by: Sean Fitzgerald
Read Matthew 26:1-5
As Jesus is telling his disciples that he will be crucified, the religious leaders are shoring up their plans to arrest and kill him. It’s interesting to note the difference in the way they (the religious leaders) planned and the actual timeline of the events. This reading tells us that they intended to wait until after the feast had passed to enact their plan, yet we know that it’s during the feast that it all begins. So what happened, God showed up and did what he had always planned to do.
If we pause for a moment and back out of the moment for a second we will see that God is sovereign over all things. Just when these guys thought they had a perfect plan to kill Jesus, God steps in and completes what he had been planning all along. They wanted the feast to pass, but God intended to use the feast as the catalyst for His new covenant with all of humanity.
The feast was the Passover. The purpose was a remembrance and celebration of the spirit of death passing over their homes and their deliverance from Egyptians bondage. The practice was the sacrificing of a lamb, the shedding of its blood, the blood that was used to mark their doorposts in Egypt, identifying them as children of Israel, a people in covenant relationship with God.
Do you remember what John the Baptist said as Jesus approached him, John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”As we continue to review the rest of the events this week we find that during the feast of the Passover, not after it had past, God provides the lamb. The lamb he required to be sacrificed, killed. The lamb whose blood was to be spilled to atone for sin.The lamb whose blood was used to cover (mark) the ones who belonged to God. The blood that was used to sign, seal, and deliver a covenant relationship. That blood, the blood of the lamb, God provided and his name was Jesus.
As the cross comes into view, I am certain that the religious leaders thought that everything was shaping up better than they had planned for. I wonder, though, if they ever realized it never had anything to do with what they wanted or what they were planning. This, Jesus on the cross at Passover, was what God had been planning all along.
Do you see God in this moment? I think we may often miss him here intros moment as we focus on the religious leaders and the cross, but don’t you see that even here God is in control? Are we ever victims, like the religious leaders, of believing our plans are perfect? That we are in total control of our lives and circumstances if we need you will call God? Besides the beautiful connection to the Passover and institution of a New Covenant, I pray this moment in scripture reminds us that God is sovereign over every moment, even the ones where we might have a hard time noticing his presence.
TAKING IT TO THE FAMILY
Talk about a time where nothing seemed to be going as planned. What happened, what did you think was suppose to happen, and what caused things to go “wrong”?
Why is it that when things turn a little crazy, we seem to forget that God is still in control?
A great moment in the life of Jesus that reminds of God’s sovereignty in every moment is recorded in Mark 4:35 and following. Jesus and his disciples are in a boat and things get scary really quickly. I love that in this crazy scary moment Jesus is at peace as he sleeps through the storm. The disciples wake him in fear and Jesus responds by rebuking the wind, calming his men and restoring peace. God is always present, even when we can’t seem to find the strength to look for Him.
How can you be more intentional about looking for God in every moment of your life?
How can you trust God more and rely less on your own planning and direction in life?
NOW DO SOMETHING...
Tomorrow is the day, Thursday, that Jesus and his disciples would have gathered in the upper room to celebrate the Passover together. It is also fitting to note that Jesus’ gathering was not an isolated event, all Jewish people would have been gathering together to celebrate. I want to encourage your family to take a few minutes to plan a special meal for tomorrow evening. Food doesn’t matter but I do want to encourage you to find a way to make it a special moment.
While your planning this meal discuss the purpose and importance of the Passover lamb.
As we draw near to the cross I pray we can find joy in the suffering and hope in the empty tomb!
Blessings and Peace,
1 Comments on this post:
This devotional has a lot of meaning for even what we are dealing with today with the virus.