On tonight’s blog, Jonathan shares his thoughts on Holy Week and the death and resurrection of Christ.
Every year a different aspect of Holy Week stands out to me. As I get older, God reveals to me different aspects of the wonderful sacrifice, the painful suffering, and the glorious resurrection that not only makes us right with God, but also gives us great hope for future eternal life. This year, I’ve been struck once again by the connection to the Passover, and the idea of “remembering.”
Remembering was a very important part of God’s commands to the Israelites. They were to remember the Sabbath day (God’s rest) by keeping it holy. In Numbers 15:39 they were to put tassels on the ends of their garments to remember the Lord’s commands, and not follow the “lusts of their hearts.” Probably the most important act of remembering was the Passover. In Deuteronomy 16:1 God commands the Israelites to observe the Passover to remember the moment they left Egypt and were freed from slavery.
The Last Supper is often just associated with Jesus’ death. And while this is true, we must remember that they were celebrating Passover, remembering the Israelites’ freedom from slavery. Little did the disciples know how this remembrance would take on new meaning in the following days. Jesus said, after breaking the bread. “This is my body given (broken!) for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Only after his resurrection did they finally understand what this really meant.
To me, Jesus’ death and resurrection finds its parallel in the Israelites gaining their freedom from the yoke of the Egyptians. Because of Jesus’ work, we are free from yoke of sin today. The work is finished, we are freed from slavery. However, in today’s age, between the two comings of Christ, we are as the Israelites, “wandering in the wilderness.” God leads us, as by the pillar of fire and cloud, by His Word. He provides for us, as with manna, with material possessions. As the Israelites often grumbled, desiring to return to slavery when God was already providing for them, we often desire sin, not realizing that it puts us back into slavery. At times, our lives today feel like going through wilderness. How often we fool ourselves into thinking that life was better when we were in sin! How often we forget we will eventually arrive in the Promised Land!
How often we as humans forget. Thanks be to God for giving us tools to remember. When we take communion, when we remember the Passover, let us remember what God did for us through Jesus in freeing us from the slavery of sin. Let us also remember his provision through the wilderness and the hope of the Promised Land for eternity!