Jesus and the Passover
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A dozen people were busy clearing dishes, scraping plates, washing and drying, stacking chairs and folding tables.
Over two hundred people had gathered that night to celebrate Pesach and discover the revelation of Jesus the Redeemer in the Pesach Seder, the Passover meal.
The full meal had been served, the four cups were drank, matzo broken, the Afikoman hidden and discovered. The crowd was dispersed, now it was time to clean up.
The grape stains and bread crumbs on the table cloths revealed the events of the evening.
Was it the same that night, almost two thousand years ago? Thirteen men had gathered for the dinner and twelve completed it.
Was it during the cleanup that Jesus began saying, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe it God. Believe also in me” (John 14:1). “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am you maybe also” (John 14:2-3).
Jesus revealed His heart and passion that night, as the meal began.
“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15).
He lifted one of the loaves of matzo and prayed the traditional blessing over the bread.
He broke the loaf and handed it to the men gathered before Him and said, “This is My body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of Me.” Then He lifted one of the glasses of wine saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20).
Any grape stains and bread crumbs on the table cloths in the upper room revealed a whole lot more than just a group of clumsy men having Passover dinner that evening.
A covenant had been established around that table.
Almost fifteen hundred years before that night, Jewish men all over the Goshen region of Egypt had butchered one year old lambs without a blemish.
The blood of the lamb had been painted on the door frames of their homes.
The wives had been busy baking unleavened bread and preparing a dinner meal with that roasted lamb.
While the Jewish families were eating their dinner, the angel of death passed through the land of Egypt killing all of the first born sons and the first born of each flock.
The Jewish homes with door frames painted with the blood of the lamb were delivered from the death angel.
That night, Pharaoh released the Jewish families from slavery and they departed from Egypt headed for the Land of Promise.
God instructed Israel to celebrate the Pesach Seder, every year on the fourteenth of Abib, in remembrance of God’s deliverance from slavery by the blood of the lamb.
Jesus and the Passover
Jesus revealed an even greater mystery the night He ate the Pesach Seder with His disciples.
The matzo, unleavened bread, Jewish families ate year after year on the fourteenth of Abib represented the unblemished body of an even greater Lamb.
It represented the sinless body of the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
The writer of Hebrews declared, quoting from Psalm 40:6-8, “Sacrifices and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure… He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:5-10 MEV).
Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary and took on a human body for a grand and amazing purpose.
The sin and the iniquity of mankind were to be laid upon His sinless body.
He would then pay the wages of sin through His human body being crucified on the cross of Calvary. He would conquer death through His body being buried in a borrowed tomb and bodily resurrecting on the third day.
Eating the matzo during Passover and looking into the coming hours, Jesus said, “This is my body which is broken for you.”
The Holy Scriptures say, “Without the shedding blood, there is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22).
The death angel was not held back and deliverance from slavery did not come to the children of Israel just by eating unleavened bread.
There must be the sacrifice of the lamb without blemish and the blood of that lamb painted upon the door post.
Mankind not only needed a sinless life to carry their sins to the cross.
There must also be the shedding of blood. It could not be the blood of a one year old lamb. It must be the blood of a divine mediator who could redeem mankind eternally.
“For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 13-14)
When Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He ascended to Heaven and sprinkled His own blood upon the eternal mercy seat establishing an eternal covenant.
He made it possible for the sins of a person to be forgiven and never remembered again.
The moment a person receives Jesus Christ into their life, God declares a divine fiat, establishing that person to justified (just as if they had never sinned) and He imparts the righteousness of Jesus Christ to them.
Beyond human comprehension!
Almighty God loves you and me so much that He passionately longs for our sonship and fellowship. So He established this covenant, eternally sealed by the death and the blood of His son Jesus Christ.
This covenant provides redemption for you and me to be adopted into the family of God, through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus instructed His disciples, “do this in remembrance of me.”
They were to celebrate the Pesach Seder year after year, not just remembering the time God delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery but in remembrance that Jesus Christ has redeemed mankind from the slavery of sin and death!
The Apostle Paul passed those instructions on to the Gentile Church, who are to have moments in their worship celebrations and in their private lives, when they eat unleavened bread and drink grape juice.
They are to do this regularly until Jesus Christ comes again.
The eating of unleavened bread and drinking grape juice is in remembrance and identification that Jesus Christ was crucified carrying our sins on the cross and His blood was spilt to the ground for our redemption and adoption into the family of God.
Those grape stains and bread crumbs represent so much more than people who were clumsy in handling the bread and drinking the cup.
Those stains remind me that I am a redeemed child of the living God.
I am not my own man.
I have been bought with an extreme price.
I am a ransomed man and an adopted son of God.
The blood of Jesus has washed my heart and Holy Spirit fills my life.
Oh the wonder of the amazing covenant Almighty has made with all who will humbly receive it.
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More articles on Easter:
You Have a New Identity in Christ
Why Every Christian Should Celebrate Easter
Has the Church Made Too Big a Deal of Sin and Repentance?
Beautifully written, expressed…..Theologicaly perfect. God bless