Summary: The historical Biblical backdrop for communion is the Passover.
Welcome to The Lord’s Table
(You may dress casual, but don’t come as you are)
The Bible doctrines and principles on which we base our faith have important backgrounds. They didn’t just appear overnight, but were developed over time.
An example is our doctrine of baptism by water. It originated in the ritual washings required by the Priests in the book of Leviticus. The Jews practiced ritual washing for purification.
When John the Baptist came on the scene, he took it one step further and taught that you had to repent of your sin and be publicly baptized for the remissions of your sins. We take the doctrine of Baptism for granted, but in John the Baptist’s day, it was a radical new teaching, because up until that time the only way you could get forgiveness of your sins was through sacrificing a sin offering at the temple. Forgiveness of sins required a blood sacrifice.
The doctrine of tithing has it’s origin in Abraham when he gave a tithe to Melchizedec.
The doctrine of salvation through faith had it’s origin with Enoch followed by the account of the Flood when by faith Noah believed God, was obedient to God by building the ark, and by his faith and obedience he and his family (not to mention all the animals) were saved.
In the same way, the doctrine of “The Lord’s Supper” or “The Lord’s Table” better known as “Communion” has a historical Biblical background.
The historical Biblical backdrop for communion is the Passover. If you are on track with our through the Bible reading schedule, last Monday you read about the Passover In Exodus 12:
The word “Passover” refers to both the “Passover Victim” and the actual “Passover Ceremony.”
At God’s direction, Moses repeatedly struck the land and called down plagues upon Egypt. But notice, that the Jews in the land of Goshen, a geographical area located inside of Egypt, did not experience the plagues that Egypt experienced. God’s people were spared. They didn’t have to do anything, they were automatically spared because they came under God’s umbrella of protection. Why?
Because they were God’s chosen people, and Moses provided a measure of protection – a “covering” if you will, and that same responsibility is carried on by pastors today. If you don’t come under the covering of a pastor – you need to seriously consider getting there, because if affords you the benefits of supernatural protection and someone to watch out for your soul.
As a pastor I take that responsibility very seriously. I pray for all of you who are in the Church Directory during my prayer time. Those of you who are new, and have filled out and turned in your names on the bulletin tear out have been included in my prayer time.
As your pastor, I act at a spiritual covering for you. That also means that I will from time to time act to protect you by challenging your behavior, your attitudes and your belief system. When I don’t see you here participating in the fellowship, I will come looking for you…..(pause) and I will find you! Well, that’s enough on my duties as a pastor, let’s get back to the Passover.
Up to this point the Jews didn’t have to do anything. They just sat back and said “Wow, look what God is doing to the Egyptians.” But the Passover was different. The Passover required them to act on their faith. Moses directed them to take a male lamb or goat without blemish and to kill it, take it’s blood and wipe the blood on the top and sides of the doors to their houses. In this way they would escape the “Death Angel” that God would use to destroy the firstborn male in every house in Egypt.
I want you to put yourself in the place of the Jewish family who celebrated the first Passover. Whoever you are, Father, Mother, kids or single relatives. If you are the father, you go out on the first day of the month to your herd of sheep or goats (most of them used lambs) and you pick out an animal without blemish.
Then you bring the animal home and treat it like a pet for 14 days. For 14 days everyone gets attached to “Lambchops”. Kids, you have fun playing with him, oh – he is so cute. “Bahhhhh”
Then on the 14th day all you Jewish fathers cut Lambchops throat, drain his blood into a bowl and take the foliage of the hyssop plant (a common emblem of purity) and smear the blood over the door and door-posts of your house. (Pause)
Now, Dads, this doesn’t make you real popular with the kids – (pause) Hey, you just killed “Lambchops”!
Listen Dads, you’re not done yet!