At Easter, we remember that Jesus’ broken body put an end to our brokenness.
But before we honor the resurrection, it’s important to look back at the events that led up to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.
One of the most important events in the hours before Jesus’ death was the Last Supper.
The timing of the Last Supper was special because it took place during Passover.
That might seem like a minor detail, but Jesus used it to connect His death—and resurrection—to the Israelites’ exodus out of Egypt.
Why Passover matters
Passover was a crucial event that the Jewish people observed for hundreds of years before the Last Supper.
After decades of oppression in Egypt, God was going to deliver His people from their slavery and bring them into the land that He had promised them.
But first, He had to raise up a leader to help mobilize the Israelites—Moses.
Moses, prompted by God, asked the pharaoh for their freedom, but each time, the answer was no.
But, the pharaoh’s heart remained hardened.
Finally, an escape.
As a last resort, God sent a final plague: an angel of death to kill the firstborn son of every family in Egypt.
Because of the pharaoh’s cruel, oppressive evil—and unwillingness to repent of his sins—God provided justice.
But God provided something that the pharaoh never did: a way out.
Before the final plague, the Israelites were instructed to paint the doors of their homes with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. That way, when the angel of death came, their houses would be passed over, and their firstborn sons would be saved.
It might seem like a strange symbol, but through the death of the lamb, God brings evil to justice.
After the final plague—and death of his firstborn son—the pharaoh finally gave the Israelites freedom.
When they settled in the promised land, they commemorated the Passover every year with a feast—consisting of bread, wine, and a sacrificial lamb.
The blameless lamb
A thousand years later, Jesus and His disciples gathered around a dinner table to celebrate in the same way.
With these words, Jesus linked the Passover to God’s plan to redeem the world.
The final element of the Passover meal is a lamb. But as far as we can tell, there wasn’t a lamb on the table at the Last Supper.
That wasn’t an accident. It was a symbolic statement.
Through the lamb, God rescued the Israelites from slavery to the pharaoh.
Through Jesus, God rescues the world from slavery to sin and death.
A call to action
Less than 24 hours after the Last Supper, Jesus took His final breath on the cross.
His sacrifice was to take on all of humanity’s sins. He allowed Himself to be abandoned by His Father so that we would never have to be separated from God.
Jesus doesn’t just want us to understand what He did for us, He wants us to participate in it by entering into relationship with Him.
In doing so, we get to be a part of the greatest story ever told.
As we approach Good Friday, let’s remember that we get to be a part of God’s plan—thousands of years in the making—to redeem us all.
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