Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” ……. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Comment: All the Old Testament narrative and the gospels lead up to this point, the pivotal point of History! We have in series – creation, perfection, the fall and the effect of sin on everything. We have the stories of people and events important in God working through to His perfectly planned point of redemption. To mention a few – Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, the prophets – all showing His attitude to sin, His call for faith and His promise of a coming Messiah who would have an everlasting effect on history. The Jews worshipped God as Creator, and also because He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt to make them His people. But very plainly, if you look seeking to see, this is all preparatory to what He, God, is going to do through the Messiah. The horror of the consequence of sin as seen by, the costly but ineffectual OT sacrifices, is going to be replaced and made effective, for those who accept Him – through the truly worthy sacrifice of the absolutely perfect Man. At that last meal Jesus puts Himself in the place of the lambs sacrificed to get the Jews out of Egypt. At His death God seals His satisfaction with the sacrifice by tearing down the middle the thick heavy curtain which had always separated the worshipers from the place which typified His Holy Presence. ‘It is finished’ was His cry as God accepted the perfect sacrifice.
Prayer: Open my eyes fully to Your mercy and Grace, O Triune God!