13 Apr 2017

Passion Week: Day 4

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Day 4: Read Luke 22:7-34.

Passover is the most important religious observance on the Jewish calendar. It is a celebration of God delivering the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt. In the observance, Moses and the wilderness wanderings are remembered. And, Jewish observers are reminded that a greater Moses, the Messiah, is still to come. It is so important that God told his people to begin their calendar year in the month of Nisan because Passover fell in that month.

In Jesus’ time, Passover was important. It was the one time, or one of the only times, that Jews from everywhere would go to Jerusalem. Pilgrimages were made to Jerusalem because the only temple was in Jerusalem. People didn’t go to their local synagogues for Passover, they went to the temple. There they worshipped, offered sacrifices, prayed, and celebrated.

Food was a big part of the Passover celebration. There would be unleaved bread and lamb to signify the food that the Jews ate on that first Passover. And they would drink wine as they ate noodles, fish, and other traditional food. All of it was special. The food reminded them of their people’s suffering. Especially important was the lamb. The lamb was slaughtered and its blood was put onto the doorposts of the house so that its residents would be covered (protected from the last plague). Then the residents would eat the lamb.

In Luke 22, preparations have been made and Jesus enters into the upper room with his disciples ready to eat the Passover feast. But, in v. 16, he says, “I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Jesus eats here, but he is referring to Rev. 19:9-10. The feast that is spoken of in Rev. 19 is the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is essentially the wedding reception of heaven where Jesus finally has his bride.

The first Passover was the promise, God’s promise to send another deliverer. This Deliverer-to-come would somehow bring God’s people protection from the final plague (sin and death). And in Rev. 19, all of this becomes true, promise becomes reality. But how? How does God’s promise become real and certain for us? The cross. Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples, then goes out to fulfill the Passover, thus making the promise a reality.

  1. Why should I love God more today?

Prayer: Lamb of God, at the last supper you gave us the spiritual table by which you continue to communicate yourself and all your benefits to us. May this meal nourish, strengthen, and comfort our poor, desperate souls with your life-giving body and blood today and every time we gather around it. Amen. (from Seeking God’s Face)

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