“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the Festival” 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (ESV)
I can remember my favorite meal of all time. A friend had invited me on a trip to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We had rented a car in Munich and drove to the Bavarian Alps. At lunch time we stopped in this mountain village, where my meal included farm fresh meat and vegetables. It was so delicious, that after 40 years I still remember it well.
Thanksgiving is another meal I look forward to every year. My wife creates a meal that is so amazing. Our daughter and our son learned from their Mother, and, when they take turns hosting Thanksgiving, they create a meal worth remembering.
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to your mind?
Thanksgiving is a time for us to invite family and friends over to celebrate the Thanksgiving meal. This is a time when we gather for two simple reasons: to share a meal and to remember. We remember how God has blessed us in so many ways.
Passover might be considered the Thanksgiving of the Jews. For the Hebrews, it was a time to remember how God rescued them out of slavery in Egypt and brought them to the Promise Land.
On the night of the great exodus God gave Moses specific instructions on how to prepare for The Passover. Read Exodus 12:1-29.
That began the single most important of all the Jewish observances.
On His last night with His disciples, Jesus celebrated the Passover. Appropriately, He used that meal of remembrance to turn their attention to His own approaching death.
Preparations for His Last Passover
The Feast of Passover was centered around three items: roasted lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. The roasted lamb was central. It was to remind them of the sacrifice of the spotless lamb and the blood spread on the doorposts of believing Hebrew homes. The bitter herbs were a mixture of lettuce or parsley, dipped in salt water. As the sting of those bitter herbs touched the tongue, they offered a vivid taste of the stinging years that their Hebrew ancestors had spent in slavery. The unleavened bread was to remind them of the haste with which the Hebrews had to prepare to leave Egypt.
But on this night, the night of the Last Supper, Jesus created a new tradition: He turned familiar foods into foreboding symbols.
The First Lord’s Supper (The Last Supper)
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Here in the upper room Jesus was preparing both Himself and His disciples for His death. As He led the Passover meal He gave new meaning to the bread and the cup. The bread and the cup represented His body soon to be sacrificed and His blood soon to be shed. And so He instituted the “Lord’s Supper.”
As the lamb was slaughtered in the first Passover in the days of Moses, and annually after that, Christ has been sacrificed on the cross. His blood protects believers from the wrath of God like the blood spread on the entrances to Hebrews homes in Egypt. The Passover celebration anticipated the final atoning work of Christ’s death.
The Old Testament Passover was a celebration, remembrance, thanksgiving and participation in God’s mighty acts of salvation for His people. The New Testament equivalent of the Passover, the Lord’s Supper, functions in similar ways for Christians today.
- The Lord’s Supper is a time of remembrance and thanksgiving (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
- The Lord’s Supper is a time for refreshing and communion (Romans 5:10; 1 Corinthians 10:16).
- The Lord’s Supper is a time for anticipation and recommitment (1 Corinthians 11:26, 28-29).
In 1 Corinthians 11:27-ff, Paul includes a warning and a preparatory step before we take “The Lord’s Supper.” We are not to participate at the Lord’s Supper lightly or flippantly. Such a person becomes guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. We should take the necessary steps to examine oneself in preparation of the Lord’s Supper. There should be a time of heart-searching. Ask yourself these questions:
Is there unconfessed sin in my life?
Does anyone have anything against me?
Am I walking in fellowship with the Lord in the light of His Word?
Warren W. Wiersbe has an outline of 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 that I would like to share with you in closing:
First, we should look back (vv. 23-26a)
Second, we should look ahead (v. 26a)
Third, we should look within (vv. 27-280
Finally, we should look around (vv. 33-34)
May the Lord bless you richly as you consider the Last Supper (the Lord’s Supper).
Please join us in celebrating the Last Supper as part of the Good Friday service on Friday, April 10. The service will stream online at 7:00pm on YouTube.com/friendshipmn.
You will want to have bread or crackers and some juice ready to use. We will lead you when to take the elements during the service that evening. We are looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, together as a church family.Topics: Last Supper