And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. (Luke 22:14-16)
In all of my years of making a seder for my family, I wasn't even close! Last night I had the honor and privilege of sharing Passover with one of my dear friends and her family. I cannot tell you the joy I experienced. I think the thing that struck me the most was knowing that it was a celebration that MY JESUS also participated it! I could see him sitting at the head of the table, breaking the matzo, saying the prayers, sharing the different courses, perhaps laughing and enjoying hours of praise to God and good food, sharing His last meal with friends. It was not your typical dinner, that's for sure.
What I realized last night was that the events led one into another, without pause. Our seder last night started at approximately 6pm and lasted to close to 10...and we did not do the "second" part! I imagine Jesus and his Disciples reclined until well into the late night. Upon leaving their celebration, Jesus went to pray, knowing that he would soon be arrested and then crucified. By sunrise, Peter had denied knowing him, Judas had hung himself and Jesus had been without sleep. He was then condemned to die, picked up His cross and walked up that hill to Calvary. In less than what I imagine to be a 24 hour period of time, our Savior had fulfilled scripture - the final joy to occur days later.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus speaks directly to us when He tells us "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Our celebration of Passover, in which we give glory to God for freeing the Israelites from the bondage in Egypt, brought an entirely new dimension to being freed from the bondage of sin last night. The thought Jesus' last Passover meal opened a new door and a new level of spirituality for me. To sit with friends and enjoy a meal is always a blessing. To share in the last meal of my Lord and Savior, well, there really aren't any words to describe it!
As I reflect today on last night's meal and the history behind it, I am better prepared to celebrate the resurrection tomorrow. I am thankful that God has placed so many wonderful people in my life and that I have been allowed to experience all that He has laid before me! He calls out to each of us, often in different ways, to come to His table and share in His victory. Jesus drank the cup of wine poured for Elijah - He fulfilled the Promise of God. That tradition continues in our own celebration of the "Lord's Supper". Take the time to reflect today on that sacrifice made so long ago for you!!!