Tonight, the Jews celebrate God’s greatest victory of protecting his people. They had been slaves. For four hundred years they had labored in a land not their own. They had grown as countless as sand on the sea shore, but each of them was ground under the heel of their masters. God came with his crushing power. He destroyed Egypt. He drowned them in the heart of the sea.
They relive what God has done for them. They retell the miracles. They repeat the plagues. They remember the walls of the sea. They restate the wonders that Adonai performed on their behalf. They recall his strength, for them. Always for them.
On the night they celebrate God’s mighty power, God celebrates weakness. Jesus takes feet caked with dirt and smelling of the street in his hands and washes them. He becomes weak… for them.
On the night they remember their flight from Egypt with a meal, God gives them something to flee to: a new Meal, one that will not only remind them of what has happened, but one that will strengthen and unite them. Before, God gave them themselves. Now God gives himself.
On the night they celebrate their freedom from Egypt’s slavery, God prepares to free them from slavery much greater.
And you cannot help.
Tonight, Jesus leaves a gift, a Supper, for those he loves. Tonight, Jesus prays in a garden, sweating drops of blood. Tonight, he is greeted by a dear friend and is led away in chains. No, you cannot help him. He walks this path alone.
God has always freed his people without their help. Why would the greatest freedom be any different?