A Holiday is Supposed to be a Holy Day

Which holiday is your favorite?

In most cultures, there are a number of religious and political holidays that people enjoy, but only a few rise to the top as the most important. In the Jewish world that Jesus grew up in, there were three major holidays: Pentecost, Tabernacles, and Passover. At those times, people would travel to the city of Jerusalem, and the population would swell from maybe a few hundred thousand to a few million. The atmosphere would have been like everyone gathering for the World Cup or Super Bowl.

John chapter 12 reports what Jesus said and did during the week of Passover during his last year of ministry. On Monday, it was customary that the sacrificial lamb was set aside for sacrifice in place of the sinner. The ancient historian Josephus said that perhaps 250,000 lambs were sacrificed—one for every ten people. It was likely on that Monday that Jesus bravely re-entered public life after withdrawing because a bounty was put on his head. Jesus knew that on that Friday, He would be put to death in the most painful, shameful, and public way.

Reflecting back on this amazing fulfilment of God’s Word, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” We now live in a privileged vantage point in human history. Those gathered for Passover did not know what we now know: that true deliverance and freedom only comes to those who have trusted in Christ who died for their sins!

Have you trusted in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to deliver you from sin and death?

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