Nuggets of truth in the Passion and Resurrection
There are golden nuggets of truth concerning the Passion of which we are not very aware in our culture.
The Passover commemorates the passing over by the death angel during the Exodus period when the Hebrews spread the blood of a lamb on the door so their firstborn would be spared.
This is a picture of the Passion and what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the door…” (Jo 10.9). We only gain salvation by going through the blood-stained door. It is the only way to heaven (Jo. 14.6).
The death of the firstborn was the ninth plague against the Egyptians; the tenth was darkness for three days. The Jewish leaders must have remembered the connection with the Exodus event when the firstborn of God was crucified and there was darkness over the land for three hours.
Over time, the Jews added a special cup and seating place for Messiah should he appear while the Passover celebration was taking place. Jesus did not take just any cup; he took THE cup meant for Messiah. Imagine the amazement of the disciples! He was again declaring to them his divine identity.
What a great moment that must have been!
The partaking of meat with a meal was reserved for special occasions in the typical Jewish family.
At Passover, it was the roasted lamb whose blood had been sacrificed. During that last meal with the disciples, it is not the roasted lamb which we read about; rather it is the bread and the wine.
Jesus was not saying “THIS do in remembrance of me”. He was saying “This do in remembrance of ME”. In other words, don’t remember THAT lamb, but THIS Lamb, speaking of himself. So today, we perform the Lord’s Supper to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
During a typical Jewish meal, the person at the table would neatly fold his napkin if he had to leave the table for some reason. This was to indicate, “I’m not done yet; I’ll be back.”
When the person was finished, he would crumple up the napkin and cast it aside to say, “I’m done with that.”
In John 20.6-7, we read a magnificent picture of that tradition. We find the linen in which Jesus was wrapped was cast aside to say, “I’m done with that!” We also find that the napkin which covered the face was neatly folded and lying in a place by itself to say, “I’ll be back!”
Jesus did come back when he was raised from the dead, and will return again as he promised. What a great time of celebration which we can enjoy as believers.
We visit the graves of the founders of other world religions and see where they are buried. But the burial site of Jesus Christ is empty. That is our assurance that we too will be raised one day.
May this Easter season hold a very special place for us as we remember and celebrate this great event.
Paul Boggs is an Ironton resident and studied at the theological seminary at Liberty University.