The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
At the first Passover, God instructed the Israelites, who were still captive in Egypt, to sacrifice a special lamb and apply its blood to the doorframes of their homes. God explains why in Exodus 12:12-13, “On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD! 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.” (NLT)
During the first Passover, Israelites needed to believe God’s declaration and to apply the blood to their doorframes. Their belief led to an obedience of sacrificing an animal and applying the blood. The plague of death passed over those who believed and acted in faith.
In verse 20 of today’s Luke passage, we see Jesus describe Himself as the true Passover sacrifice. In this new covenant through Jesus, we also must believe — believe God’s declaration that the blood of Jesus covers all of our sins. And, it is in trusting in Jesus that we turn from our sins in repentance and, in faith, apply His blood to our lives. Spiritual death and judgment pass over those who place their trust in Jesus.
Just as it was for the Israelites, our participation is a critical act of obedience, surrender and trust.
Jesus taught that a life of repentance is necessary if you want to experience the abundant life He promises, not only in eternity but here on earth as well. A life of repentance begins when you first confess your need for Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but it continues on as an important part of your relationship with Him.
When you trust Him for your salvation, Jesus is with you. His Word shows you what it looks like to connect to Him, and His Spirit guides and convicts you in that process. When you mess up, He doesn’t condemn you or get angry. Instead, He lovingly calls you to turn away from your sin and move toward Him. In doing this, you apply Jesus’ sacrifice to your sin, and receive the grace and forgiveness offered instead of judgment.
Sometimes, it may feel difficult or even painful to repent. It often requires surrendering things that seem satisfying in the moment. Though it may feel like a loss to give things up, surrendering in obedience to God’s Word frees you from guilt and shame. Likewise, it brings joy as you experience the reality that obedience pleases God and is in your best interest.
Your motivation to repent is bound up in your relationship with Jesus. Remember that you don't repent in order to get God to love you more. You repent because He already loves you completely. The sooner you choose to repent, the sooner Jesus will free you from guilt and shame. Then you can enjoy His loving forgiveness, which brings peace and joy.
When you abide in Christ — when He is where you go for comfort — you will find yourself wanting to repent more often. You’ll long for deeper fellowship with Him, which is your ultimate source of peace, joy and purpose.
In what area of your life is Christ urging you to turn away from sin and move toward Him so that you can live an abundant life in fellowship with Him?
Heavenly Father, thank You for nudging me to repent so that I can turn from my sin and be forgiven. Thank You for reminding me that my greatest peace and joy come from abiding in You, not from going my own way. Today, I repent of __________. Thank You for forgiving me when I have failed and fallen. Take my life and use it for Your glory. Amen.
What is repentance, and how do I do it? Explore more about why repentance is foundational in your relationship with Jesus.
What is the traditional Passover meal? Learn more about Passover and the connection between the Old and New Testaments.
Holly Melton joined Cru® as a staff member in 1999 and is a speaker, writer and ministry coach. She is passionate about training the body of Christ in evangelism and discipleship. You can learn more about her resources and Bible studies at HollyMelton.org.
As a follower of Jesus, you can have confidence through His resurrection that your sins are forgiven. Everything Jesus promised in His teachings you can trust to be true. You are a child of God, and you will live forever with Him.
If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced dark moments when you’ve felt alone. When the power of death felt present in your life. When you’ve been without. Easter Saturday, and the words of Isaiah, remind us that Jesus, too, experienced what we do.
Reflect with us on what Jesus endured and why He died.
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