Almost 4,000 years ago, God made a promise to AbrahamLand and descendants
Generations later, God sent those descendants to Egypt (Joseph) — save from famine
400 years later they had become slavesMoses (to save) — after nine horrible plagues, Pharaoh still not release
Tenth plague is the most terriblePharaoh has been killing God’s first-born — IsraelitesGod will now kill the first-born of every Egyptian familyGod knows that this will break Pharaoh's hard heart —will release the Israelites
PreparationExodus 12:3-13 NIV84 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. (4) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. … (6b) all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. (7) Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. (8) That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. … (11) This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover. (12) "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. (13) The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.Family (not isolated individuals)Bitter —(Egypt) — Unleavened/dressed (God will save quickly)Yearly ceremony to help the Jews remember what God has done.A teaching tool for their children — 12:26-27 (family festival; ≠ isolated)Exodus 12:26-27 NIV84 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' (27) 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.'" …
10th Plague cameAngel passed over the homes of God’s peopleGod saved his people by taking them out of EgyptExodus — greatest act of salvation throughout the OT
Go to Mount Sinai and enters into a “covenant” — agreementGod’s part: I will be your God — commits to doing certain thingsPeople’s part: we will be your people — relationship/communityPrimarily defined by the Ten Commandments — God’s law written on stone
Centuries passed … Passover celebration repeated hundreds of timesExodus 12:24-27 NIV Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, What does this ceremony mean to you? 27 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 13:8 NIV On that day tell your son, I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of EgyptMa Nishtana (Hebrew: מה נשתנה) are the four questions sung during the Passover seder. Called "ma nishtanah" in Hebrew, meaning "What has changed?", it is taken from the first line of the song. In English, it is referred to as "The Four Questions". Traditionally, the Four Questions are asked by the youngest child at the table who is able. Why is this night different from all other nights? …On all other nights, we eat either unleavened or leavened bread, but tonight we eat only unleavened bread?On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables, but tonight, we eat only bitter herbs?On all other nights, we do not dip [our food] even once, but tonight we dip twice?On all other nights, we eat either sitting or reclining, but tonight we only recline?
New covenant has same goals as Old covenant — law internalizedGod’s part: forgive sinOur part: know the Lord — forgiveness opens door to relationship
How? God’s Spirit — Ezekiel 36 — context of forgivenessGod’s part: give us his spirit — NIV “move you to follow my decrees”Our part: walk in his statutes (guidelines for relationship)
Celebrating the Passover — Jesus reinterprets – Gospel writers focus on the parts where Jesus departed from Seder ritual.Reclining at table (triclinium)Assigned seating on major wing (Judas – guest of honor – to right & John to left)Footwashing (John 13) began with Judas & ended with Peter (far end of triclinium)Eight major elements of Passover Seder in 1st Century
1. Kadesh (Santification) - Each participant's cup is filled with wine or grape juice. Blessing recited & everyone takes a drink.2. Karpas (Vegetable) – Dipped in salt water (tears of ancestors) & eaten. Host dips with the guest of honor to right, then passes to left. Matthew 26:23 NIV84 Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.”3. Maggid (Deliverance) – The youngest person at table asks Four Questions. Each question is a variation of: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" Host answers. Then they drink the second cup of Deliverance. (This is the reason Luke 22:17-20 records cup, bread, cup).4. Motzi (Blessing Matzah) – Everyone eats their Matzah.Matthew 26:26 NIV84 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."5. Maror (Bitter Herbs) – Reminder of harshness of servitude. Dollop of horseradish on piece of matzah.John 13:26 NIV84 Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.6. ShulchanOrech (Dinner) – The main dish is lamb.1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV84 … Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.7. Barech (Blessing) – A third cup of wine poured, the blessing is recited, participants drink. 1 Corinthians 11:25 NIV84 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."1 Corinthians 10:16 ESV The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?8. Hallel (Songs of Praise) – Songs of praise to God before drinking the fourth cup of wine. Matthew 26:30 NIV84 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Celebrating the Passover — reinterpretsWere celebrating the Exodus, God’s great past act of salvationGod is about to do something even greater than the ExodusBegin to understand how God will do his part in the new covenantSinners, separated from the holy God — penalty is deathCross, Jesus—the lamb of God—pays the penalty of our sinDeath will make possible the new covenant promised through JeremiahDeath makes possible the coming of God’s Spirit—Ezekiel
Passover bread now points to Jesus’ body — broken on the cross in deathNew Passover: “Unleavened” — matzo — points to body brokenPassover cup now points to Jesus’ blood — spilled on the cross“Cup is the new covenant” = his death makes the new covenant possible.“Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me”Antecedent of “this” is Passover (some celebrate once a year)
Controversy throughout the centuries — divided churches“This is my body … This is my blood” (Matthew 26:26 & 28) Catholics: TransubstantiationAll becomes physical body/blood — wafer/hold cupSacrifice — Jesus dies every day in Mass (death not sufficient)
Luther: ConsubstantiationBody/Blood is physically present “in, with, and under”
Our view: Spiritual presence/representsBread/Cup point to his deathJesus is sitting there — Jews never drank blood — symbolic
Controversy: what to call it this “New Passover”Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20)1 Corinthians 11:20-21 NIV84 When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, (21) for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
Eucharist “when he had given thanks” (1 Cor. 11:24)1 Corinthians 11:23-24 NIV84 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, (24) and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Communion (1 Cor. 10:16 KJV)1 Corinthians 10:16 KJV The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?Communion is Gk. Koinonia, sharing, participation, fellowship.1 Corinthians 10:16 NIV84 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?All terms correctly emphasize one aspect of what Jesus is teaching
Controversy of how to celebrate communionMy greatest concern is that it not become a meaningless ritual One reason many observe it occasionally, not weekly. However, they assemble, sing, pray & study weekly, so why single out the Lord’s Supper to say it becomes rote?It is important for us to keep it fresh – one reason we have different communion leaders each week with different meditations to keep our minds focused on some aspect of the observance.Problem with our “traditional” method — isolated individuals – not consistent with Jewish Passover observance.
Fully Biblical: sitting around a table — at least gather as small groupsConsistent with Jewish Passover observance. No fewer than 10 people – Jesus’ group included 13.Enough people to consume the lamb, with no leftovers.Exodus 12:3-4 NIV84 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. (4) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.
Truly Biblical – Use it as family teaching time – As Jewish children ask the four questions. Why is this observance different from all other meals?Pray that we break free from human tradition — family time (servers).Perhaps some Sunday, maybe some Easter, we could conduct a true Seder with the words of Jesus, maybe having our families huddled together, with the children asking the adults about the significance of the elements, and the adults answering the children, rather than sitting in stony silence as we are each absorbed in our own thoughts.One thing about which there is no controversy: Jesus is the lamb of God, who took away the sin of the worldWith this bread/cup we celebrate his victory, and ours, over sin and death
1. You Proclaim (present)By both our actions and our words, we are proclaiming for all to hear that Jesus has died for my sins, and yours.LS is a form of evangelism
2. The Lord’s Death (looking back to the past to the cross)Salvation is only through Jesus because only Jesus did something about sin.Said earlier: Sin separates us from our holy God — die as penaltyGod in his mercy allows for a substituteGod in his mercy gave himself as that substituteActs 4:12 NIV84 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
3. Until He Comes – Look to the future when he returnsI am not a citizen of this earth — clod of dirt is not my homePhilippians 3:20-21 NIV84 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, (21) who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.I will live my life on earth with my head upNot falling in love with creation but living in love with my creatorWaiting to go home, sending my treasures on ahead
Practice of Communion is a powerful picture of the Christian lifeGod desires to be in a covenant relationship with you/meOur God — his peopleGod’s part: He saved me by dying on the crossI don’t save myselfNot celebrating that I work really hard to earn God’s favorCelebrating the fact that He paid the penaltyCelebrating the fact that God, by his mercy and grace, gives us forgivenessNothing in my hand I bring — salvation is all of God
Our partAccept that God does his partAccept the Spirit’s enablingLive within the context of the new covenant
Today, we look back tothecross, and we look forward toJesus’ return!Communionobservance.Invitation:Theblood of thePassoverlambassuredtheIsraelites of deliverancefromthe plague of death, and theslavery of Egypt.Those in homesthatwerenotmarkedbytheblood of thelambdied.Thebody and blood of Jesus, ourPassoverLamb can assureyou of deliverancefrom eternal death and slaveryto sin.Thosewho are notmarkedbytheblood of theLamb, cannot be delivered.BeforetheLord’sSupper can be meaningful, youmust come intocontactwiththeblood of theLamb.1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV84 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Jeremiah 31:31-34"The time is coming," declaresthe LORD, "when I will make anew covenant with the house ofIsrael and with the house ofJudah. It will not be like thecovenant I made with theirforefathers when I took them bythe hand to lead them out ofEgypt, because they broke mycovenant, though I was ahusband to them," declares theLORD.
Jeremiah 31:31-34"This is the covenant I will makewith the house of Israel after thattime," declares the LORD. "I willput my law in their minds andwrite it on their hearts. I will betheir God, and they will be mypeople.
Jeremiah 31:31-34No longer will a man teach hisneighbor, or a man his brother,saying, Know the LORD, becausethey will all know me, from theleast of them to the greatest,"declares the LORD. "For I willforgive their wickedness and willremember their sins no more.”
Ezekiel 36:26-27I will give you a new heart andput a new spirit in you; I willremove from you your heart ofstone and give you a heart offlesh. And I will put my Spirit inyou and move you to follow mydecrees and be careful to keepmy laws.
Jesus’ Passover Seder Cup of Cup of Vegetable – Matzah – Matt. Deliverance –Sanctification Matt. 26:23 26:26 Luke 22:17-20Songs of Praise Cup of Blessing Main Course – Bitter Herbs – & Final Cup – – 1 Cor. 11:25; 1 Cor. 5:7 John 13:26 Matt. 26:30 10:16
1 Corinthians 11:23-25For I received from the Lord what Ialso passed on to you: The LordJesus, on the night he wasbetrayed, took bread, and whenhe had given thanks, he broke itand said, "This is my body, whichis for you; do this in remembranceof me.” In the same way, aftersupper he took the cup, saying,"This cup is the new covenant inmy blood; do this, whenever youdrink it, in remembrance of me.”