The festival of Passover, which begins this year at sundown of Good Friday, teaches that freedom is a process, not just the absence of slavery.
At traditional Seder meals, participants drink four cups of wine, corresponding to the four stages of redemption described in Chapter 6 of Exodus. The Lord promises the Jewish people: “I will take you out from the burdens of Egypt,” “I will rescue you,” “I will redeem you” and then, finally, “I will take you to Me for a people and I shall be God to you.”
The last pledge refers to the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the law – stressing that the holiday honors not just freedom from oppression, but freedom to serve God. For Americans, this offers a useful reminder that freedom is never easy, even with four cups of wine.