March 26, 2014

Passover Relived

John 19:28-30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
—John 19:30


In today’s verses sour wine is given to Jesus on a hyssop branch. This reminds us that on the first Passover in Egypt, Israelite families used hyssop to put the blood of a lamb on the doorframes of their houses. That night, a destroying plague of death covered all Egypt, but it passed over those houses so that God’s people were spared—and their exodus from slavery began (see Exodus 12).

Jesus’ death on the cross began for us a new exodus—from our slavery in sin. His shed blood protects us so that we can cele-brate a new Passover feast with the Lord’s Supper.

At the end of his suffering Jesus took a drink and said, “It is finished.” What did that mean? Certainly Jesus’ life of suffering on earth was finished. But there was more. “It is finished” meant that Jesus had fulfilled all the requirements of the law so that we no longer have to live in the grip of legalism.

Further, Jesus’ sacrifice of himself for our sin meant the end of all animal sacrifices. No more do we need an intermediary between us and God, an earthly priest who would pray and atone for us. We have direct access through Jesus, our ultimate High Priest.

Our eternal King has won the battle for us. Our sin has been crucified with Christ, our guilt is buried in his grave, and death has been overcome in his resurrection. The devil is defeated, and the gates of hell are barred to all who believe in Jesus. Eternal life is ours!

Lord, you completed all the work of salvation for us. Thank you for your indescribable gift! Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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