Spring brings with it not only flowers, sunshine and warmer weather but two important religious holidays: Easter and Passover. While Passover commemorates the Israelites freedom from slavery in Egypt, Easter commemorates Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. These seem like positive holidays, but the climax of the Biblical stories are preceded by some fairly heavy topics that include such dark subjects as betrayal, crucifixion, slavery, and plagues.
Embedded within the tales of Jesus’ life and death and the Israelite’s fight for freedom and escape from the Egyptians at the shore of the Red Sea lies the common theme of faith and courage. This is most clearly seen in the account of the parting of the Red Sea. Just as Jesus lost faith in the Garden of Gethsemane and briefly on the cross, the Israelites lost faith as they stood on the shore of that huge body of water and watched the Egyptian’s approach. In both cases, however, faith in God coupled with courage to move forward with inspired action brought forth the miracles we now celebrate each spring during Easter and Passover.
Faith Parts the Sea
The Old Testament, or Five Books of Moses, says Moses parted the sea with his staff, but the midrash, or a story that fills in a gap in story, says that the sea didn’t part until a man named Nachshon walked into the water. Moses raised his staff, but the sea did not part. The Israelites stood on the shore of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army closing in and no where to go but into the sea. Afraid, they began to cry out to God, and as their faith diminishes, they cry out to Moses. Moses, however, simply tells them to have both courage and faith.
And what does God say? Of all things, God says, “Why are you crying to me? Tell the Children of Israel to travel.” In other words, while Moses reminds them of the importance of both faith in God and courage, God says, “Stop looking to me for the answers. Get moving! Take action!” That’s an odd response to the Chosen People’s pleas for help, especially when they appear stuck between a huge sea and an army.
Nachshon, however, understood God’s response. He possessed both faith and courage. He trusted that if he took action that God would provided the needed miracle. He heard the words, “Let them travel.” He also knew that God’s response—”Why are you crying to me?”—didn’t mean, “Figure it out yourself.” It meant, “You have the answer. You know what to do. You have the tools.”
Nachshon knew what those tools were: the power of his thoughts and his vision. If he believed those waters would part, if he could see that miracle happening and feel it happening—and if he truly had faith that the waters would part—they would, indeed, part.
Remember, God also told Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea, and the sea would split, but the midrash says that the sea did not part initially. (Maybe Moses lacked faith at that moment…) It actually didn’t split until Nachshon walked right into that ocean up to his ankles, up to his knees, up to his waist, up to his shoulders, up to his chin, up to his nose. Just when he thought he would drown, low and behold, the waters parted. And then all the Children of Israel were able to travel to safety. Nachson’s one inspired action ensured their liberation.
Faith Creates Miracles
How does this story relate to Easter? Jesus’ told his followers of the miracles he performed: “These things and more ye shall do.” How could they also perform miracles? I believe in the same way Nachshon parted the red sea—with faith, surrender to God’s will, knowing and trust that with true belief and with inspired action they could manifest what they wanted or what was right in the moment.
Jesus was, indeed, a Christ. I believe he was not the only Christed being but a being so spiritually enlightened that he knew how to connect thought, feeling and action and to manifest at will. He showed us that when we know what we want and what we need, when we focus upon it, feel it, and have faith that it will, indeed, come to us, miracles happen. Manifestation occurs. And he told us that he was simply providing an example of human potential.
Nachshon’s faith wasn’t that dissimilar from the faith Jesus had on the cross or in the Garden of Gethsemane. Just like the Jews, who had a moment of fear and lack of faith at the shore of the Red Sea, Jesus doubted his faith and the will of God, or the Divine plan, in the garden and again on the cross. In the garden he struggled with his will and God’s will, asking which one “shall be done?” On the cross he asked, “Oh God, why has thou forsaken me?” In both cases, he regained his faith and gave himself over to God’s will, to inspired action. On the cross, he surrendered not just his will but his soul to God. By so doing, he was able to achieve both his resurrection and ascension.
Take Inspired, Divinely Driven Action
Both Nachshon and Jesus offer us beautiful examples of men who had great courage and faith and were able to take inspired action, action that was part of a Divine plan. They provide examples of men who knew how to focus thought, feeling and action to bring the Divine creative forces into motion, thus creating miracles in their lives and in the lives of those around them.
That’s a lesson both Jews and Christians—in fact anyone from any religion or even someone who does not practice a religion—can learn from and celebrate this season.
Would you like to take a step “into the water” with faith and courage? Do you want to uncover the inspired actions necessary to achieve your desired results and manifest your fondest dreams? Click here to learn how I can help you do just that.