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Daily Reading: Luke 22

Scripture Focus: And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22.15-16)

Devotional Thought: Near the end of his life, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, telling them he was eager to do so.

Jesus is eager to be with us, too:

  • In suffering. Passover recalled how death had “passed over” the Israelites while the firstborn of Egypt were destroyed. A lamb was sacrificed, and its blood was smeared upon the door jambs and lintels of the Israelites’ homes. Upon seeing the blood, the angel of death did not strike the home within. The lamb suffered in the place of the firstborn. At this Passover, Jesus looked ahead just a few hours to when he would be the sacrifice for our sins. And because he suffered, he is able to comfort us in our suffering.

  • In service. Jesus had asked two of his disciples to prepare the Passover for him to eat with all of them. The two had gladly done it, serving both Christ and the other disciples. Jesus allows us to serve him as we serve others – both in the church and outside the church.

  • In silence. There are times of silence as the design of God takes shape. Jesus told his disciples that he would not eat the Passover again until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. The children of Israel had waited 400 years in Egypt. There were 400 years of silence between the prophet Malachi and the arrival of Christ. There are times like that in our lives as well. When God is silent, know that Christ is with you!

Christmas reminds us just how much God desires to be with us. Whether you are suffering, serving, or silent, he is Emmanuel, God with us.

Prayer: O Lord, you are Emmanuel! You are with us! In the season of Christmas, may this truth be pressed so deeply into my soul that I will remember it in all the suffering, the serving, and the silence. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, 10 who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword. 11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 12 May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; 13 may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; 14 may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! 15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD! (Psalms 144:9-15)

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