…Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 – NLT).
Today is the Jewish Passover. Passover is the oldest feast in the world. And passover is the foundation for the Christian Communion service. Here’s the background.
Over 3000 years ago, the Israelites had been in Egypt for hundreds of years and had become the slaves that helped in the building of Egypt’s Kingdom. Israel had been in Egypt since Joseph’s time when there was a terrible famine. Joseph was basically the Prime Minister of Egypt, and had moved his Jewish family from Canaan to the land of Goshen in Egypt. During their slavery, Israel cried out to God in their pain and suffering, and God heard their pleas to be delivered from their terrible circumstances.
God appeared to Moses when Moses was eighty years old. He had been a shepherd for the past forty years. Moses had fled to the desert areas in Egypt after he killed an Egyptian in anger for hurting one of his fellow Israelites. Moses had been born in Egypt and was raised in the leader of Egypt’s household. He was being groomed to be a leader in Egypt.
God told Moses that He wanted to use Moses to remove Israel from Egypt. And that’s where the story of the Passover unfolds. Moses, under God’s direction, went to the Pharaoh of Egypt and asked him to let Israel go back to their homeland. The Pharaoh refused the request, and God enacted ten plagues against ten of the Egyptian gods. In a few months time, Egypt was ravaged by plagues of livestock deaths; locusts eating their crops; multiplied thousands of frogs entering their homes and buildings; hailstorms ravaging their land; their water supply turning to blood; gnats pestering them; swarms of flies covering the land; boils erupting on their skin; penetrating darkness covering the light of the sun; and finally, the death of their firstborn in all of the land of Egypt.
During each of these plagues, God sent Moses to the Pharaoh and politely asked that he and his people would be given permission to leave Egypt. And each time the Pharaoh refused the request. After the ninth plague, the plague of darkness, the Pharaoh told Moses to never enter his presence again with that kind of request.
And that was the end of God’s patience with the Pharaoh’s obstinance to God’s will. With all of us, God has untold patience when we refuse His will. But eventually, that patience will end if we harden our hearts to Him.
The last plague was the death of the firstborn in all the land of Egypt, both of Egyptian families and among their livestock. God told Moses to have Israel prepare to leave Egypt. God told him that a death angel would visit every home in Egypt. And each firstborn son would die, along with the firstborn of their flocks of animals. God told Moses to have each Jewish family to brush some of the blood from the lamb they killed onto the doorposts in front of their homes. And, when the death angel saw the blood on the doorposts, the angel would pass over that home and there would be no firstborn deaths there.
God told Moses to have each Israelite family to choose a lamb without defects and to kill it and roast that lamb as the center of their last meal before leaving Egypt. God told them to bake bread without yeast in it, for they did not have time for the yeast to cause the bread to rise. And he told them to eat bitter herbs along with the unleavened bread and the lamb as a reminder of their harsh lives as slaves in Egypt. This was the Passover meal. Israel would leave Egypt after the passover meal that would give them strength for the journey out of Egypt.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb. John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. And just as the blood of that passover lamb over three thousand years ago protected Israel from their first born dying during that last plague, so Jesus, the Lamb of God, removes our spiritual death and empowers us with His life and strength for our journey through life.
Notice Luke 22:14-20 (NLT): When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. (15) Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins. (16) For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (17) Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” (19) He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” (20) After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
You see, the Passover Feast, with the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs, is directly tied to Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Jesus blood cleanses and protects us. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11). The unleavened bread speaks of His sinless body that was broken so that we could be free from both sin and sickness.
We need not fear the Corona virus with its fear tentacles grasping the whole world by the throat! We stand against it with the Blood of Jesus! And we command it to desist and stop in the name of Jesus. We overcome it and everything else that hell would attack earth with by the blood of Jesus and by our bold confession that Jesus has redeemed and freed us from sin, sickness, fear, lack, or anything else that hell would bring us.
Here at Victory Church, we will be observing communion together on Good Friday, this Friday at 8:00 pm on Facebook. We will broadcast live as we sing and worship around a fire-pit behind our building (so get your phone and connect with us!). Then we will observe Communion together, the Christian version of the Passover Feast. Build your own fire outdoors and bring your phone with you. Worship and receive communion with us! This is going to be an awesome event as we remember Jesus our Passover Lamb!