Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 352 – Preparation Day – Good Friday

April 14th, 2017, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Passover LambThe Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was crucified on the “Preparation Day” for the Passover. Since no work could be done on the Sabbath, Friday was always a preparation day in which everything would be made ready. The year Jesus died, the Passover fell on the Sabbath, Saturday, and thus the preparation day that week also meant preparation for the Passover beginning Friday evening. One of the primary activities of preparation was the slaughter of the lambs in the temple that would serve as the Passover lambs for the evening’s meal.

The scriptures tell us that the Passover lamb had to be “without blemish” and that “none of it’s bone are to broken.” The lambs to be sacrificed would therefore first need to be inspected to make sure they were in fact without blemish. It is no coincidence that exactly at the moment that the priests were performing this function in the temple, we hear Pilate in today’s gospel declare multiple times, “I find no fault in this man.” Jesus is indeed without blemish. Then, at 3:00 in the afternoon, at exactly the hour when the lambs were being sacrificed in the temple, Jesus, the Lamb of God, dies on the cross. Further fulfilling the requirements of the paschal lamb, the legs of Jesus are not broken as is done with the two criminals with him.

All this is to show us that, as we discussed last night, Jesus is the fulfillment of what the Passover was always meant to be about. God spent a lot of time teaching his people that a sacrificial lamb is necessary where there is sin. Jesus is not just any lamb and his Passover is not just any Passover. We read today that “all this took place so that the scriptures might be fulfilled.” What an amazing plan God has worked for us. Today we marvel at the price of our salvation. Today the angel of death has passed over us, because the Lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world.

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