Because there are a lot of Scriptures tonight, all Scriptures that are listed in tonight's devotion will be at the bottom of the page, after the devotion.
This day coincides with Wednesday April 4, 2007 the start of the Passover week with the Feast of the Lord's Passover, 14th of Nisan.
Wednesday we would wake up to the second of the feast days known as the "Lord's Passover." This feast was first observed by the Jewish people in Egypt the night the plague killed all of the Egyptian firstborn sons, while death "Passed over" the Jewish firstborn because they were saved by the "Covenant blood" placed above the doors of their houses Exodus 12:1-36. This feast is also prescribed by God in Leviticus chapter 23.
We will follow Jesus to Jerusalem to eat the Passover dinner and celebrate it with the disciples in an upper room made ready by some friends. As we come into the upper room in the early afternoon prior to the Lord's Passover feast which will be observed and eaten later "at evening". We will see that Jesus and the disciples have just finished eating a lunch/supper John13:2. Jesus is telling the disciples that God the Father has given all authority in heaven and on earth to Him. We marvel that this Jesus standing before us is not just the King of Judah but is the King of the Universe, the King of heaven and of the earth, of the physical realm that is seen and also of the unseen spiritual realm. Jesus presides over all as King.
Before we can comprehend the enormity of the kingdom of Jesus, we see King Jesus lay aside His garments, pour water into a wash basin and begin to wash the disciples feet. We are in total agreement with Peter when Peter says to Jesus "Thou shall never wash my feet," after all, kings of the earth do not wash their followers feet, so much more the reason that the King of the universe should not wash our feet. Then Jesus explains to Peter that unless He washes our feet that Jesus will have nothing to do with us. We wonder, "why have Jesus wash our feet and only our feet"? Then we realize that Jesus is King and He is also our Abba, Daddy, Father, and likewise He is also the Holy God. Being Holy, Jesus requires that we be cleansed in able to approach Him. Our creator, Abba, Father, Jesus is happy to take all of His authority and use it to clean us and draw us near to Him. We now know that Jesus is really talking about cleansing our "Souls", our thought life and our emotions as the foot is a reference to the soul. We realize that one dirty item cannot make another dirty item clean. We gasp as we realize that ONLY Jesus can make us clean because only Jesus is clean and without Jesus washing us and cleansing us, we will remain dirty and Jesus will "have nothing to do with us." We make a mental note to spend more quality cleansing time with Jesus in prayer and in reading the Bible.
It is now evening and time for the Lord's Passover Supper. All of the disciples are seated around Jesus Matthew 26:20. Jesus begins to explain how one of the disciples will betray Him. We join the other disciples wondering if we will betray Jesus? After the events of the past week, we now know that we are not that familiar with the plans of God and that Sin is deceitful. Knowing that we can easily be deceived and betray Jesus in our thoughts and actions, we make another mental note to walk in the Spirit with Jesus at all times, seeking the wisdom and will of God continually for each and every activity we do during the moments of our lives.
Jesus speaking up tells the disciples that to identify the one who will betray Him, He will dip His bread in the sauce at the same time the betraying disciple dips his bread. As Judas dips his bread Jesus also dips His Matthew 26:23. We now know why, after the foot washing that Jesus said "not everyone is clean" John 13:10 because Judas is not clean, he is a betrayer. Judas asks Jesus if he is the betrayer. Jesus tells him "yes he is." We marvel that sin is so deceptive, that one can betray God and actually think that he is doing God's work. We shudder as we think of all of the killing and all of the wrong that has gone on by the deceived ones throughout the Church ages in the name of Christianity. We are very glad to make the journey back to Holy Week to walk with Jesus and to learn who He is so that we can be true disciples and true followers of Jesus.
Judas, after receiving a bread dipped in sauce by Jesus, then departs the room to proceed to betray Jesus. The disciples wonder were Judas has gone. Some think he is going to make arrangements for the next feast, the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" which begins tomorrow, John 12:29. At first we think it is unlawful for Judas to go out at night on a feast day but then a quick glance in our Bibles back to Leviticus 23 reveals that the Lord's Passover is not a "Sabbath Feast." We wonder at the thought that the Lord's Passover feast is not a "Sabbath - Rest" feast like all of the other feasts and therefore there is no evening curfew for the feast. Unfortunately, as Judas leaves the presence of Jesus, Satan then enters into Judas and demonically possesses Judas John 13:27. Again we realize the importance of staying in the presence of Jesus to keep ourselves safe from the demonic/Satanic realm.
Jesus then takes the unleavened bread of the "Lord's Passover Feast" Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22 and giving Thanks, Jesus breaks the bread explaining that this is His body broken for us, speaking of the cross that is to come tomorrow. He then passes the bread for the disciples to eat.
Much earlier while following Jesus the disciples had dealt with this very issue of Jesus' body. In John 6:47-58, Jesus told a large group of disciples that He, "is the true bread of life that came down from heaven and any man who would eat of it that man would not die but would live forever." Many disciples were disturbed at that saying of Jesus, John 6:66 "and some walked with Jesus no more." But Jesus had also explained to the disciples John 6:63 that it is the Spirit that aids a man not the physical. Jesus said that His words are Spirit.
So here this night of the Passover the disciples readily enjoy the bread knowing that it is the Spirit of Jesus that gives Spiritual life.
Next Jesus takes a cup of wine. It is the third cup of the four prescribed cups of the feast. The third cup is known as the cup of redemption. The first cup is the cup of Sanctification, meaning to be set apart to God for the feast. The second cup is the cup of instruction, instructing that there were many plagues on the land of Egypt, yet the children of God could not go free from slavery until there was a death of the firstborn. Now this night Jesus is proclaiming that He is the Firstborn of God and that His death will set us free from the slavery of sin and the cruelty of Satan just like the death of the firstborn did so many years ago back in Egypt.
Then Jesus taking the cup Mark 14:23 of redemption and like the bread, giving thanks, Jesus passed the cup to the disciples and said "take drink all of it," Matthew 26:27 this cup is the New Testament in His blood: this do, that as often as we drink of it, to do it in remembrance of Jesus. The disciples are fully aware that Jesus is speaking of a better blood than man has, of His Spiritual life blood. They gladly take the cup of wine and gladly drink all of it. We marvel that Jesus wants us to "Drink all" that He has for us, all of His Life, Love, Compassion and Mercy.
Jesus then mentions that He will not drink again of the wine until He drinks it anew with us in His Father's Kingdom. The fourth cup of wine that Jesus is postponing to drink is called the "cup of Rejoicing." After the feast, the cup of rejoicing is to be drunk as we rejoice in all that God has done in our lives in setting us free and reuniting us with Him in the promise land of Heaven. Jesus says that He will drink that next cup with all of us for real in the real heaven. Jesus and the disciples then sing a Psalm in the closing of the "Lord's Passover Feast."
Jesus now reminds us again that He is about to be betrayed. He tells us in advance so that we will know that He does indeed know all things. Jesus then reveals to us that this dark moment is Satan's time. Judas has already left to betray Jesus. Jesus instructs us saying that "Satan has nothing in Him", but that Jesus will show His love for the Father by giving His life as a sacrifice to reunite us back to God, as this is the will of the Father and it is also the will of the Son Jesus.
Arising they depart the room Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, John 14:31. We marvel that this feast is not a Sabbath feast so they are able to walk in the night and not break the law of the feast. Now during a short walk, Jesus talks to the disciples about Himself being the vine, the source of life and that the disciples are the branches and that the disciples are to abide in Jesus for life. He also teaches about the persecution that will come to all of His followers. Then Jesus instructs them some more about the Holy Spirit who the Father will send.
Jesus then prays His "Priestly High Prayer" to the Father John 17:1-26, asking the Father to receive all of His followers including us, His future followers and to unite us all with Himself in Heaven with the Father. As Jesus prays to God the Father we conclude that we know that Jesus' prayers are heard by the Father and answered! After His priestly prayer of intercession for us to the Father, Jesus commits to His crucifixion and then crosses over the brook of Cedron John 18:1 as He proceeds on to the garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of destiny. Matthew 26:36, Mark14:32. We now know why God has not made the Lord's Passover to be a "Rest - Sabbath Feast" because Jesus and the disciples would have to remain at home or inside after the feast and could not have legally walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of destiny. Had this been a "Sabbath - Rest Feast", it is also very unlikely that the Temple guards would have broken the Sabbath themselves to journey to the Garden to arrest Jesus who, after all was only peaceably praying to the Father. This is another powerful demonstration that these events are events orchestrated and allowed by God Himself and not man just as these events are foreseen in the prophetic writings by the prophets of the Old Testament.
The Garden is the ideal place to reveal that God is in control. It was so many years ago that Adam and Eve lost mankind's relationship with God through their own disobedience in the original garden, the Garden of Eden. Jesus is now stepping into another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. Through His desire and obedience Jesus will continue to restore back the lost relationship between God and mankind, this time for forever. Had Jesus been arrested anywhere but in a Garden, say for instance in the streets or in the upper-room, it would be difficult to correlate the events of the Last Supper to the events of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since God made certain to go to the Garden we have to correlate these two garden events and also the coming event of the resurrection of Jesus from yet another garden, the Garden Tomb. This again reveals the detailed plan of God as He has set it out for us in His Prophetic Word, the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
We follow and see that Jesus is separated from His disciples and engaged in prayer to the Father. Jesus asks for the third time for the Father to remove "this cup" Matthew 26:42 but there is no other "cup" of redemption available to mankind. Either Jesus gives His life for us or mankind will never be reunited to God.
Angels come and minister to Jesus. He arises. Judas can now be seen leading a group of Temple soldiers intent on arresting Jesus. Judas then betrays Jesus with a kiss Matthew 26:49. Jesus in turn calls Judas "friend" Matthew 26:50. Jesus is arrested, bound with ropes and led off as all of the disciples abandon Him and flee.
Personal Reflection #6 New Covenant Reflection
The New Covenant - God has agreed to take on the appearance of a Human, to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life "All things have become New".
Are we allowing ourselves to live in our newfound Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to "Drink all of it". Amen - and drink all of it we will.
Exodus 12: 1 - 36
"1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover. 12 "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat—that is all you may do. 17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread." 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. 24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. 29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.
31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me." 33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!" 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians."
Leviticus 23: 1 -44
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
3 " 'There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
4 " 'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present an offering made to the LORD by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.' "
9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
Feast of Weeks
15 " 'From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of Firstfruits to the LORD. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the Firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 22 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.' "
Feast of Trumpets
23 The LORD said to Moses, 24 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.' "
Day of Atonement
26 The LORD said to Moses, 27 "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. 28 Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30 I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Sabbath."
Feast of Tabernacles
33 The LORD said to Moses, 34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. 37 (" 'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.) 39 " 'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. 40 On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.' "44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the LORD."
2. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
20. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.
23. Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.
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