The Passover, one of the greatest feasts of Israel, began when God initiated the Exodus from Egypt, leading His people out of the land of slavery and into the land of freedom. It happened on the night of the last and most terrible plague that God visited on the Egyptians, when all the firstborn children in the land died – except those who remained in their homes in lockdown, and whose homes were marked by the blood of the lamb. From that time on the people celebrated the Passover every year, remembering the great miracles that God did to set them free. It was also an annual reminder of their sin, which was covered over, but not taken away, by the sacrificial blood of those animals.
The Last Supper, celebrated by Jesus and His disciples on that Thursday night, marked the last legitimate Passover in the history of God’s people. The following day, the Lamb of God laid down His life for us, and by that act of infinite love, ‘we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ (Heb 10:10). No further sacrifice is required, no more Passover lambs needed to be slaughtered, for in His death, Jesus ‘offered for all time one sacrifice for sin’, and by that sacrifice ‘He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy’ (Heb 10:12-13).
Let it sink in: there is no further sacrifice for our sin = there is nothing we can do, or need to do, to get rid of our sin – it. has. all. been. done. In other words, nothing we do, or don’t do, will make God love us any more (or less) than He does already; and nothing we do, or don’t do, will make us any more (or less) acceptable to Him than we are already. Jesus has done it all.
Sometimes I have wondered ‘why do we call it Good Friday, when it marks the most horrible, brutal betrayal and murder of the beautiful Son of God? The answer of course is that this day changed everything, for all people, for all time, and opened the way to eternal and infinite joy in His presence for every one of us.
And Sunday’s coming…….