Last night, I was entreated by our small group to a replica of the Passover feast and celebration of communion. We watched a short video on the events of the Last Supper and Jesus’ death.
It’s easy for me to forget that the Last Supper is replete with meaning beyond what we understand, not being of Jewish background / context. There are four cups of wine consumed at the seder, and the last cup was preceded by singing Psalm 113-118 and then Psalm 136. Then the particpants drink the last cup, after saying a blessing. Jesus would have done that, and did, but also adds a few other words that rock eternity (Luke 22:14-20).
Jesus is asking us to join in partaking of his life, as a groom would ask his bride! We are to be watching and vigilant, for our bridegroom will be coming. So, celebrating Jesus’s crucifixion today isn’t just about a good man dying for us to be clean of sin. It’s about God laying His life down for us, His beloved. He’s crazy about us! He wants us to love Him, bless Him, and adore Him.
Another thing I found interesting was that Jesus’s was led up to Golgotha at the 6th hour (c. noon). On a Friday! That was quite possibly the busiest time of the week in the marketplace, so that this murder was quite public. Even though the plans and preparations were quite secret, the murder was not. I’d also have to think that Jesus was quite tired…they had just had the Passover seder (which is a long event, plus He had washed feet), prayed at the Mount of Olives, He’d been accosted by the officials, led before Pilate, and sentenced to be crucified within the span of about roughly 15 hours.
Traditionally, at 3 PM (the 9th hour), the shofar would be blown high on a hill to acknowledge that a sacrificial lamb was about to die for the sins of the people. How fitting that our Lamb was perishing at the moment, just as the shofar was being blown, to redeem all of the world. The temple veil tears, signifying that God was now truly accessible to those who trusted in Jesus.
“Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow Him.” – Moravians
So, as you celebrate this weekend of our Lord’s death and resurrection, do remember that God laid His life down of His own accord, so that we might experience the cup of salvation fully, and that we would be prepared to love Him fully.
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!