Why This Night?

“Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leylot”. Which is translated from Hebrew as “Why is this night different from all the other nights?” On the eve of the Passover feast, the youngest in the family would ask this question. In fact, there are a series of four questions commonly known as ‘Mah Nishtanah’; practically asking why everything is different on this special night. As a response to those questions, the paterfamilias would narrate the story of the exodus in its entirety.

For Christians and Jews, the basic answer to the above question is the same. It is all about Pascha (Pesach). It is about freedom. It is about passing over from death to life. The Feast of Passover is the feast of renewing the covenant with God.

Jews renewed the covenant with Yahweh by sacrificing the lamb. The blood of the lamb saved them from the angel of death and destruction. This sacrifice commemorated their renewal in the covenant with God who ,as promised, would save them. The terms of the covenant were simple, “I am your God and you are my people – if you keep my commandments, I will protect you.” It is also a sacrifice of thanksgiving in advance for the victory that would be won by God. It takes almost 40 long years to complete the victory.

For Christians, Jesus becomes the new lamb of the sacrifice who is slaughtered, once and for all, for the salvation of all humanity. The Blood of Jesus would now protect all humanity from every form of evil. As Christians, we renew the covenant through the blood of Christ. Here in Christ, we become the children of God. Hence, as God’s children, we have the right to our inheritance – the resurrection and eternal life with God.

Why is this day different from all other days? It is on this day that Jesus completed His mission on earth and became our way to heaven. It is on this day that we realize God’s steadfast love for all humanity. This day is different because Jesus is risen from the dead and He will live with us forever.

Easter, therefore, is the feast of our salvation. It is the feast of the triumph of light over darkness, life over death, goodness over evil….

–Rev. Ranjan D’Sa OCD

Category Reflections