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The Passover


When a Jewish boy turned twelve, He was "a son of the law," taking on the full obligations of the law. If Jesus had lived within 20 miles of Jerusalem, it would have been His obligation to attend the Passover feast, but He didn't, He lived in Nazareth, about 60 miles from Jerusalem. But because His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover, and because He was now old enough to go, Jesus took the long journey with His parents to Jerusalem for the Passover feast.

At the feast, for the first time, Jesus celebrated the death angel "passing over" the homes of those who placed the blood of the lamb on their doorposts in Egypt. Later, Jesus, "the lamb slain before the foundation of the world" would fall into the hands of the Roman soldiers after celebrating the Passover for the last time with His disciples in the upper room. He was entranced by the celebration of God's grace to His people.

I don't know if memories of that first Passover celebrate wafted through His memory as He celebrated the Passover for the last time on the day He would be betrayed.

In the midst of their meal, Jesus took some unleavened bread and held it up, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." In the Passover meal, the bread celebrated the people's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. But at the Last Supper, Jesus reinterpreted it to celebrate the Christian's deliverance from eternal bondage. 

When Jesus handed the cup to the disciples, they naturally would have thought of the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorpost of their ancestors' homes in Egypt. As the disciples drank the wine, they remembered the blood covenant. But Jesus reinterpreted the wine to symbolize a new covenant. In the Lord's Supper, Jesus' blood now symbolizes more than salvation from a single night of terror, instead, it celebrates eternal salvation. 

At His Passover, I don't know if Jesus was aware that He was "the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world," but I'm certain He knew it at His last one. After dining with His disciples, Jesus walked out into the night-into His destiny. And in doing so, He insured our eternity.

It was a night that was different from any other night.

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