Matthew 26:17-56 (for an extended reading of the events of this night see John chapters 13-17)
The Passover meal is such a sweet time of community and remembering. It’s no wonder that Jesus says in Luke 22, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” He knew what Friday was going to bring. He knew that he was about to be crushed and pierced. But on this night before the cross, Jesus got to be alone with his disciples. And as they remember, together, back to God’s awesome deliverance of Israel while they were in Egypt, Jesus speaks about what that first Passover, 1500 years earlier, was always pointing to.
To be passed over often comes across as a negative. No one wants to be passed over for a promotion at work. But when it is death that is passing over you, it is grace to be passed over. That is what was happening in Exodus. But what that first Passover pointed to was the wrath of God (as Paul writes about in Romans 1 and John the Baptist says at the end of John 3) passing over those who have trusted in Jesus as their lamb… their savior.
And so, on this day when everyone was looking back, Jesus passes out the elements of the Passover, that is the bread and the wine that they had eaten and they had drunk every year, and
He says, “This is my body… This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Before giving himself over to the cross, Jesus gave himself to the disciples. And Jesus is still giving himself to you and to me. Thanks be to God.
Something to ponder
Give yourself time today to think about this glorious passing over that happens to those who are in Christ. But more than that, what comes to us instead of the wrath that we deserved ? (John 3:36)