SO….This might be slightly late, but I finally finished it before the end of Holy week *GRIN*
In most Judea-Christian the week of Passover is recognized as a special week. It is a week of celebration and gratitude to the Most High for “passing over” the homes of the faithful and sparing the sons of those who followed Jehovah during the time of Moses. Such was a symbol to the Children of Israel that God would send His first-born Son to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, this month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house…your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assemble of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it…for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations…”
This passage in Exodus explains the event of the Passover and the establishment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
It was during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that Christ Jesus came to Jerusalem.
We read in Luke 19:
“And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And if came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them. Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen’ Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: Peace in heaven. and glory in the highest.”
It was this event that marked the fulfillment of the Prophecy: The Son of God rode through the Gates of Jerusalem. This is the event that we celebrate on Palm Sunday, one week before the celebration of His resurrection.
The same week that God’s Mercy in the passover is celebrated, so do we celebrate His redemption for His people.
Today we remember the Passion and Crucifixion of our Savior. He established the blessing of the Sacrament(Communion), was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, and sold for a price less than that of a slave.
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests. And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”
He prayed and bled in the Garden, taking our sins as His own. He was sold at taken to Caiaphas, the priest, then brought before Pilate, and crucified in the place of Barabbas. He was then set on the cross between the murderer and the thief. He was mocked, scorned, and bathed in vinegar.
“And when they were come to the place that was called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the male factors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying He saved others; let him save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, if thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
But even in His last moments, Christ forgave the murderer who was contrite and broken. He granted him peace and eternal life.
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, if thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
And then, as He said, it was done.
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying Certainly this was a righteous man.”
It is today that we commemorate His death. We give praise and thanks to our Savior for His sacrifice and His Atonement for our sins.
However, it is not in his death that we celebrate. It is in His Life.
Through Him we have forgiveness, mercy, charity, and the opportunity to be pure.
However, only through Him breaking the bonds of death, and rising again the third day, can we truly have cause for celebration. In mortality He died, in Exaltation He rose again and fulfilled His promise for us to all have eternal life and Salvation in Heaven.
May you remember Him in your thoughts- not just this weekend, but everyday. Remember His miracles, He blessings, His sacrifice, and His Life. We have a living God. And through Him all things just and righteous are made possible. Only through Him can all men be made free.
God Bless you.