The Passover And The Cross
For college basketball fans it's called "March Madness" and the climax of this month of frenzy takes place at NRG Stadium in Houston where four will become two. Then the two become one as the National Champion of NCAA basketball will be determined. Millions fill out brackets, skip work to watch games, and take time out on Monday night to join the party, but an even bigger event also happens this coming weekend.
For Jews in the first century and for practicing Jews today the Passover was a major Holy Day, the day to remember and celebrate that the LORD passed over the homes in Egypt covered by the blood of a lamb but destroyed the firstborn in the homes not covered by the blood. Matthew begins to move his passion narrative toward the climax of the cross by telling us that in two days it will be Passover time.
"When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 'You know that after two days the Passover comes, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." - Matthew 26:1-2
Two days before Passover Caiaphas gathered the chief priests and the elders in his palace to plot how to arrest Jesus. They need to be careful not to arouse the crowds gathered in Jerusalem. Matthew is challenging us. We must decide. Is Jesus a false messiah, a blasphemer who deserved to die or is He the Son of Man, God's Son, the Messiah, the One who can give us an inheritance in His Father's Kingdom?
LORD, the Passover crowds knew in their souls that Jesus did not deserve to die. He was not a liar or a blasphemer. Thank you that millions and millions around the world, many more than will watch the final four, will gather on Good Fridayto worship You as the Lamb who fulfills the true meaning of the Passover. Thank you that You delivered us from slavery in Satan's kingdom, not just slavery in Egypt.
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