Thursday Passion Week - Matthew 26

Hi everybody, it’s Pastor Dave from Word By Mail. Good Thursday morning to you. It is Thursday of the Passion Week leading up to the two most important events in the entire Christian faith, Good Friday and the Cross leading up to Resurrection Sunday. We have been using our Alone With God journal to prepare our hearts each day for the incredible significance of this Resurrection Weekend. So, if you have your Alone With God journal, grab it. If you don’t have one and you would like to have one, you get one at Grab it if you have it. If not, grab any journal you have, and most importantly, grab your Bible.

Open your Bible to Matthew 26. We are going to be looking at the incredible significance of the Passover Meal. We call it the Last Supper, on the night that Jesus was betrayed, the night before the Cross.

Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, as we open up your Word to such a significant moment in it, Lord, please speak to us. Speak to us through your Living Word, by your Holy Spirit, and continue to prepare our hearts for Resurrection weekend. We pray it in your name, Jesus, amen.

You know what? Put a marker in Matthew 26, and turn back to Exodus 12 for me. Exodus Chapter 12, is the heart of the first Passover section. This is the tenth plague on Egypt, and this is the plague that freed the Israelites from Egypt. Egypt is always a picture of sin in the Bible. This is how God showed the people of Israel how he would free them from sin. That’s the picture; it’s super powerful. I have to go through it quickly. I wish I could read so much more, but you read as much as you can on the Passover in Exodus 12.

Start with me in verse 3. 3 Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household.
. . .
5 The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. (So it is a one-year-old spotless lamb.)
6 “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. . . . So, the Israelites would actually bring this lamb into the home, this young, one-year-old spotless lamb, and they would care for the lamb in the home in order to connect with it. To live with it, to care for it, to love it. 6. . . Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight.

And then there’s the big picture. Look really carefully at verse 7. It says, 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. 8 That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it . . . So, again, they take this one-year-old spotless lamb. They make it part of the family, and then they sacrifice this innocent lamb – they slaughter it. They cover their homes (and that’s the word atone. It means to cover.) with the blood of the lamb. And then they take in the lamb. They ingest the lamb. They commune with the lamb by eating it. So, hopefully, you’re making a connection there to the Last Supper.

Skip down to the second half of verse 12. It says 12 . . . I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! 13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. (remember, Egypt is a picture of sin)

And so, this is an incredible display. When the Israelites are still captive in Egypt in Exodus, an incredible display of how God is going to free us from our slavery to sin. And it’s so important that verse 14 in Exodus 12 says, 14 “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. Because God wanted Israel to remember the lesson of the Passover lamb, the innocent, spotless lamb that God provided to cover over or atone for their sin, and so they might escape the Angel of Death. So, it’s an incredible background to the Passover meal that we call the Last Supper.

Now, with that background, let’s turn to Matthew 26. In the NLT, the title over the section says, The Last Supper, and at verse 17 is the beginning of the Last Supper for Matthew.
And so, at the beginning of this section, the Disciples come and say, “Where would you like us to prepare the Passover meal?” Jesus tells them. Then, in verse 19, it says, 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. I need you to connect this with what we just read in Exodus 12. This is the Passover meal that God has made sure that Israel has experienced since the time of the Exodus from Egypt.

Verse 20 says, 20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. So, they’re eating the Passover meal; they’re in the middle of the Passover meal that was designed to teach Israel about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 1 Corinthians says Jesus IS our Passover Lamb. And so, now Jesus, THE Passover Lamb, is eating Passover with the Disciples.

Look down at verse 26. It says, 26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” Do you remember in Exodus 12 that the Israelites were told to eat, to consume the lamb that was slain for their sin for their escape from Egypt, the picture of sin? Well, now Jesus is saying, this is my body. I am the Passover Lamb. Take this and eat it, consume it, commune with my body, my life.

Then, in verse 27, it says 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. And so, the blood of the lamb that was poured out and covered over, or atoned for the sin of the people in the Exodus from Egypt, now in the New Covenant (some translations say in verse 28 This confirms the new covenant between God and his people.) The blood of THE spotless Lamb of God, THE Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, our Passover Lamb, that blood confirms the covenant of grace between God and his people. And it is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

Guys, Jesus Christ IS our Passover Lamb. And it is his life that we take in, we receive his life, and it is his blood that covers, that atones for once and for all, that pays the full penalty for our sin. This is an incredible thing to meditate on. And if you’re going to a Good Friday service or if you’re going to our Good Friday service tomorrow on Good Friday, this is the focus of Good Friday. This is why Jesus had to go to the Cross as the Lamb of God to pay for your sins and mine.

So, now, I’m just going to turn you over to your daily journal. I want you to between these two texts, really get a picture. Maybe go back and listen to what I’ve said, go back and read both texts in Exodus 12 and Matthew 26, and really try to feel the weight of the Last Supper. The Passover meal that Jesus had with his Disciples when he said, I am the Passover Lamb, and I’m about to be slain for the sin of the world. And then, in your journal, under your Meditate section, it says, “What is God’s Word saying? What are the spiritual principles here?” So, what is God’s Word saying? What is it saying in Matthew Chapter 26, especially knowing the background from Exodus 12? What is the spiritual principle here that’s clearly, plainly written? So, write that in your Meditate section.

And then, under Apply it says, “How does this apply to my life today, personally and specifically?” My prayer is that you would receive this truth and that it would apply to you in the way that you have received the life of Jesus, the Passover Lamb, into your life and that you have received the New Covenant of grace in his blood, with the shedding of his blood paying the full penalty of your sins. Or something like that – you write how this applies to your life today.

And then, in your Respond section, it says, “What action will I take today in response to this truth?” Man, there’s got to be a response here. God came to earth as a man, in the form of a man, and lived a perfect life. And gave himself up as the spotless Lamb of God to be slain for your sin and mine to take on the full wrath of the punishment that our sin justly and rightly deserves from God so that we could be “passed over” by that judgment. That that judgment would Pass over us. How do you respond to that? How do we respond to that today?

And then, finally, the fourth section in your journal is Pray. And it says, “My prayer to align my heart with the will of God on this truth is:” Would you please take a minute, write a prayer in your prayer section of the journal, and pray to align your heart with the will of God and to thank the Lord. To thank the Lord Jesus for all that he did, all that he went through to save you.

Let’s pray to close. Lord, Jesus, we are in awe today as we approach Good Friday tomorrow, Lord. We are in awe. And Lord, we thank you. We thank you. Thank you is not big enough, Lord. We receive you. We embrace you. We make you our Savior and our Lord in a response of love for the incredible, immeasurable love that you have for us. That you would come to this earth to take our sin upon yourself as the Passover Lamb so that the consequences of sin would pass over us, Lord, it’s so much. It’s almost too much to grasp. We thank you for it. In your precious name, Jesus, amen.

Amen, guys. Alright, that’s it for today. But you still have, probably unless you’ve been pausing this and writing, work to do. So, get your journal out. Do the four sections in your journal based on what I’ve shared with you and, more importantly, on God’s Word. If you need a journal, get one at Better yet, download the Word By Mail phone app from your app store. And finally, you can text us or call us for any reason at (877) 790-WORD. (877) 790-9673. Call us, text us. Ask us to be put on the Daily Devotion Guide list, and then get an Alone With God journal, and allow us to lead you in your daily devotions with God, in his Word, and with his Spirit. Thanks for joining us today. God bless you. See you tomorrow. Bye-bye.

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