A Continual Reminder: A Celebration of Relationship
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Hebrews 11:28 A Continual Reminder: A Celebration of Relationship
On the 14th day of the first lunar month, the one year old lamb or kid without blemish or spot that had been chosen on the 10th day of the month was slain and with its blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel, it was eaten in the house until there was no roasted lamb or kid left (Exodus 34:25). By faith, all who had entered under the blood were to participate in the Passover with its roasted lamb and unleavened bread serving as the central focus of the meal. Only those who by faith applied the blood to the doorway to their homes were saved. The Passover is a reminder of God setting the captive Children of Israel free from bondage in Egypt. He takes a people who were no people and makes them His people--a kingdom of priests and kings unto God. A new type of relationship is formed. Relationship with God is more than personal. It is also community/family/a body of people called out from the world and made a new people such as the church. There are exclusions to this relationship. The uncircumcised (those not under the covenant of Abraham) and hired servant (those whose relationship was only personal profit centered) were not permitted to eat. Yes, the meal was closed to those outside of the covenant that God had made with Abraham--a covenant that was agreed to in circumcision (Genesis 17:1-14). So, let us remember that those without Christ are also excluded from the relationship we have with God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Yes, as Israel entered the blood sprinkled doorway, so we enter salvation by He who is the door--Jesus Christ our Lord (John 10).
The complete story of the first Passover is given in Exodus 12-13. Passover was made a part of the ceremonial law when Moses wrote Leviticus 23:4-8. Those ceremonially unclean on Passover could observe the event one month later and the singing of the Hallel (Psalm 113-118) was added later.
Passover is a permanent ordinance for the Children of Israel. A continual reminder of their complete reliance on God’s work of freeing them from the slavery of the past to the freedoms of the present and the hope that is found in the Messiah/Anointed One/Christ of God. The Passover meal itself speaks of their relationship with God:
A bowl of salt water placed in a conspicuous place on the table as a reminder of the tears shed by those who had been in the 430 years of bondage in Egypt. Parsley, a symbol of spring and new life, would be dipped into the salt water and together all would eat. That taste of tears was a reminder that God took away their tears shed in their sorrows, sufferings, and pains while in bondage. Let us remember that in our relationship with God in Christ Jesus all our tears of sorrow, suffering, pain, brought about by our sins will be wiped away and that in God every sorrow will be redeemed and replaced with joy.
Only Unleavened bread is to be eaten. Passover is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread. The unleavened bread (bread without yeast) eaten all week (Exodus 12:19-20) as the people prepare for Passover pictures the need for putting evil/sin out of one's life and home. (I Corinthians 5:7-8 “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.) In the Passover meal, the matzo bread is in three thin crisp pieces reminding us of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The second matso, the symbol of purity and having been taken through the fire, is taken and broken and hidden away until the end of the meal. Just as Jesus is hidden away from His people. Christ Jesus is the One without sin whose body was broken for our sin. The first piece of the broken motso is eaten to speak of a coming savior. The other half when returned at meal’s end speaks of the Christ who has come.
A bitter salad-like plate was a reminder of their forefathers work in making bricks from clay and straw for Egyptian cities and buildings. The bitter herbs remind of the bitterness of the soul and mind. God removed the bitterness of His people in their freedom, so He removes the bitterness from our lives in Christ. The hurosa reminds of the mortar of the bricks in Egypt. It reminds of the bondage of the people. Christians can identify. The bondage (judgment/guilt/imprisonment) of sin that held us in the past is removed in the Passover Lamb of God-Christ Jesus our Lord. (Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”)
The Lamb is to be eaten entirely with nothing left for the morning and any of the lamb uneaten is to be burned. The eating of the lamb is a picture/symbol of our need for spiritual nourishment gained by feeding on Christ.
Four cups of wine were used to remind them of God’s four promises in Exodus 6:6-8 to deliver from Egyptian slavery.
God redeemed His people “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out…”
God delivered His people from bondage in judgement. “I will bring out from under burdens (works for salvation)...deliver you from their bondage (slavery to guilt of works)…”redeem you with an outstretched arm… great judgments (on the enemy). The price paid for you--Jesus the Christ.
God takes them for His own People. “I will take you for My People, and I will be your God…” Moses preaches in Deuteronomy (14:2) “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession [special treasure] out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” So it is for we who have entered by the Door of Jesus Christ for our salvation--”But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12) How do we know that we are His? Romans 8:16, The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
God leads His people to the Promised Land. The place of salvation. However, remember that Israel battled to obtain the Promised Land. For the Christian, abundant life is brought about by the spiritual warfare that enables us to see that He makes us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-38).
The Passover is a celebration of all that is historical with a look to the coming Savior. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper remembering His death (history) but also celebrating Jesus Christ’s presence in the heart and life of the believer (present) with a look to His Second Coming (future)--”For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He come.” I Corinthians 11:26. This is our relationship with Christ our Savior.