Now the feast of Unleavened Bread was approaching. Then came the day on which the Passover Lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table and He said to them: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.”Luke 22:1,7-8,14-15
In Spain, Ninfa and I had a friendship with a Muslim married couple. The husband was very friendly and open with Christians. He eventually started coming to church. He was teaching me Arabic and French. But like almost all Muslims, he did not believe that Jesus died on the cross. God would never allow His Messiah to die such a shameful and horrible death at the hands of unbelievers. However, every year Muslims celebrate and commemorate the provision of a ram to take the place of Abraham’s son (whom they say was Ishmael not Isaac) when God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son.
On that day, they often sacrifice an animal, a sheep, sometimes a camel. So there is at least a concept of substitution. I explained to my friend that Jesus, the Messiah, had to die even though He was sinless (Muslims do believe that Jesus was sinless) because He was, and is, the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Otherwise, we would all die eternally for our sinfulness separated from a pure and holy God who cannot allow sin in His presence.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. His sacrifice and blood saves us from the Angel of Death just as the blood smeared on the doors of the children of Israel saved them from the Angel of Death. Today we celebrate our Passover with our Passover Lamb, Jesus of Nazareth.
Thanks be to God and to the Lamb who was slain and rose again!
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