Still Celebrating Festival

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


In my crawl through Luke, I have spent several days in chapter 22. It may just be my imagination, but it seems like Luke WANTS us to slow down here, like he has put a video in slow motion.

Verse 7 caught my attention, as though it were a title page in Luke’s video: “Then came the day of unleavened bread, on which the passover had to be sacrificed.” Since I have been watching for thoughts shared by Dr. Luke and his companion the Apostle Paul, I asked myself, “Is Luke consciously comparing Jesus to the sacrificial lamb of Passover?” I knew Paul does that.

I looked up the occurrences of “sacrifice” (θυω, thuo), that Luke used in verse 6. That led me to a passage in 1 Corinthians 5 where Paul is urging his readers to guard their moral purity:

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:7‭-‬8 ESV

Two things jumped out at me in the 1 Corinthians passage:

1) Luke’s friend Paul certainly thought of Jesus as the sacrificed Passover Lamb (I know that’s not news to most of my readers), and

2) There is a sense in which we are still celebrating the festival of Passover that Jesus and His disciples celebrated just before His death (“let us therefore celebrate”). That’s what prompted my poem.

So, I slow down in Luke 22. The story is still happening, monthly, weekly, daily. As long as it takes.

NOTE: I’m aware that the second-to-last line mixes pronoun case: “Him” and “they” can’t both be right here. So, do I fix it? For now I’ll let it go. Maybe there’s something to be gained by considering which case was correct!

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