonical order in which they appear in Scripture.
The sixty-six books of the Bible can be divided up into ten major sections based on their literary form and content. We can understand the Bible better if we understand how each section advances the Great Story of God’s redeeming fallen humanity, reestablishing His kingdom rule and judging rebellion and sin.