Summary: A Good Friday focus on the last supper. When our congregation observed Good Friday this sermon had hymns and communion worked between the points.

Introduction: How old was the little Lord Jesus when his family returned from Egypt? You remember the story; the wisemen came and brought their gifts to the little child. Many feel that Jesus may have been nearly 2 when they arrived. Herod insanely jealous and anxious to keep his throne declared the slaughter of every child under the age of 2 in the region, but Joseph is warned in a dream to flee to Egypt, and in Egypt they remain until it is safe to return? Thus the prophecy is fulfilled, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

I wonder if when Jesus was in Egypt he ever visited Goshen, the home that his ancestors had known for so many years. Rich Mullins asks the question in a song,

Joseph took his wife and her child and they went to Africa

To escape the rage of a deadly king

There along the banks of the Nile, Jesus listened to the song

That the captive children used to sing

They were singin’

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

Whether Jesus thought these thoughts as a child is beyond our knowledge. But we do know that for four hundred years the Hebrew people were shackled to Goshen, making bricks for Pharaoh. There seemed to be no hope of release. Moses once tried to free the slaves with his strength as a Prince of Egypt, but this failed and Moses fled. When God elected him to act again he came hesitantly. Through him God brought sign after sign to Pharaoh, but Pharaoh’s heart was hard. The greater the sign, the more severe the punishment on the captive Jews.

Finally in what appeared to be a last ditch effort God instructed the people to take for each family a lamb. In the spring of the year, on the 10th Day of Nisan they were to bring the lamb into their home. There it was to become a part of the family. Then on the 14th Day in the evening they were to take the lamb and sacrifice it and they were to apply the blood to the doorposts of the home, this would be a protection on their homes when the final plague, the destroying angel visited Egypt.

With these things complete night fell, and in the night a cry and wail grew in Egypt as each firstborn son of every house without blood was found dead. In the midst of the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and for the last time stood face to face with God’s representative and commanded him to go and take the people with him.

In a great long jubilant procession the people of God began their journey from Egypt to the promised land. Made free by the blood of a lamb. So began the annual feast of Passover. A feast which had first occurred some 1400 years before the time of Christ. A feast which would become the highlight of the Jewish year. An act of redemption that had become the rallying point for captive Israel.

I. With Fervent Desire

As we begin to read Luke’s account we come across the words of Jesus, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…’

Passover began that year as it had for many years previous. It was a great celebration. A jubilant time. Thousands of pilgrims would have packed the city, the silver trumpets announcing the temple was open for worship. Throngs of people began the celebration together. Today was the day when the lambs would be brought in, today the sacrifice was chosen. Today and for the next part week the spotless lamb would be cared for and celebrated.

How many had come for the first time this year? To be in Jerusalem for the highest and most holy day week of the year?

Who had traveled the furthest? Surely there were Jewish people from every corner of the empire and beyond. Scripture identifies the fact that their were people there from all over Palestine and even from Egypt in North Africa. How appropriate to travel from Egypt to Jerusalem for the Passover.

Truly it could be said of them – ‘With fervent desire we have desired to eat this Passover…’

Among them was the buzz of a question. Who is Jesus? He had arrived on this day, riding in to Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, the recognized sign of royalty for the Jews. In the already jubilant spirit the people came out to meet him. The children cried out Hosanna, and their parents cut down palm branches and olive branches for them to wave in the impromptu parade.

Walking along beside and behind him were the dozen men who were his constant companions. They were beaming ear to ear. Each of them had great expectations. Already Jesus had settled a dispute about who would sit at his right hand in the kingdom. But each one of them had wild expectations. This was greater than winning a lottery – surely this would be the week in which the Lord revealed himself to the world as the deliverer of Israel. Surely this would be the long awaited deliverance from captivity, how appropriate it fell at Passover.

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