Tuesday, March 6, 2012

By Faith... Moses, Part 46 of 54

TEXT: “Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’ And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.’ ” ’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover” (Matthew 26:17-19).

Idea: The Lord’s Supper, like the institution of Passover, is an act of faith.

Purpose: To help listeners appreciate how the Lord’s Supper is an outgrowth of the Jewish Passover.

Do you think Christians in the first century saw details in the Scriptures that Christians in the 21st century might fail to notice?

I. In Matthew 26:17-19, Matthew sets up what we know as the Lord’s Supper by underlining the fact that they were celebrating the Passover.

What would Jewish readers make of that?

They would know what time of year this supper was taking place.

They would know that it was the holy day that reminded people of God’s deliverance and redemption out of Egypt.

They would be reminded that the deliverance came through the slaying of a lamb and applying its blood to the doorposts of their houses.

It was instituted before the deliverance took place, in faith that God would do what He said He would do.

II. The Lord’s Supper is a fulfillment of all that the Passover pointed to for centuries.

The Greek verb in the Septuagint of Exodus 12:48 is the same verb for “celebrate” the Passover in Matthew 26:18.

Jesus took the unleavened bread of the Passover and said, “This is My body.” Do you see any significance in that?

Just as the Passover lambs, whose blood was shed to redeem the people from bondage, were perfect and unblemished, and their sacrifice was at the moment of the Hebrews’ moving from bondage to liberty, so Jesus is all that was symbolized by that event.

If the blood of a lamb preserved the Jews from the death that fell on Egypt, how much more will the blood of Jesus Christ save us for whom it has been sprinkled, not on our doorposts but in our souls?

We take the Lord’s Supper as an act of faith and hope.