verb: released from confinement, captivity, or slavery
“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:5-7 NASB
For the 24th time, my family celebrated Passover together this weekend. We set out our special plate for the prophet Elijah whom we invite in spirit. My sister and I made all of the unleavened bread and other special dishes from scratch. My mom cooked the lamb with vegetables. It was a true feast. And, with all our family, we reenacted Passover. Just like Jesus and his friends did.
God instructed the Israelites to observe Passover each year in order to remember how He rescued them from slavery in Egypt (If you’re unfamiliar with this story, I recommend reading chapters 1-12 of the book of Exodus). The day before his arrest, Jesus sat down with his closest friends and celebrated Passover.
But, Jesus did something that his friends did not anticipate.
During Passover, we break the unleavened bread, or matzah, into two. It symbolizes the Passover lamb in the exodus from Egypt. Remembering how the sacrifice of the lamb protected the Israelites from death in Egypt.
As Jesus broke the matzah, He changed the ceremony. Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to His friends, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body,” (Matthew 26:26).
Four times throughout Passover, we drink a cup of wine, or grape juice, with a prayer of blessing and praise.
So, after Jesus took the cup and gave thanks, He changed the ceremony again. He gave it to them, and said, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sin,” (Matthew 26:27-28).
His friends were fully confused by the changes to the feast they had observed since birth. However, Jesus, in His divine omniscience, He knew more.
He was going to be arrested the next day. He was going to die a torturing death despite His innocence. His blood was going to pour out to save the world.
Christ. The Messiah. The Lamb sacrificed.
"When the Lord comes by to strike down the Egyptians and sees the blood on the beam above the door and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door. He won't let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you down." Exodus 12:23
As a Christian, centuries later, I rejoice in the hope of Jesus' death. In the justification of His resurrection.
The blood of the lamb protected the Israelites in Egypt. He passed over their doors. He wouldn’t let the destroyer enter into their home. He saved them from slavery in Egypt.
Jesus is our lamb. He protects you from the destroyer. He breaks the chains of slaves.
You’re not a slave anymore.
The Lamb was sacrificed. He broke the chains.
You are free.
Let's Invite Him In: As we approach Easter morning, what do you need Jesus to free you from? Ask Him to show you freedom. As we live on this side of the story, remember the Holy Spirit intercedes for you. May you experience the passing over of the Lord this week and be freed.
By Guest Writer, Erica Lee