Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.John 13:1(NASB)
Jesus was the Passover Lamb and the Law given through Moses demanded that four days before this Feast.. the Passover lambs were to be selected and carefully checked for blemishes.. until the 14th day of the first month, when they would be sacrificed unto the Lord. And for four whole days.. before His crucifixion, Jesus was relentlessly pursued and bombarded by the scribes and Pharisees with trick questions in an attempt to accuse Him of blasphemy - but Jesus was the perfect, innocent, sinless Lamb of God, Who had been sent to take away the sin of the world - and so they found no fault in Him at all.
Over the past months and years Christ had been heard to say; My time has not yet come.. But now.. just before this special Feast of Passover Jesus knew that His hour had come. He knew He was about to be lifted-up on the cross just like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so that whosoever looked to Him would live.
Jesus knew that He had been born to die for the sin of the whole world.. for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to be the sacrifice for man's sin. He was sent so that whosoever believes on HIM would not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus knew that His hour had come to die as Israel's Passover Lamb. He knew He was the sacrifice for sin and that He had to die on the cross and to rise up again to break the power of sin and death and hell. Jesus knew that He would soon be departing out of the world, to return to His Father in heaven.. and would have to leave behind the dear disciples whom the Father had given to Him - all of whom He loved so dearly. The infinite and eternal love that Christ had for them.. and has for all His blood-bought children is far beyond our comprehension..
And so, when the hour had come for Him to depart out of this world and to return to the Father.. Jesus took His disciples aside to the upper room to share the Passover meal with them.. before being sacrificed for us as our own Passover Lamb and the sacrifice for sin.
Christ's heart must have ached for these disciples that He loved so dearly, as He looked at their confused faces during the unique Passover supper. He had much to tell them but they could not yet bear it... much would have to wait until the mystery of the Church... which was later revealed to Paul and the other apostles was given... a mystery which would finally be given by inspiration of God to the fledgling Church through those early apostles and prophets.
Nevertheless as the Lord Jesus looked at the men that had walked with him for over three years - His divine heart of love reached out to each one of them.. and yearned for them with a depth of love that stretched into eternity and a breadth of love that reaches beyond infinity.
As part of the same Church, members of the same mystical Body of Christ and disciples of the same divine Saviour.. that eternal, infinite love continues to travel down the corridors of time to embrace all who have been saved by grace through faith in the Him- for Christ is indeed our Passover Who has been sacrificed for us - therefore let us also celebrate the feast - but not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Heavenly Father, what a wonderful Saviour is Jesus. I stand amazed at His heart of love for me and for all who have trusted Him as Saviour. He did not need to leave His home in glory and die for my sin.. but He did it for love of me and for all who trust Him as Saviour. May we live to His praise and glory in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.