joy 30 day devotional through the gospel of luke

Luke 22:13–20 (NLT) They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there. 14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” 19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” 

Almost 1,500 years before Jesus and the disciples celebrated this Passover, the Israelites celebrated Passover in Egypt as slaves.  They had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years.  God determined it was time to deliver them and lead them into the Land He had promised to Abraham.  

But Pharaoh had a hard heart and would not let the Israelites go free.  God brought 9 plagues to bear on the Egyptians (each one as judgment against one of the Egyptian gods) and every time Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let them go.  Finally, God determined there would be one last plague against a future Egyptian god…Pharaoh’s firstborn son.

God instructed the Israelites to select a one-year-old ram without blemish on the 10th of Nissan and after sunset on the 14th of Nissan they were to kill the lamb on their doorstep and use hyssop to apply the blood on the top and sides of their doorposts.  If they did this, the Angel of Death would see the blood and pass over their house so that their firstborn son would be saved.  God told them to keep this festival forever.

Fifteen hundred years later Jesus was fulfilling everything that Passover was teaching.  He was set aside as the Passover Lamb when He rode into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) on the 10th of Nissan.  He was sacrificed at 3pm on the 14th of Nissan as He died on the cross and shed His blood to deliver the people—all people—from the bondage of slavery to sin and death.  However, deliverance from the angel of death comes only when the blood of the Passover Lamb is applied to the door of your heart by faith!

With that backdrop, now look at these Scriptures…

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7b).  “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).  

“Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7b).

At His last Passover as Jesus faced His death, He tells His disciples that He was filled with joy to celebrate with them.  He took the cup and the matzah (unleavened bread) from the Passover meal and filled them with more meaning.  He connected the Passover Lamb with Himself and told us to keep this as a memorial of His sacrificial death and the initiation of the New Covenant that had been promised, “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31).  This was that day!

Then He said He won’t celebrate Passover again until we share it together with Him when He is ruling His Kingdom.  

So What?  Have you applied the blood of the Passover Lamb to the door of your heart by faith?  Express the joy you feel as a prayer of thanksgiving when you remember His sacrifice at the Lord’s Supper.

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