It was a dark day for those who had just watched Christ be scourged and crucified. His body lay in a cold tomb which had been sealed and was guarded by Roman soldiers. The events of the past 24 hours took Christ’s followers by surprise. But not Christ Himself. He fully knew and understood. In fact, every year at Passover, He fully understood what would one day be His reality. Every detail.
Passover. Just the word itself brings to mind the thought of something or someone being ‘passed over’ or ‘overlooked’. For so many in our world today, this year it has brought on a much deeper meaning. Too often in the body of Christ we choose not to focus on the different feasts that were practiced in Scripture, and is still practiced by the Jewish people. Yet in just reading the stories but not studying them in depth, we often miss the deeper meanings.
But not this year. The 2020 Passover has come at us in full force. As our world has been hit with a plaque, so many have taken to focusing on this ancient feast and its meaning. To me, it is significant that we are seeing red ribbons on doorposts. For the most part, gone are the bunnies that usually adorn front lawns. Instead, we have the reminder that One Person has the answer. One Person paid the ultimate price. It is as if God cried out, “No more will I share MY Passover Feast with another god! Only My Son deserves the focus.” Bunnies have been silenced this year. After all, from its very start, Passover was always about Christ. And He knew that.
For the 33 years Christ walked this earth, He took part in the Feast of Passover. Every year. He probably even watched the preparation of the Passover meal. Perhaps He took part in the preparation. Including preparing the Passover lamb. That preparation had details that would foreshadow His own future. For the roasting of a lamb, a pole was inserted to spread open the rib cage to cook it. A second longer pole was used to hold the lamb upright and to fix it vertically into the ground. These poles formed a cross. And Christ saw it. Every year. And He still embraced it.
This week my family participated in a Passover Seder. I sat there seeing the details that obviously pointed to Christ. The ‘skewered lamb. The priest at the end of the Passover says, “It is finished.” The breaking of the bread was part of the meal before Christ did it with His disciples. My own spirit kept crying out, “He knew it pointed to Him. He KNEW!! Every year He participated and KNEW IT WAS ALL ABOUT HIM!!” He fully knew and understood. AND HE STILL EMBRACED IT!
Why? Why did He embrace such a cruel death? It’s simple. YOU. ME. US. He desired for us to know Him fully and be in close relationship with Him.
As the depth of this keeps sinking in and has brought me to my knees, my spirit keeps repeating words of a hymn, How Deep the Father’s Love, by Stuart Townsend.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
May I challenge all of us today, take time alone with Him and let the depth of the meaning of our Passover Lamb sink in. Just as His followers felt the weight of loss the day after His death, let’s feel the weight of His choice today. He CHOSE to love us all the way to the cross – fully knowing what it meant.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16