One of the earliest, loveliest flowers of spring is the pasque flower. While it doesn’t appear naturally up here in the northwoods, you have only to drive west to the prairies to find it growing wild and free in its native habitat. It’s also known as ‘wild crocus’—but I have to say I prefer it’s French name. I like the appropriate sophistication it lends to such a lovely bloom—but even more, I appreciate a deeper significance to the name that is likely lost on most people.
And what’s the significance? ‘Pasque’ is a word derived directly from the word ‘Passover’, making its name, literally, ‘Passover flower’—and at least this year, it seems to be quite appropriately named. On the very weekend I knelt on the brick walkway of my parent’s flower garden to photograph its first blooms, the actual Jewish celebration of Passover was in full swing (April 22nd-30th).
For the Jews, it’s a celebration to commemorate the night of the tenth plague in Egypt, some 4,000 years ago, when the angel of death passed over their homes, sparing their first-born children at the sight of the blood of an unblemished lamb painted on their doorposts.
For me, it’s a celebration that reminds me that Death has passed over me, also, having seen that I, too, am covered by the blood of the unblemished Lamb of God.
“…and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
“…you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival…“ (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)Dare I say that the celebration of Passover holds even more significance for me as a Christian than for any Jew? Hallelujah!