Read His Words Before Ours!
“Go into the city to a certain man,” He said, “and tell him,
‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover
at your place with my disciples.’”
The disciples took this message and sought out the man.
As they walked, they pondered Jesus’ statement.
“What do you think He meant by ‘My time is near?’”
“Peter, He confirmed to you He is the Son of God.
What does He mean?”
“Guys, a few days ago He said the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified after the Passover. Can that really happen to Jesus?”
The men fell into a contemplative silence as they walked and only the sounds of their sandals on the path filled the air. The questions recently voiced still echoed in their minds and they sorted through what they knew of God to try to answer them.
How could Jesus, the Son of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be crucified?
The Lord had already proven His faithfulness to His people over and over again.
How could He abandon His very son?
The Lord heard Abraham’s cry for an heir in his old age. (Genesis 15:1-6)
He heard Sarah’s laughter and filled her womb. (Genesis 18:9-15)
He changed Israel’s name and made him a mighty nation. (Genesis 32:28)
He brought that nation out of captivity and fed them in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:1-16)
How could the God who demonstrated such compassion to an obstinate group of people allow His own son to be killed?
Their questions unanswered, the disciples gained access to the upper room and prepared the Passover meal. Jesus soon reclined among them and confirmed their fears when He announced one of them would betray Him.
Death now rose to the forefront of their minds.
Jesus continued, saying what was written about Him would soon come to pass.
Tonight was Passover, every detail rooted in reminding its participants of the faithfulness of God. Every traditional food item had carefully been chosen, filled with symbolism of slavery and freedom found only because of Yahweh, the faithful God who had rescued them long ago.
The bread, the cup, the lamb, the hymns.
Every part was sacred.
“The ropes of death were wrapped around me,
and the torments of Sheol overcame me;
I encountered trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
‘Lord, save me!’”
(Hallel Psalm 116:3-4)
How could the Israelites cry out to God to be rescued from the cords of Sheol while Jesus would face those very bindings Himself?
The Son of God, destined to be bound by the cords of death? Unto what purpose?
Could the words of Isaiah 53 be true? By His bloody stripes, would His people be set free?
Could death truly be defeated?
As Jesus broke the bread and gave His disciples the wine, He said,
“For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-27)
A new covenant?
“Behold, I am making all things new”…
Each disciple held the cup in his hands for a moment and stared into the red depths.
“Poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus said (Matthew 26:28).
For their sins.
Each and every one of their sins,
for the Lord knows the thoughts and intentions of each heart.
A few hands became unsteady as they passed the cup to the next man.
“The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is compassionate.”
Hallel Psalm 116:5
Blood poured out for them.
The Lord’s rescue from death for them.
Their humanity and helplessness washed over them.
Struck with the sudden awareness Jesus knew all of their sins, they grappled with the perfect Son of God’s promise to pour out His blood to cover those sins.
“I was helpless, and he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, rescued me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.”
Hallel Psalm 116:6-8
Men may say truly living is to experience everything they possibly can under the sun, but in the solemnness of that moment with Christ, the disciples understood so much more existed. No physical entertainment could make them feel as known or valued.
They were staring into the eyes of the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
Because of this man, human flesh enveloping the full deity of God, the faithfulness of the divine Yahweh would be seen
by everyone willing to welcome Him.
“I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”
Hallel Psalm 116:9
A low hum began as one of the disciples began singing the traditional Hallel hymns. Eventually all the men were singing, and a sweet, yet heavy presence, filled the space. They were encountering the Faithful One in a way they never had before as He prepared to give them the fullness of life through His own death.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!