Christ, Our Passover

March 26, 2013

Friends,
Last evening I went to a Passover Meal at a church I used to go to. It was a very wonderful and unique experience –a sermon as to what Passover means to us now, a simple meal at a long table under candlelight, and a foot-washing. I was blessed when a certain person hurried up to me and asked if she could wash my feet, and then gave me a long hug, letting me know that she held no bitterness toward me about a past falling out. What humble maturity on her part! So not only was the occasion beautiful, it was also healing.

Of course one part of the meal was that we broke bread and drank a cup from the “fruit of the vine” (Matt. 26:29) –meaning grape juice, for as the pastor pointed out, the word “wine” is not used– and as we did so, we remembered the Lord’s body and blood which He gave for the forgiveness of sin. (v. 26-28 // 1 John 2:2)

1 Cor. 11:26 says, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” We are to proclaim the Lord’s death. We are to do so when preaching or explaining the Gospel, but we are also to do so when we meet as the Body of believers. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (v. 24,25), doing so as we remember His body and blood. The bread, He said, is His body given for us, and about the fruit of the vine, He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (v. 25) There seems to be no directive as to how often this “communion” should be taken, but this church does it once a year –though quite elaborate– whereas our regular church does it every Sunday. I actually like it done every Sunday because I think it helps everyone take time out to examine their hearts, to ask the Lord to reveal if there be any sin there, and then to repent. (v. 28, 31)

Unfortunately, there are those who take the bread and cup without repenting of sin. They may say, “I’m sorry, Lord, for what I did yesterday,” but they have no intention of quitting it. Such a person heaps judgement upon himself. (1 Cor. 11:29,30) Such a person, in being disingenuous, is taking the communion in an unworthy manner. And as verse 27 says, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”

What does it mean to sin against the body and blood of the Lord? Let’s think about it. The sin is against Christ’s body and against His blood. Doesn’t this have to do with trampling Him and showing contempt toward the covenant and the Spirit? (Heb. 10:26-29) Doesn’t this have to do with crucifying Him? (6:6) This is why I preach that those who deliberately sin are, in some form, deliberately re-nailing Christ’s hands and feet, re-piercing His side, spitting on Him again, striking His head again, and affirming that they care little that sin, including their own sin, is precisely what hung Jesus up on a cross. Moreover, “Christians” who deliberately sin are blaspheming Christ as they use His name to claim salvation even while refusing to obey Him as Lord. They are taking the name of Jesus in vain.

Now what about the foot-washing? Why do that? Well, I’ve always considered that to mean we are to serve one another in humility. But I thought the pastor brought up a very good point: That if we are taking the bread and cup as symbols of proclamation of the Lord’s atonement for us, and are doing so because He told us to do it in remembrance of Him, then why would we leave the foot-washing symbolism out when Christ clearly taught and modeled this right after “he got up from the meal”? (John 13:4) In verse 14 He tells us to wash one another’s feet, and then in verse 17 He says, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” What things? Didn’t He mean all those things which He’d taught them that night?

The Passover Meal is definitely a good thing to observe yearly if the one leading it understands how to present it as it should be now that we are in the New Covenant. For it is a wonderful opportunity to explain how Christ, our Passover Lamb, fulfilled the Law, paid mankind’s sin debt, and set us free from sin, fear, and law so that we might walk victorious as “we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom. 7:6)

This truly is the beautiful, wonderful, life-giving message.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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