“As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Matthew 26.2

The timing of Jesus’ crucifixion was no coincidence.  God’s timing never is.

It was Passover, a seven-day holiday commemorating the day some 1336 years before when God delivered His people out of Egypt from the bonds of slavery.

In the last plague carried out before their freedom, the Destroyer would pass through Egypt, striking down every firstborn.

But to the Israelites He gave this command: kill the Passover lamb, spread its blood on the doorposts, remain inside, and the Destroyer will pass over the blood-stained homes and spare the firstborn.

This action more than a 1000 years before Christ’s death foreshadowed the freedom from slavery to sin that would be given to anyone who would choose to find refuge in the blood of the Lamb of God.

“It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. ‘Here is your king,’ Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!’”
John 19:14-15

It was the day before the Sabbath. In the Hebrew culture, no work was to be done on the Sabbath, so all the arrangements for it – the cooking, cleaning, everything, had to be done by sundown the day before, known as Preparation Day.

Christ died on Preparation Day.

The work given to Him by His Father – His arrest, trials, beating, and His death on the cross to pay for our sins – was completed that day.

And He rested on the Sabbath.

Because Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God, completed the work given to Him – the shedding of His blood as payment for sins – anyone who takes refuge in Him, who believes in Him as Lord will be forgiven and freed from the slavery of sin.

And those souls can rest in their freedom.

But God wasn’t finished.

Then came Sunday morning.  The guards, the seal, the stone, even death itself could not hold Him.

He triumphantly rose from the grave, showing His power over death. And because He did, not only do we have freedom from sin, but freedom from spiritual death.

Could there be any greater love?  Any greater gift?

Though we are free from the punishment of sin and death, we still wrestle in our flesh until we are brought into the presence of Christ and fully enter into our eternal rest from these earthly bodies.

As we walk toward that day, let us remember that nothing in Him is a coincidence.  His timing, His choosing of our trials, are all to prepare us for that great and glorious day.

Until then, in this preparation time, let us “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him” as we “continue to work out {our} salvation with fear and trembling” in expectation of the day we enter our complete and eternal rest.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to die for our sins in our place.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for obediently finishing the work The Father gave to you.  And thank you, Holy Spirit, for all you do to help prepare our hearts for our day of eternal rest when you bring us Home. We are so grateful, LORD, for your love and grace and mercy in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, amen.