As I have been trying to prepare my heart for Holy Week, I’ve been studying the last hours of Jesus’ death and what transpired. Jesus knew what was to come and he wanted to spend his final hours with those he dearly loved. It was time for Passover, so he had some of the apostles go and prepare for it.
As a Hebrew, Jesus, celebrated the Passover all his life; it was a Holy Day commemorating the time when Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. In order to be saved from death the Jews had to sacrifice a perfect, healthy, male lamb and paint its blood over their doorposts, so the angel of death would pass over them. They were saved from dying by this act of faith.
As Jesus reclined at the table with his friends this Passover, his heart was full with many things, both the heavy and the sacred. However, none of the apostles knew that night how their lives would be changed forever, nor did they understand the ramifications of the things Jesus would do.
All their lives they celebrated the Passover meal and they had grown accustomed to doing it with Jesus these last couple years. But tonight was different…tonight their lives would be turned upside down.
Though the significance of this event was monumental, it was not fully comprehended by the apostles at the time, because they did not grasp its spiritual meaning. For Christ in all power and glory changed this ancient tradition by actually becoming the sacrificial Passover Lamb.
No longer would they need to commemorate the blood on the doorposts or the angel of death, because Jesus would now be the Lamb of God…pure and without sin, surrendering himself to slaughter, so that death may pass over us…if we believe.
The apostles and all of mankind were being taken to a new level of belief as Christ then offered bread as his body and the wine as his blood to them as they partook in the first communion. Jesus was establishing a new covenant, an agreement confirmed with his blood that would be poured out as a sacrifice for us all. Christ became the Passover Lamb forevermore.
A divine transfer, if you will, transpired that night and perhaps we may not fully understand it this side of the resurrection. Maybe we take Christ’s crucifixion for granted and don’t comprehend what he endured for us to be saved from death. I pray not…let us reflect instead on our sins that have been’ passed over’ and forgiven because of God’s mercy and Christ’s sacrifice, and humbly offer our worship for what happened on that other most Holy Night.