Share: A moment from today when you felt close to God, and a moment when you felt far from God.
Read: John 19.13-16a
When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
Reflect: John writes the Passion story so that Jesus is crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke say it was the first day of Passover. The reason this matters is that John believes that Jesus is the Lamb of God (remember how John the Baptizer said that about Jesus back in the beginning?). The Passover lamb was sacrificed on the day of preparation—at the stone pavement at noon. In the first Passover, the blood of the lamb was marked on the doorposts and the angel of death literally passed over, saving the people in the house from the fate of the firstborns of Egypt. So when John talks about Jesus as the Passover lamb sacrificed for us, that means that Jesus is a symbol of God’s saving power, keeping us safe and giving us the opportunity to leave slavery and enter the promised land—the Kingdom of God.
Pray: Blessed are you, Lord our God, Creator of the universe, for you give us life and sustain us in your grace. May all who are enslaved throughout the world come to know freedom. May all who are free appreciate the blessings of your abundance. And may all of us dwell in the house of God and give thanks for your saving power and grace. Amen.