'Passover and Exodus' (Exodus 12-14).
God promised Abraham multiple descendants and a homeland to bless the world (Gen.12:1-3). Abraham’s descendants multiplied in Egypt, but they end up enslaved. Then God sent His mighty acts of judgement upon the Egyptians but the Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let the Israelites go. The Lord would send one final plague then Pharaoh would release Israel. This brings us to the ‘Passover’ story so watch the video and read the comments below.
Each Israelite household was to slaughter a year-old male lamb and put the blood on the door frames of their houses. They were to roast the meat and eat it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The Lord would see the blood on the door frames of their houses and He would pass over the Israelites when He struck down every firstborn in Egypt.
Then after 430 years, the Israelites would leave Egypt with their families, their possessions and with many other people accompanying them. Then when the Israelites entered their ‘Promised Land’ they were to observe the ‘Passover’ for the generations to come. When their children asked the meaning of the ceremony they were to say, ‘It’s the Lord’s Passover, for the Lord spared the Israelites when he struck down the Egyptians.’
The Israelites had multiplied in Egypt but they became enslaved until God struck Egypt with His mighty acts of judgment (10 plagues). In the final plague, the plague of the firstborn, the Lord spared the Israelites but judged their oppressors. When the Lord saw the door frames of the Israelites houses covered with the ‘blood of the lamb’ He passed over them and struck down the firstborn of Egypt. Then the Lord would bring judgment on the ‘gods of Egypt’ and He led His people out of Egypt by the pillar of cloud and fire. More than anything else this ceremony and its accompanying story defined the Israelites and shaped them into a community. In a similar fashion, as New Testament believers we are defined by and shaped into a community by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. One of the primary ways that these defining events are communicated to us is by means of a ceremonial meal (John 1:29, 1 Cor.5:7, Eph.1:19-21).
The Lord's Supper (Matt. 26, Luke 22, Mark 14 and John 13).
If you are preparing for a ‘Maundy Thursday’ or a ‘Good Friday’ worship service you will do well to keep the story of the Passover in mind. Now in this story Jesus washes the feet of his disciples and then he is betrayed by a friend. After this Jesus institutes what we call the Lord’s Supper and exhorts his disciples to love one another as he loved them. Watch the video or listen the story and read the comments below.
A shared meal really does strengthen relational ties between people. The Passover meal did this for the Old Testament people and it retold the story of God rescuing Israel from Egyptian slavery. As faithful Jews, Jesus’ disciples wanted to know from Jesus where they were to prepare for the Passover meal (Exodus 12). Jesus told them to go into the city and follow a man with a water jar into a house and ask the owner about his guest room where they could prepare for the meal. The disciples went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. Jesus was well aware of all that was happening to him. Surely all these events were part of God’s plan and were by no means outside of His control.
That evening Jesus arrived at the house with his disciples. Then before the meal Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and challenged them to do the same for each other. Then at the meal Jesus told the twelve that one of them would betray him. Jesus knew of the passages in the Psalms which spoke of being betrayed by a friend (Ps.41:9) and he knew which one of the twelve would betray him. This news saddened the disciples and they each said, “Surely not I?” (Mk 14:19). The betrayer would be the one Jesus would dip bread into the bowl with. Again this was all part of God’s plan but the one betraying the ‘Son of Man’ would be held responsible (Mk 14:19). These sad events turned the Passover celebration in a solemn event.
Jesus’ words refer to Daniel’s ‘son of man’ and Isaiah’s ‘suffering servant’ and connect this death to the coming of God’s kingdom (Dan. 7:13, Isa. 53:12). Jesus exposed Judas as his betrayer and Satan entered into Judas. Then Judas left the room to go and betray Jesus. Then Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples saying that the bread was his body. The bread of affliction (Dt.16:3) in the Passover story would be replaced by the broken body of Jesus. The blood of the covenant would become Jesus’ own blood (Mk14:24, Ex.24:8). In addition, Jesus gave his disciples a ‘new command’ to love each other as Jesus had loved them and by this people would know them as his disciple (John 13:34). This is a command that none of us takes seriously enough and God only knows how different our world would be if we did .
Jesus gave this meal to be perpetually observed in his church. By faith we are to look to Jesus to empower us to serve one another and to give ourselves sacrificially for the good others. Moreover, we can only imitate in this way as we rely on Jesus’ death and resurrection and on the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit. This story ends with Jesus and his disciples praying and singing a hymn, and proceeding to the Mount of Olives. There Jesus would prayerfully wrestle over having to drink the ‘cup of God’s wrath’ and there all the disciples of Jesus would be scattered and fall away (Zech.13:7).