Aaaaannnnndddd we’re back to snow. I’m fine with that, but I know that it’s throwing a lot of other people around here. Personally, I just think that God likes to throw the world a curve ball every once in a while...
We’re entering into the home stretch on our way to Resurrection Sunday, so I encourage you to save April 1 and join us for the morning, if you can. We’ll be having our annual Easter breakfast before the service (so I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for pancakes again this year), and it’s always a joy to have as many family members together here to celebrate the Resurrection as possible. It’s also a great time to invite people to join us as well, since we’ll be sharing a clear presentation of the Gospel message that morning. Please take advantage of the opportunity to reach out.
Leading up to Resurrection Sunday, we have our annual Good Friday service, of course. But also that week, we will also be hosting our biannual Passover Seder meal. If you haven’t been to a Seder before, it’s a lot more than just a meal -- or even, just an “ethnic” meal. It’s a combination worship service, fellowship meal, outreach, and discipleship opportunity that also teaches you important things about Jewish history, culture, and worship, as well as providing you a background for understanding what was going on in that “Last Supper” that Jesus and His disciples had.
In fact, we talked about that a bit this week as we began a new sermon series, looking at the last 24 hours in the life of Jesus. This week, we looked at the Last Supper -- which should actually be called the “Last Seder,” truth be told.
If I were to tell all of you that you only had 24 hours left to live, and then asked what you’d like to do, I’m sure that I’d get some interesting responses (including people wondering how I knew that they only have 24 hours left). But when Jesus knew -- absolutely knew -- that He would be dead in 24 hours, He said that He desperately wanted to eat a Seder meal with His disciples... it was that important to Him.
A traditional Seder includes cups which symbolically point back to that first Passover in Egypt in Exodus, but also ones which point forward to when God promised to redeem His people (“with an outstretched arm” in Exodus 6:6) and to ultimately draw them to Himself to live as His own kingdom. So Jesus took the time -- as part of His sovereign authority over His final few hours -- to put the traditional Passover Seder into its proper perspective.
Yes, it should still mean everything that it’s always meant. But now, it points also to the ultimate Passover Lamb, slain to cover our sins so that the wrath of God will pass over us. And now, it points to that very week when Jesus died on the cross to redeem His people -- the same cup about which Jesus says, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (in Luke 22:20). And when they came to drink the final cup -- the cup symbolic of God bringing us into His perfect kingdom -- Jesus said that He wouldn’t drink that cup “until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (in Matthew 26:29). So now, the Seder also points us forward as another promise of the ultimate victory of God shown in the book of Revelation as well.
I can see why the Seder was so important to Jesus, can’t you?
So join us, if you can. But even if you can’t, please take the time to stop and remember why this was so crucial to Jesus that Thursday evening before His death. Stop and remember why a sovereign God stooped to wash the dirty feet of sinful men (including Judas). Stop and remember how much God loves us, and how trustworthy His promises are -- including promises made at the beginning of Exodus, personally confirmed in the Gospels, and pointing all of us to Revelation.