Evening Reading for June 20

John 13:1-5
Suggested further reading: Exodus 12:1-13

The passage we have now read begins one of the most interesting portions of St John's Gospel. For five consecutive chapters we find the evangelist recording matters which are not mentioned by Matthew, Mark and Luke. We can never be thankful enough that the Holy Ghost has caused them to be written for our learning! In every age the contents of these chapters have been justly regarded as one of the most precious parts of the Bible. They have been the meat and drink, the strength and comfort of all true-hearted Christians. Let us ever approach them with peculiar reverence. The place whereon we stand is holy ground.

We should observe that the Feast of the Passover is always carefully mentioned by each Gospel writer as the precise time of the year when Jesus was crucified. It was ordered of God that it should be at this particular time for two good reasons. For one thing, the Passover lamb was the most striking and remarkable type in the whole Jewish ceremonial of Christ himself, and the history of the Passover of Christ's work of redemption. For another thing, it secured the greatest assembly of Israelites to be eyewitnesses of our Lord's crucifixion. At no time of the Jewish year were so many Jews gathered at Jerusalem. Anything that happened at the Passover would be reported by Jewish worshippers, on returning home, all over the civilized world. For these two reasons `the Lamb of God' was slain at this feast, in spite of the priests, who said, `Not on the feast day.'

Let us note that our Lord knew perfectly beforehand when and how he should suffer. This, whatever we may think, is a great addition to suffering. Our ignorance of things before us is a great blessing. Our Lord saw the cross clearly before him and walked straight up to it. His death was not a surprise to him, but a voluntary, foreknown thing.

For meditation: Christ is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7).

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ