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1. Jesus Prophesies His Death
(Matthew 26:1-2)
1Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,2“You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Genesis12:1-20, Matthew20:18)

Whoever desires to know the greatness of the gospel according to Matthew, must recognize that Jesus is Lord, King and Judge of the world, and all authority and souls are in His hands. How astonishing that He does not rule over men as a tyrant, but He died as the Lamb of God to atone for the sins of all mankind. The greatness of this divine redemption exceeds our understanding. Through it, God’s righteousness abides in repenting and believing sinners. The King died to qualify his people to enter into the glory of His kingdom that whoever believes in Him should not perish.
Jesus tried to draw His lost nation with the firebrand of His love. His sayings were full of power and holiness, and His works showed His compassion and mercy. When he had finished all His teachings and miracles, He began the final stage in His earthly life and willing entered His death in accordance with His Father. His ministry as a healing preacher ended, and His service to reconcile man with God began. The strange thing is that He completed the salvation of the world within a short period of about 24 hours. Perhaps this unique event, which is the most important date in the world, took place on 13 Nisan (April), 28 A.D.
The Passover festival was designed to preserve the Jews’ remembrance of their liberation from Egyptian slavery under the ruling of the Pharaoh, Rameses II, a tyrant who did not allow the people of God to celebrate their feast with their Lord in the wilderness. As a result, the Lord’s angel came and killed every firstborn in Egypt of men and animals. The sons of Abraham were no better than others, but they believed in the power of the slain lamb of God and sought protection in its blood. Therefore they escaped God’s wrath and judgment. From that time on, they celebrated the Passover to remember that the wrath of God passed over them.
Christ fulfilled the meaning of this old feast and filled it with new meaning of redemption for the entire world. He became the atoning sacrifice who saved mankind from God’s wrath – wrath that passes over those who are united with Him through faith.
Christ knew beforehand the hour of His death as the prophets had foretold. He also knew the manner of His death. The fanatic Jews would deliver Him into the hands of Gentiles who would nail the Holy King and Judge to a tree of shame.
It appears, in this painful development, that the authorities failed in their decisions, for they did not recognize or believe in Christ. Consequently they condemned the Righteous One and were compelled to destroy Him. This is why you should be cautious before following public opinion. Do not pass judgment unless you carefully examine the reports that you hear and the behavior of those who deliver them. Jesus said, “You know them by their fruits.” Therefore, accept the faithful servant and preserve him even if everyone rejects Him.

Lord Jesus, the Judging King, we glorify You because You completed all Your teaching and miracles before You went to the cross. You did not flee, but finished Your ministry as the Lamb of God and redeemed this evil world. We thank You because You are the divine atoning sacrifice of the Passover, to keep us from God’s wrath if we believe in You. We thank You for the humility of Your love and because You completed your way as the Lamb of God for the sake of saving whoever comes to You.
What is the meaning of the Passover?