Summary: Helps close the distance between the Passover and Communion. Communion reminds us that God provided a new Exodus in Jesus - a way to get us out of Egypt and to get Egypt out of us!
A New Way
Matthew 26:26-28 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." 27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
-Communion speaks to us of a New Exodus, a new way out of bondage and oppression. Communion finds its fuller meaning as we examine where it came from.
-God provided a way for Israel to get out of Egypt. He used Moses as the main leader who would guide the people and lead them out. But it wasn’t enough just to get out. There was a destination in mind. God had promised Abraham, the Father of the nation of Israel, that He would give the land of Canaan to him and his descendents. So, Moses helped lead the people out, but the Promised Land was their destination.
-God has provided a way out for all mankind. It is a way out of sin, a way out of lostness, a way out of despair! There is deliverance and redemption available to those who are in bondage to sin and self.
-Communion or The Lord’s Supper is based on the historical event of Israel coming out of Egypt. God led them on a journey to the Promised Land so they could find rest from the tyranny of Egypt and to build a future. It is a new Exodus or 2nd Exodus that Jesus is calling us to.
-If we take a look at our communion service and work backwards to where it came from and what it is based on, we end up in the book of Exodus where people were gathered in family groups in their houses one dark night in Egypt. God had already used Moses to speak to Pharaoh to let God’s people go so they could worship Him. In fact, God had already sent 9 different plagues to show Pharaoh that the God of Israel was real and more powerful than any other so-called gods. Pharaoh continued to harden his heart and refused to let God’s people go. So, Moses announced a final plague – the death of the firstborn in every family. However, God told His people to kill a lamb and spread some of its blood on the doorposts of their homes. Then they were to roast the lamb and eat it in their homes, not taking any outside. God told them this lamb was only for those who were in covenant with Him as one of His people. There are a couple of things I want to point out about this lamb. It couldn’t be just any lamb. It had to be perfect with no blemishes, diseases or injuries. Also, God told them not to break any of its bones. So they killed and ate it, along with flatbread (unleavened), and they were spared the death of every firstborn, and God led them out of Egypt.
-For some 3500 years now many Jews have celebrated Passover all around the world to remember how God delivered their ancestors from the bondage and cruelty of Egypt.
One Passover night a Jewish man was leading a small group of people in observing the Passover Meal. He did something unheard of that night. He assigned new meaning to the bread and the wine that they used at the meal. After the meal, He took some of the flatbread and broke it and in essence said, “This meal isn’t about the body of a lamb, it is about My body. This 3rd cup of wine called the Cup of Redemption isn’t about the blood of the lambs that were killed on the first Passover, it is about My blood.” In effect, He was saying, I am the Passover Lamb. He had no intention of saying that the bread and wine actually turned into His body and blood when they ate it. He was turning their attention from what had happened 1500 years earlier in Egypt to something that would make a New Exodus possible to all who would receive Him.
-So instead of His followers thinking about a small animal whose blood caused God’s judgment to pass over their ancestors, Jesus was telling them that His own blood would be used to help people escape the judgment that is coming on all sin. Jesus said, “It is My blood of the new covenant or new agreement I am making with mankind. Whoever believes enough to apply to their lives what I will do through the sacrifice of My body and My blood will escape judgment and find a new way to God.” Jesus was the perfect, blameless Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world – for all who would believe. And even 1500 years before He died, God gave specific instructions regarding the Passover lambs that would help people recognize Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Just as no bones were to be broken on the Passover lambs, so no bones were broken on Jesus when He died on the cross. God wanted to give people every reason to believe and overcome any doubts they might have.