Our Passover Meal

By Gary D. Collier

THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL about the Lord’s Supper.  At least to an outsider this might seem to be the case.  It is a simple meal.  It does not set one in awe by elaborate rituals.  It contains no magical solutions to life’s problems, no mystical means to riches.

But a closer look reveals its depths and its tremendous importance both as a memorial of our suffering Lord on the cross, and as relating directly to the deepest questions of our existence.  In reality it is very special.

In the Lord’s Supper we look to the past, the present, and the future.

In looking back we go beyond the cross, back to the mind of God.  The loving plan of God overflowed in the Passover meal in Exodus 13.  Here the worshipper proclaimed that the meal was given “because of what Yahweh did for me when I came out of Egypt.”  But Yahweh continued:

“It shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Law of Yahweh may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand Yahweh has brought you out of Egypt.”   (Exodus 13:8-9)

Israel was Israel because Yahweh was their God and had delivered them from bondage.  The meal was a memorial, not merely a reminder.

Years passed, the memorial was kept.  Never mind that Israel was transformed into Judaism.  Never mind that parts of Judaism were corrupt.  The memorial was kept.

In considering this, we must not suppose that somehow worshippers now stood as detached onlookers for an ancient rite of no clear significance for them individually or corporately.  To the contrary, they were deeply involved as ancient Jewish Passover tradition shows:

In every generation each one of us should regard himself as though he himself had gone forth from Egypt.  Not our ancestors alone did God redeem then, but He did redeem us with them.  Therefore we are in duty bound to thank, to praise, to glorify, to exalt, to honor, to bless, to extol, and to give reverence to Him who performed for us, as well as for our forefathers, all these wonders.

Worshippers of every generation saw themselves as personally escorted from Egypt by the hand of God.  But it was not merely an individual matter.  It was a matter of inseparable relation to the whole nation of Israel.  God did not save only me, He saved us!

The Lord’s Supper is our Passover meal.  It is our celebration for being personally delivered from bondage by the death of Christ, for “Christ our paschal lamb has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7) — our past.  It is the point at which we see ourselves as part of a community, not as isolated individuals, for “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17) — our present.  It is a memorial which proclaims “the death of Christ until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26) — our future.

How profound that one simple meal could so well capture the essence of life — our past, our present, and our future.  And it focuses upon Christ and His Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 11:26, 29, cf. 10:17).  Praise the Lord!


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