October 15, 2018

The Passover

Exodus 12:1-13

Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

—  1 Corinthians 5:7

The scenes in our reading for today are quite graphic, and they may be shocking if you haven’t encountered them before. By painting the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses, the enslaved people of Israel were spared from a plague of death. Seeing the blood on their doorways, the Lord passed over them. But the plague took the lives of all the Egyptians’ firstborn sons. There was wailing throughout Egypt because the hard-hearted Pharaoh would not listen to God’s plea through Moses: “Let my people go!”

The Jewish Feast of Passover has been celebrated every year since that day long ago. And it’s no coincidence that Jesus’ last supper with his disciples was during the Passover feast. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15-16).

At that supper, Jesus showed his disciples that the bread and wine of the meal symbolized his body and blood, given and poured out for them. And on the next day he gave up his life to be sacrificed as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). As the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus freed us from being slaves to sin (John 8:34). Because he took on the punishment for our sin, the judgment for sin has passed over us. Believing in him, we have new life to live with joy and trust in the Lord forever!

O God, help us to share the love and mercy of Christ, the Passover Lamb, our Savior. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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