It’s no accident that it was at the Passover celebration that Jesus instituted this meal. The first Passover was in Egypt when Israel killed lambs and put the blood over the doorways of their homes, and they ate unleavened bread. That night the Angel of Death came through the land, striking down firstborn sons. Only those with blood over their doors were spared. And in this, God offered both mercy and justice. Surely by the tenth plague word got out and many of the Egyptians came to stay with Israelites or even imitated them and were spared the tenth plague. But Pharaoh had claimed Israel as his son, so God struck down Pharaoh’s son, and set Israel free.
When Jesus says, “do this in remembrance of me,” we might just as easily translate it as, “do this as my memorial.” A memorial points back to some great historic moment – like the rainbow, pointing back to the flood. But memorials are not just reminders for us (although they certainly are that). Memorials are also reminders to God. This isn’t because God needs reminding; He promises to never forget His promises. But He also promises to always remember His own reminders.
This meal is the great memorial of the Greater Exodus, the Greater Passover, the Greater deliverance from every Egypt. The Angel of Death still deals out God’s judgments in this world. But all who are covered by the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, are safe in the household of Faith and have His blood over their doors. And as the judgements of God fall on the earth, every form of slavery is broken: political slavery, economic slavery, bondage to sin, addiction, fear, guilt, and shame. And what does it mean to be covered by the blood? It means all your sins are forgiven. You are completely clean. Do you believe? Then you are under the blood.
At the first Passover, the Israelites were dressed for travel, expecting deliverance. As it happens, we eat this meal at the end of our service, getting ready to go out from here as well. We are going out into our Canaan: our neighborhoods, cities, work places, schools, all land promised to Abraham, the inheritance of Christ. But as you go out, go out under the blood. The blood of Christ does not merely protect You in here. It is on you and in you and all around you. You are the baptized, the Spirit-filled, the forgiven. Go into all the world, and go under the blood.
So come and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash
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