Cross Walk Devotional: It’s All About Jesus

When Jesus and his disciples meet to celebrate Passover together, they are observing the oldest of the Jewish religious feasts. In Exodus 12, we learn that God is going to make a distinction between His people and the Egyptians as the last plague before He delivers them from captivity. God is going to kill the firstborn of every household – both human and animal – that does not observe the sacrifice and feast He commands. An unblemished, one-year-old male lamb is to be killed and its blood spread on the door post and lintel of the house. When Yahweh sees the blood, He will “pass over” that house and the firstborn will live. Other details concerning the meal are given, and the Lord commands that Israel celebrate the feast every year as a reminder of their deliverance from bondage.

In Matthew 26, we read that Jesus’ eats the Passover with His disciples. During the meal, Jesus reveals that one of the disciples sharing this intimate and important remembrance will betray him. The fact that Jesus would be betrayed did not surprise them. They expected it. Only the identity of the betrayer caught them off guard. One of His closest friends. One of the Twelve. The ones who had walked with him along the dusty roads, watched as he healed people of diseases, listened as he taught the throngs, fed thousands from the basket of a small boy, calmed a raging storm on the ocean, and raised Lazarus from the dead. One of them. How could that be? They began to ask him one after another, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” Jesus says that it is the one who has dipped in the bowl with him. Then Judas says, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Not Lord. Rabbi. Not Lord. Teacher. Judas has already agreed to betray Jesus. He has already withdrawn himself emotionally from the group. He is already looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. Jesus answers him, “You have said so.”

After this, Jesus takes the elements of Passover and changes their meaning. Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, breaks it into pieces and gives it to His disciples. He says, “Take and eat; this is My body.” The unleavened bread had been a symbol to Israel of their separation from Egyptian bondage. The bread now symbolizes Jesus’ body that will be given up so we might be separated from the bondage of sin. Jesus also gives thanks for the cup and tells all of them to drink from it because it is His blood which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. The blood on the doorposts and lintel covered the families in Egypt and protected them from death. Jesus’ blood now covers us and protects us from eternal death. Jesus will be the final Passover lamb.

As Jesus reinterprets the Passover feast, He points our attention to Him. He points to his own suffering. It’s not about religion, tradition, festivals, rules or rituals. It’s ALL about Jesus. Dying a painful, humiliating death on the cross for us. Paying the penalty for our sin and pouring out His blood that we might be set free to live our lives for Him. Jesus Christ. The Lamb of God.

You are Loved!
Melissa Holland