“…when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb…”
Mark makes no bones about what Jesus is about to do. He has told us numerous times from Jesus’ own mouth that He is about to die, to be killed in fact, but also to rise again. And here, he tells us why.
On the night of the first Passover, the Jews were huddling in Egypt in their homes awaiting the final plague of God. He had turned the Nile River to blood, brought flies, gnats, locust, boils, and frogs to cover the land, the land of the Egyptians had been in complete darkness (though not the land of the Israelites) and now came the last and worst plague of all. Since the firstborn son carried on the family name, got the inheritance, and ascended the throne, this final plague in essence wiped out the future of the entire nation of Egypt. With the death of the firstborn sons, the plagues were complete, Pharaoh’s heart was finally broken of its hardness, and God’s people were free.
But the angel of death sent for the firstborn of Egypt didn’t distinguish between Egyptian and Israelite. So God gave them a way out. A perfect, spotless lamb was to die, to be killed in fact, and it’s blood put on the side posts and top of the door of every Israelite home. When the angel of death saw the blood, it would pass over that house, not killing the firstborn. Hence, the practice and remembrance of the Passover Lamb was born. A perfect, spotless lamb was sacrificed so that it’s blood would rescue the family from death.
And so, thousands of years later, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb in remembrance of God’s salvation from death in Egypt, Jesus shared the bread and wine, the body and blood of the Lamb, with His disciples. And through His sacrifice, His blood rescued them all from death. And that blood still rescues us from death today. For those who put their faith, their trust, in Jesus, death is averted and eternal life begins. Will you let Jesus be your Passover Lamb?