He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
–2 Corinthians 5:21
It is easy to get lost in the details of the Passover meal and forget the real purpose of this passage. Look at Luke 22:19-20: “When He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’”
That phrase “for you” includes the Greek preposition “huper,” meaning “in the place of.” Jesus was saying to His disciples and to us, “I am sacrificing My body in the place of your body and spilling My blood in the place of your blood to provide a covering for your sins.” After Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to cover their shame with an ill-prepared covering of fig leaves. So God killed an innocent animal and made a covering. By doing so, God was teaching all of us we are incapable of covering our sin–God must cover it. His covering for the first couple pointed to Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice would cover the sins of the world. Because the innocent Lamb of God died, we have forgiveness of our sins.
There were two people at the Passover meal that night who desperately needed to hear that message of forgiveness. One was Judas Iscariot; the other was Peter, who within a few hours would deny even knowing the Lord. His sin was just as grievous as that of Judas. In fact, Jesus anticipated the failure of Peter. In verses 31-32, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” He was saying, “My prayer for you, Peter, is once you have failed Me, you will turn back to Me and become a courageous leader.” And that is exactly what happened. Peter found God’s forgiveness and was transformed into one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known.
Two men failed God that night. Jesus said to both men, “My body and My blood are being offered for you. It does not matter what you have done; I am ready to forgive you if you will turn to Me.” God forgave Moses who was guilty of murder. God forgave David who was guilty of murder and adultery. God forgave Paul who was guilty of murder and blasphemy. God forgave Peter who denied Him three times. God would have forgiven Judas had he turned and received that forgiveness. And what Jesus said that night two thousand years ago is true for you right now. Whatever you have done, God is willing to forgive you.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “ In Remembrance Of Me” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.