No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 35:18, ESV).
Ideally, worshippers celebrated Passover in Jerusalem. During his reign, King Josiah set this gold standard for observing the Passover. Jesus kept the high standard for Passover as he and his disciples went into Jerusalem for this solemn occasion. Peter and John go to find the exact place where Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover. Finding the site would be challenging since they were one group among thousands looking for a place in Jerusalem to hold the meal, but Jesus sovereignly appointed the location.
The Passover was a series of “scenes” unfolding during the meal. During the fifth of the seven meal scenes found in Luke’s gospel, 5:29-32; 7:36-50; 9:12-17; 10:38-42; 11:37-54; 14:1-24; 24:28-32; 24:36-42), Jesus instructed his followers how the observe communion. He clarifies that his death means more than the end of his life and ministry. Jesus takes the bread that was part of the third course of the meal and makes a new symbol out of it in light of his death. “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24, ESV). The bread symbolizes the broken body of Jesus, and it would be broken over the coming hours.
Jesus took the cup and said it represented “the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20, ESV). The shed blood of Jesus would be the coming sacrifice on the cross, which inaugurated the covenantal provision. Throughout the New Testament, the new covenant is a central theme (Matt. 26:28; 2 Cor. 3-4; Heb. 8-10) which promises forgiveness of sins and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The new covenant opened a new era of God’s blessing.
On April 24, we have the honor of celebrating communion at Blainsport. We remember the broken body and the shed blood of Christ on our behalf. Just as the Passover observance caused the people of Israel to look back at the Exodus, communion brings the church together to recall our identity in Christ by remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We get to reaffirm what God has done for us.
On Friday, Jesus embodied the symbolism of Thursday’s Passover meal and the symbols of the Lord’s Table. Thank God for Jesus!
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Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.