Rev. William Cwirla
The little one at the table got to ask the questions. The little ones love to ask questions. ”Papa, why do we do this every year? Why do we sweep the house all week? Why do you kill that poor little lamb? Why do you paint his blood on the doorposts? Why do you roast him beyond well done? Why do we eat the lamb and these bitter herbs and this unleavened bread? What does this mean?”
And the father of the house would teach the household: “It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses. It is the Lord’s Passover.”
The Lamb stood in place of the firstborn son, including the firstborn of Pharaoh. Life for life. The Substitute Sacrifice. The Vicarious Victim. Like the ram caught in the wood who saved Abraham’s son Isaac from the knife and the fire. The blood was the sign, the wood the signpost. Where the blood was painted on the wood, there death passed over.” The firstborn was spared. The Lord had spoken and promised it. “It is the Lord’s Passover.”
Israel walked into freedom through bloody wood, doorposts and lintels soaked in blood. They were a blood-bought people. A Passover people. They were no better than the Egyptians, no less deserving of slavery and death. But they were a bloodied people. A Passover people. God’s people.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” There in the Jordan River is God’s unblemished, sinless Lamb, washed for the sacrifice.
He did nothing wrong, and you can do nothing right. He deserved to live, and you deserve to die. He is innocent, you are guilty. He is spotless, you are marred beyond measure. He is free, you are as bound and dead as an Israelite in Egypt. But God made you alive in the Lamb. His blood brings you life and freedom. The blood is the sign, the cross is the signpost, the doorpost and lintel of the world. Behold God’s Son, God’s Servant, God’s Lamb, who lays down His life for your life, who sheds his blood for your blood, who bears your sin, who dies your death.
“Where the blood, there death passes over.” “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Jesus’ Body and His Blood go with you wherever you go – your home, your work, your worship. To your grave. And from the grave, He will raise you, for He will not deny His own Body and Blood. Death cannot contain Him, nor can it hold you who have His Body and Blood.
Why then do we do this every week? Why do we take this bread and eat it? Why do we take this wine and drink it? What does this mean?
Here’s why. Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread. And when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples and said, “Take, eat. This is my body which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me. In the same way also, He took the cup after supper. And when He had given thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink of it, all of you. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”
It is the Lord’s Passover. And you are His Passover, bloodied, holy people.
In the name of Jesus,