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Summary: This message looks at Communion from its roots in Passover to is embedded promise concerning the future

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PASSOVER TO COMMUNION AND BEYOND

INTRODUCTION: BEFORE WE GET BACK INTO OUR STUDY OF THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GOOD TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND, SINCE IT IS COMMUNION SUNDAY, LOOK A BIT AT COMMUNION. OFTEN, IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET CAUGHT UP IN A SPIRITUAL RUT, SO TO SPEAK; WHERE WE ARE DOING THINGS MORE OUT OF HABIT AND LESS OUT OF CONVICTION AND UNDERSTANDING. COMMUNION IS ONE OF THOSE EVENTS THAT CAN EASILY DRIFT INTO A SPIRITUAL HABIT.

TRANSITION: SO FOR A FEW BRIEF MOMENTS, I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT THE COMMUNION MEAL, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ITS BEGINNING, ITS CURRENT REALITY AND FINALLY ITS FUTURE IMPLICATIONS.

PROPOSITION: IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHAT IT IS WE ARE REMEMBERING!

THREE REASONS COMMUNION SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO US:

1. LUKE 22:15 (NASB) AND HE SAID TO THEM, "I HAVE EARNESTLY DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER WITH YOU BEFORE I SUFFER;

JESUS DESIRED TO EAT THE PASSOVER MEAL WITH HIS DISCIPLES

2. 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 (NASB) 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.

PAUL WOULD LINK CHRIST TO THE PASSOVER

3. THE JEWISH PASSOVER WAS THE INTRODUCTION TO THE LORD’S TABLE

1. THE PRELUDE TO COMMUNION

a. THE YEAR IS 1490 BC

i. GOD HAS THROUGH A SERIES OF EVENTS SENT MOSES TO EGYPT TO SEEK THE RELEASE OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL

ii. HE HAS HEARD THEIR CRIES, AND NOW ANSWERS

b. MOSES, THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD DECLARES AND ERADICATES A SERIES OF PLAGUES AGAINST THE NATION OF EGYPT. EACH PLAGUE, IN ADDITION TO THE DAMAGE DONE ALSO SHOWS THAT THE GOD’S OF EGYPT ARE FALSE – EVEN UP TO PHARAOH HIMSELF

i. WATER TURNED INTO BLOOD

ii. FROGS

iii. LICE

iv. FLIES

v. CATTLE

vi. BOILS

vii. HAIL

viii. LOCUST

ix. DARKNESS

x. DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN

c. THE INSTITUTION OF PASSOVER WAS TO AVOID THE DEATH

i. PROTECTION FROM DEATH WOULD COME FROM SOMETHING UNBLEMISHED

d. FROM THE TIME OF EVE AND THE SERPENT, SOMETHING HAS ALWAYS HAD TO DIE FOR SIN

e. THE PASSOVER LAMB POINTED TO CHRIST

i. A LAMB MUST BE CHOSEN

1. “TELL THE WHOLE COMMUNITY OF ISRAEL THAT ON THE TENTH DAY OF THIS MONTH EACH MAN IS TO TAKE A LAMB FOR HIS FAMILY, ONE FOR EACH HOUSEHOLD.” (EXODUS 12:3)

2. IT COULDN’T BE A BULL OR A DOVE, WHICH WERE SOMETIMES USED IN OTHER OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES.

3. GOD WAS VERY PARTICULAR–IT WAS TO BE A LAMB AND ONLY A LAMB. NOTHING ELSE WOULD DO.

4. WHEN JOHN THE BAPTIST SAW JESUS COMING TOWARD HIM, HE CRIED OUT, “LOOK, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD!” (JOHN 1:29).

5. THE APOSTLE PAUL REFERS TO CHRIST AS OUR “PASSOVER LAMB, WHO HAS BEEN SACRIFICED.” (1 CORINTHIANS 5:7)

ii. THE LAMB MUST BE A MALE

1. VERSE 5 STATES THAT “THE ANIMALS YOU CHOOSE MUST BE YEAR-OLD MALES.” (EXODUS 12:5).

2. JESUS FULFILLED THIS IN THAT HE WAS THE SON BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY (LUKE 1:31-32).

iii. THE LAMB MUST BE UNBLEMISHED

1. VERSE 5 ADDS, “THE ANIMALS YOU CHOOSE MUST BE YEAR-OLD MALES WITHOUT DEFECT.” (EXODUS 12:5).

2. THIS MEANS THAT FAMILY WOULD HAVE TO INSPECT THEIR LAMB TO MAKE SURE THERE WERE NO OPEN SORES, NO INFECTIONS, NO DISEASES, NO BLEMISHES, NO SICKNESS OF ANY KIND.

3. THE APOSTLE PETER REFERS TO JESUS AS BEING “A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH OR DEFECT.” (1 PETER 1:19)

4. HEBREWS 4:14-16 EMPHASIZES THAT THOUGH CHRIST WAS TEMPTED IN EVERY WAY THAT WE ARE, HE WAS WITHOUT SIN.

5. WHEN PONTIUS PILATE FINISHED EXAMINING JESUS, HE DECLARED “I FIND NO FAULT IN HIM.” (JOHN 19:6).

iv. THE LAMB MUST BE SLAUGHTERED AT TWILIGHT

1. “TAKE CARE OF THEM UNTIL THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, WHEN ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY OF ISRAEL MUST SLAUGHTER THEM AT TWILIGHT.” (EXODUS 12:6)

2. THE NIV SAYS THAT THE OFFERINGS WERE TO BE MADE AT TWILIGHT, ALTHOUGH THE WORDS LITERALLY MEAN “BETWEEN THE EVENINGS,” WHICH IN JEWISH THOUGHT MEANT BETWEEN 3-5 P.M.

3. THE NEW TESTAMENT TELLS US THAT JESUS WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS AT THE “THIRD HOUR,” MEANING 9:00 A.M AS THE DAY BEGAN AT SUNRISE AROUND 6:00AM.

4. MATTHEW 27:45 TELLS US THAT THERE WAS DARKNESS FROM THE SIXTH HOUR UNTIL THE NINTH HOUR, OR FROM 12 NOON TO 3:00 P.M.

5. SHORTLY AFTER, JESUS UTTERED HIS FINAL WORDS AND DIED. HIS BODY WAS THEN TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS BEFORE SUNDOWN.

6. THUS, JESUS DIED “BETWEEN THE EVENINGS” (3-5 P.M.) AT THE EXACT HOUR THE PASSOVER LAMBS WERE BEING SACRIFICED THROUGHOUT ISRAEL. THE TIMING WAS PERFECT.

v. THE BONES OF THE LAMB MUST NOT BE BROKEN

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