The death of Jesus was not the product of chance but responded to a divine plan whose origin is found in eternity. That plan included the death of Jesus during the Jewish Passover.
The work of Jesus of Nazareth can not be adequately understood without appreciating that this work has its roots in the Old Testament. All the actions and teachings of Jesus distill that Old Testament background without which they can not be understood in their proper measure. And this is particularly true in regard to the greatest of the works of Jesus Christ, his own death. It may be paradoxical to consider the death of Jesus Christ as his work, but that is how the Gospels present their death. Not as something that happened unexpectedly or accidentally, but as the very reason why he came to this world. In the words of Jesus himself: "That is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, to take it again. No one takes it from me, but I put it on myself. I have the power to put it, and I have the power to take it back. This commandment I received from the Father "(Gospel of John 10: 17-18).
The death of Jesus was not, therefore, the product of chance, but responded to a divine plan whose origin is found in eternity. That plan included the death of Jesus during the celebration of the Jewish Passover: "you know," Jesus said to his disciples "that within two days the Passover is celebrated, and the Son of Man will be delivered to be crucified" (Gospel of Matthew 26). :two). The funny thing is that the main priests, scribes and elders of the Jews who had determined to kill him did not want to do so during the Passover feast. But despite his wishes, the divine plan prevailed and Jesus died in the celebration of Easter.
Why did Jesus have to die during the celebration of Easter? In order to answer this question we must first understand what the Passover feast was for the Jews. Easter was one of the great celebrations of the people of Israel. In it they recalled one of the greatest events in its history. In that feast it was remembered the night in which God passed through all the land of Egypt, in which they were slaves, to hurt all the firstborn of Egypt and to judge all their gods. The Hebrews, however, were excluded from punishment. Why were not the Hebrews equally punished? Why did God pass over the houses of the Hebrews? God passed over their homes without hurting them because they had followed the instructions God had given them. That same night each Hebrew house had sacrificed a lamb without defect, the paschal lamb. They took the animal's blood and put it on the poles and the lintel of their houses. God had told him: "I will pass through the land of Egypt that night ... and the blood will be a sign for you in the houses where you are; and I will see the blood and I will pass over you, and there will be no plague in you when I strike the land of Egypt "(Book of Exodus 12: 12-13). That is to say, the blood of the Paschal Lamb separated the wrath of God from his own homes.
That blood and that lamb were symbols that pointed to a reality to come. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Gospel of John 1:29). The apostle Peter also refers to Jesus as "a lamb without spot and without contamination" (1st Epistle of Peter 1:19), and the apostle Paul affirms, speaking of Christians, that "our Passover is Christ, who was already sacrificed for us "(1st Epistle to Corinthians 5: 7). Christ is, then, the Easter of the Christians, and Christ wanted to die during the celebration of Easter to make clearer that identification between the paschal lamb and his person. Moreover, that death during Easter teaches us the most essential and fundamental meaning of the work of Jesus Christ. In the same way that the blood of the paschal lamb separated the wrath of God from the Hebrews, in the same way the blood that Christ shed on Calvary frees us from the wrath to come. In the light of the Jewish Passover we can see that the death of Christ was the death of the innocent instead of the guilty and that in the same way that the lamb was slain in place of the Hebrews, so Christ was sacrificed instead of the sinners . The Passover teaches that God is not indifferent to sin because he is holy. But Easter also teaches that God is love and that out of love he punished his Son instead of punishing those who were guilty. As Isaiah says about Jesus: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sins; the punishment of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we were healed "(Book of Isaiah 53: 5).
On these dates of Holy Week it is good to meditate and deepen the work that Jesus Christ carried out on Calvary. It will be helpful to do so in light of the meaning of Easter. There are aspects of the work of Christ that modern man does not like. For example, that the work of Christ means the removal of the wrath of God. This is not liked because today you do not believe in the wrath of God. But both the Old and New Testaments speak clearly of the wrath of God, (Gospel of Matthew 3: 7 and 1st Epistle to Thessalonians 1:10) and tell us that only Jesus Christ can deliver us from it. How? Just as the Israelites believed God and trusted in the blood of the Paschal lamb, now we must believe that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God is upon him "(Gospel of John 3:36). Believe, then, in the power of your blood to deliver you from the wrath to come. So you will be truly celebrating Holy Week.