Beckett: Every Sunday is The Passover

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put Him to death, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad and agreed to give him money. So, he consented and sought an opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of a crowd.

Luke 22:1-6

The devil had left Jesus “until an opportune time” (4:13). This was it. For the chief priests and scribes began to scheme in secret lest the people who liked Jesus heard them and warned Jesus, and the devil loves to work in secret; for just like these Jewish leaders, the devil is a coward. Yet he is also realistic, for he knows he cannot fight the Holy One of God in hand-to-hand combat, so to speak, and win, for he could not even win against the angel Michael who hurled him down from heaven (Revelation 12:7-10). Thus, the devil possessed Judas Iscariot to betray the Lord “in the absence of a crowd,” lest they riot and ruin the plan.

Yet the secrecy was plotted in vain, for Jesus knew all about this; for before Judas was even possessed, Jesus said one of His disciples would betray Him (Matthew 26:21-23; John 13:21). He was purposefully ambiguous for the other disciples’ sake. Jesus’ omniscience here speaks volumes to His earthly mission. The young catechumen might ask, “If Jesus knew He was going to die and who was going to betray Him, why didn’t He stop it from happening?” Jesus gives us the answer Himself: He knew it was necessary. “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22). The chief priests had their plan, but Jesus had an even better plan. Why? He is lifted up on the cross like Moses’ serpent in the wilderness “that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-16). There was no other way to give you eternal life than for Jesus to die for you and subsequently rise three days later for you.

We see His knowledge of this scheming also in His commanding the disciples to prepare the Passover lamb to be sacrificed directly after Judas’ scheming (Luke 22:7-13). On this same night, He institutes the Lord’s Supper (vv. 14-23). Both of these things foreshadow what was going to happen that very weekend. Christ would be the Passover Lamb–the Lamb of God sacrificed to cause God’s wrath to pass over all who believe in Him and fall on Him instead, and He gives His body and blood that would be shed for them in the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper does not only signify—that is, symbolise—what Christ would soon do on the cross; more than that, it delivers His disciples the benefits of what He accomplishes on the cross in His true body and blood therein, just as He Himself says, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Every Sabbath, therefore, is a little Passover. For in the Divine Service, Christ delivers His body to you, broken on the cross for you; and His blood, shed for you on the altar of Mt. Calvary for the forgiveness of all your sins. Every time you receive the Lord’s Supper, therefore, God’s wrath passes over you and you receive atonement for all your sins.


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