In Matthew 26:17-30, Jesus and His disciples are about to celebrate a very special feast known as Passover. The meal served during Passover is made up of all sorts of things that involve the retelling of a significant event that took place in Egypt thousands of years ago.
We read in Exodus that the Israelite have been enslaved in Egypt for about 400 years and God finally heard their cries. He sends Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go along with different plagues that basically humiliates the idols of Egypt but on many occasions Pharaoh refuses. At this point, God decides to harden Pharaoh’s heart and sends one last plague; God decides to wipe out all the first born sons from Egypt, promising to ‘passover’ the Israelites only if they mark their doorpost with the blood of a young lamb that has no defects or blemish. And so, on that night God passed through the land and struck down every first born son and first born male animal except those whose doorpost were marked.
We now know that it was no coincidence that Jesus was crucified the day after sharing the Passover meal with the disciples. On that night, Jesus gave the disciples a new image of the passover! He told them it was all about Him; using the bread as an image of His body, he breaks it and tells His disciples that His body is broken for us and using the wine as an analogy for His blood, He explains that it will be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus was saying that He is new passover lamb; free from detects and blemish. Just like God spared the Israelites because of the blood of the lamb, God will also spare us because of Jesus.
Indeed Jesus is the sacrificial lamb who had to die for us to escape God’s wrath. Only His body and blood could ever atone for our sins because He was the only one to resist sin and He gave it up freely. Like the Jews partake of the passover meal, we partake of the communion regularly to remember how much our salvation cost and reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins to be forgiven. How do you prepare your heart before taking part in communion?
This is Our God - Beth Colson