6 April • Maundy Thursday
Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbour shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.
11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the LORD. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old in fourth grade who survived the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, USA said she covered herself in another student’s blood to trick the shooter into thinking she was already dead. The evil teenage shooter passed over her as he saw the blood. The Passover story however is the opposite, the angel of the LORD passed over the households of believers who have the sign of blood at the doorposts.
As God is holy, His law always accuses. The soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). As everyone sins, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so everyone deserves death, eternal separation from God. The gospel promise proclaimed that for those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, the Saviour Jesus Christ, God’s wrath will pass over them. For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).
According to the Lutheran Confessions, the chief purpose of the church is to proclaim this gospel of forgiveness of sins in Word and Sacraments. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered (Augsburg Confession Article VII).
As we also similarly confess in the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
“I want to be and remain in the church and little flock of the fainthearted, the feeble and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sins. — Martin Luther, LW 22:55.
Dear Lord, indeed I deserve eternal death because of my sins. I thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ to die and shed His blood for me, so that Your judgement can pass over me.
As you participate in the next Holy Communion, remember that the Lord has forgiven your sins because of Christ’s shed his blood for you, the judgement of God passed over you and you can have eternal life. Share this good news with others too.
Rev Martin Yee
Assistant to Bishop Lu Guan Hoe
Lutheran Church in Singapore