Passover and the Lord's Supper
Passover was a time of remembering God’s deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt. This was very literally a time to remember the passing over of the death angel that looked to see if the blood of a sacrificial lamb had been applied to the door post. Jesus sat down for a Passover meal with His disciples on Thursday and infused the Passover with a fuller meaning. Jesus is the Passover Lamb. He is without a blemish. Born of a virgin, living a perfect life. He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness and three times says it is written. Satan would depart until another opportunity presented itself. The events that we celebrate in the next few days are Satan’s opportunity. I am sure that as Jesus lay in the tomb that Satan believed that he had won. Only on Easter sunrise did he realize that death could not hold Jesus.
Passover was full of meaning. The lamb had to be without a blemish. The lamb was set aside and watched for a few days to make sure. There were bitter herbs as a reminder of the bitterness of slavery that the people of Israel had experienced. When Jesus sits down with His disciples, He says in Matthew 26:26, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Luke 22:19 says, "19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” So, from this we are to remember the sacrifice of Jesus. His body was given for us. As you read the Easter story notice the abuse that His body takes. A crown of thorns is placed upon His head. He is whipped. Isaiah 53 says that He would be unrecognizable. This is how badly He was beaten. Realize that the Romans had torture down to a science.
Jesus then takes the cup and says in Matthew 26:27, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” The Blood that Jesus would shed on the Cross was to be for the complete remission of sins. Once a year blood was applied in the inner most portion of the temple called the Holy of Holies. This was done for the forgiveness of the people for one year. The blood was placed on the mercy seat. When Jesus shed His blood, it took care of sin forever. Stop right here and think, for those who believe in Jesus, His blood takes care of their sin forever. What hope this offers to us. Jesus’ blood was for the remission of sin. Then Jesus points to the finality of His work when He says that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He entered His Fathers Kingdom. Jesus knew that death was not final, but He had to demonstrate His power over death, hell and the grave.
I encourage you to pause on this Thursday and remember the work, the sacrifice of Jesus for you. Make the abuse, the mockery, the cross, His death personal. He died for each one of use. Later,on this Thursday Jesus would enter the garden of Gethsemane and pray that God would remove the cup or not pour out His wrath on Him. Nevertheless, Jesus surrendered to the will of the Heavenly Father. If there was no other way to win forgiveness for us Jesus was willing to surrender to the cross. I am always astonished at this human moment in the life of Jesus. He desired the cup, the wrath of God to pass, but willingly surrendering to the work of the Father. The three times demonstrates the agony of the struggle. Jesus won the battle of the cross on His knees in prayer.
Jesus sat down to His final Passover meal with His disciples. He knew they were not spiritual giants. He knew about the argument over who was greatest. He knew Judas was betraying Him. He knew Peter’s denial was coming. Jesus knew dark days were ahead. He also knew that Sunday was coming. He knew a new day was coming. He knew restoration was coming. He knew the Pentecost was coming. Walk through the Easter story this year and know that a better day is coming.