Week of December 23
The Power of the Cross
Throughout the Old Testament we see the Cross foreshadowed and foretold. But no message about the Cross is more poignant than the words of Jesus Himself. During His last Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus said, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15).
Jesus was eager to eat that last Passover meal with them because He knew that the Cross would fulfill and complete the Passover. The Passover foreshadowed the Cross through its sacrificing of animal blood. Once the blood of Christ was shed, the Passover had finally found its true fulfillment.
In the first Passover, people placed the shed blood of animals on their doorposts, so that the angel of death would pass by their homes and their firstborns would live. In the final Passover, the angel of death will pass over and cannot touch any of those who are washed by the blood of the Lamb of God.
In the first Passover, people had to purchase their own animal sacrifices, whether they could afford it or not. But in the last Passover, Jesus paid the price in full.
The Cross established Christ's memorial in the form of Communion. As Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, He also began Communion, the First Supper. Communion reminds us of the enormity of our sin, and the generosity of God's grace. Communion reminds us of the price that Jesus paid for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever we receive Communion, we must do so in humility and brokenness before God. We must rejoice and be grateful and thankful for our salvation.
This Cross that fulfilled Passover and began Communion has power in our daily lives. When we live under the Cross of Christ, we can say to whatever guilt or shame plaguing us: "Jesus nailed it all to the Cross." When Satan accuses us and reminds us of past sins, we can say, "Jesus nailed it all to the Cross." When we are tempted to think of ourselves as failures, we can remind ourselves that Jesus made us victors when he nailed it to the Cross.
Only in the Cross of Christ will we receive power when we are powerless. We will find strength when we are weak. We will experience hope when our situation is hopeless. Only in the Cross is there peace for our troubled hearts.
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