Summary: MAUNDY THURSDAY, YEAR C - From the request to sacrifice Isaac, to God sending his son to die upon the Cross, this sermon shows how the passover relates to the crucifiction of Jesus

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Genesis 22: 1-18, Exodus 12: 21-27, Luke 22: 14-19, Mark 15: 15-39


In our scripture lessons tonight we bagan on the peak of Mount Moriah, and end at the summit of Golgotha, the mount of the scull. But why are we here? Why have we gathered

at the foot of a cross. Placed upon this mountain tops. Why did Jesus have to die? To

answer these questions we must go back to the geginning, we must return to Genesis to a

father and his son and the divine request for a sacrifice.. And so Abraham went as he was

commanded to Mount Moriah, but on the way his son Isaac asked him, “Behold, the fire

and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? Ane Abraham replied, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.” God will himself provide Abraham said to his son Isaac. Words of comfort or words of prophecy? Words that unknowingly reveal the very nature of God. Aand when Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son and angel sent from heaven cried out, “Abraham, Abraham, Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then when Abraham looked up he say a ram caught in a thicket. So he sacrificed the ram in place of his son. And because of this Abraham called the place “Jehovah Jirah”, which means, “the Lord provides.” So God himself provided the sacrifice. Aand in response to Abraham’s faith blessed him, and through Abraham God blessed us all.

“I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

It is this blessing that will lead us to Golgotha. Now we jump forward to Egypt. Abraham’s seed is enslaved in Egypt. So God sends Moses to free God’s people. But pharaoh will not let them go, so God sends a servies of plagues. But still Pharaoh will not let them go. Finally God sends a ninth and final plague. This one will surely work because God is about to slay the first-born son of all in Egypt. All tha is but those who will listen to the warning God gives through his servant Moses, “Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to slay the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to slay you.” A lamb sacrificed replaces a son. Sound familiar? God’s nature is again revealed as Abraham saw it. God blesses the seed of Abraham just as he had promised he would. It is this event that jesus and his disciples are remembering when they gathered in the upper room to celebrate the passover meal. Because God told Moses, “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever. And when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service.” That is what Jesus is doing that night in the upper room. But in celebrating the passover meal Jesus reinterpretes it’s meaning. Not by what God has done, but by what God is about to do. All that had gone before was to help prepare God’s people for the coming of the Christ. The one who would take away the sin of the world. To the discipels gathered with him in the upper room Jesus said,

“These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled. Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

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