The specially matted print of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew), as presented by Artist Marla Jean Clinesmith, may well portray one of the most vibrant Biblical word pictures of all time.
|P||The ‘Pey’ represents an open mouth and means speak, open, blow, or apart. It often is used to mean ‘Spirit’ as in the wind.|
|u||The ‘Samech’ represents a thorn bush that would prop up, support, twist, turn, or snare.|
|C||The ‘Chet’ illustrates a fence or wall surrounding and protecting the action of life.|
In simple terms, it means to crossover or leap, as in God’s Spirit will leap over the marked homes in Exodus Chapter 12. But there is so much more to it. This is the action taken by God (hvhy), the ultimate judge of His own creation, as His Spirit passed over all the households of Egypt to dispense death to the firstborn of Pharaoh, his people, and gods. The only thing that protected God’s people from this deadly plague was the blood of the sacrificed lamb applied to the lintel and door posts of the houses of God’s people. At the sight of the doors marked with blood, the Spirit of God (Pey P) turned away (Samach u) the wrath of God from the walls or boundaries (Chet C) of the homes of those marked as God’s people.
The entire scene was a physical foreshadow of the spiritual reality that Yeshua, the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world, will bring to completion with His death on a cross planted on a hill called Golgotha in Jerusalem generations later.
It’s here, however, that our word picture presents a mystery. If the cross is the ultimate solution to the sin condition separating God and man – why two door posts? Some would speculate a connotation of the lintel and two door posts representing the Crown of thorns and nail pierced hands of the Savior. And while the scriptural account is somewhat silent on this matter, it does record in Exodus 12:37-38 ‘Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also …,’ indicating both Jews and Gentiles were saved on that night.
As for me, the picture reminds me of the encouraging words of the Apostle Paul recorded in Ephesians Chapter 2 as he assures us that Christ’s death on the cross made two, both Jews and Gentiles, one thus bringing us the ultimate in peace.
To that we can all proclaim – Hallelujah!!!
Explanation by Pastor Jim Woodard
Normally, when I illustrate a word from Paleo Hebrew, I break down the meaning of the letters to gain understanding from the perspective of the ancient people. Then I ask Holy Spirit’s help with the composition and color palette, trying to let Him guide my hand while I am working. I often understand where He is taking me, but “Pesach” was different. I did not feel that I had a clear grasp of the word, but created the art anyway.
NOW, two years later, while talking to Pastor Jim about the word, the meaning has become much clearer.
At the sight of the doors marked with blood the Spirit of God (P) will turn (u) the wrath of God from the walls (C) of those marked as God’s people.
Look for the letters in the art and follow what I NOW see. The painted “blood” on the mat top and sides was something I had never done, but it certainly serves to give the viewer a hint of what the work is about (or at least makes one wonder what it is about) while at the same time framing what is important. The samech (u) appears to be opening up and turning to become part of the chet (C)building a wall of protection. The pey (P) represents the Spirit by sitting high, hovering, and full of light. The complementary palette of reds and greens that culminate in the openings of the chet indicate the life (green) that comes from the blood (red) Jesus sacrificed for us.
Bottom line, Holy Spirit was “right on” with His direction even though I didn’t understand at the time.