Scripture Focus: Hosea 14.2, 4
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
Reflection: The First “Last Supper”
By Erin Newton
Each year, my dad texts me to say The Ten Commandments is on TV. A 1956 classic (although flawed in many ways), this movie was my favorite. Many Christians know of the story of Moses and the plagues but forget how that relates to the New Testament story of the death of Jesus.
The Hebrews were connected to God in a special way, covenanted to him through their lineage from Abraham. They were God’s chosen people, promised a blessing of land, progeny, and honor. But as time tends to reveal, the errors of a few people created ripple effects among the whole. Despite the promise of blessing, they became slaves to a brutal nation.
From Egyptian oppression, God heard their prayers for help. He raised up Moses to lead the people. Plagues tormented the land. With each plague, the Pharaoh continued to harden his heart until he became an immovable force. The final plague would cost the life of each firstborn child. It was to be the greatest tragedy of their day, “There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again” (Exodus 11.6).
But there was hope for the Israelites. Despite the edict that death would visit every family, a way of salvation was given. God told the people to sacrifice an unblemished lamb spreading the blood on their doors. The lamb would die so they could live. This day was to be remembered for generations. “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians’” (Exodus 12.26-27a).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover honored the day which God looked upon the blood of an innocent lamb and averted his wrathful judgment. This same meal is what Jesus and his disciples celebrated at the Last Supper.
As Good Friday approaches, remember Passover. This celebration was given as a picture of atonement that would one day be fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ. Because of his death, judgment passes over us. We are safe, veiled behind the blood of the Lamb.
Let us pray just as the book of Hosea ends, taking words of praise to God. He loves us freely and his wrath has turned away.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
Let them know that this is your hand, that you, O Lord, have done it. — Psalm 109.26
Hosea 14 Listen – 1:39)
Psalm 148 (Listen -1:28)
Read more about Fasting and Feasting
The one biblical feast most Christians know about is Passover or Pesach. This celebration is a combination of fasting and feasting.
Read more about Names of Jesus—Priest, Lamb, and Vine
He is called lamb, because of his perfect innocence; a sheep, to symbolize his Passion.