During the passion week of our Lord’s final days, He asked the disciples to borrow an Upper Room wherein He might keep the feast of passover with His disciples. As He entered this borrowed place, the traditional vestments of Passover were on the Table.
Jesus gathered together with these twelve men a table upon which was bread, with bitter herbs, and wine. Paul gives epistolary commentary on this night in First Corinthians chapter eleven:
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
The Passover was the beginning of months to the Jewish people. Having dwelt in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years, God led the people out of bondage upon His tenth plague upon Pharoah and the land of Egypt. God commanded the people to take a lamb into their homes on the tenth day of Nisan and to keep it unto the fourteenth day of Nisan, in which their lamb was to be killed in the evening. The lamb’s blood was then to be applied to the doorposts of their homes; for when God Himself saw the blood he would Pass-over their homes.
On the Hebrew dinner table was lamb roasted with fire, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to perpetually commemorate this feast unto the Lord.
Accordingly, on the night of the Passover (the 14th of Nisan) Jesus gathered His family around the Table. Upon the table was unleavened bread and wine, the fruit of the Vine. However, where is the Lamb?
When you look upon the Communion table of the local, New Testament Church “as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup,” do you see the lamb? It is there! or shall I say, “He is there!”
Paul says, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” (I Corinthians 5:7).
Jew and Gentile gathered together in worship of the Lord Jesus Christ in the first century church. At Corinth, Galatia, Philippi and many other places, there was no need for the Gentile to gather around the Old Testament Passover Table to commemorate the national liberation of the Hebrew nation, nor was there an absolute need for the Jew to gather around the Passover Table, if both could graciously gather around the Lord’s Table and worship the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
When Peter, James, John and the other disciples in the Upper Room took that bread (sop) unto themselves and drank of that cup, they were partaking of the Lamb! As we gather around the Lord’s Table, we do the same! The picture is undeniable; Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us! We need not, as others, to see the bread as the literal body of Christ and the wine as the literal blood of Christ, as to crucify Him again. Paul said, “Christ our passover IS sacrificed for us!”
Let us, therefore, keep the feast in remembrance of Christ and His sacrifice for us. Let us keep not only the Passover but the Feast of Unleavened bread, which speaks powerfully of the sin in our lives that needs to be purged out, seeing that God dwelleth not in temples made with hands but in our bodies, the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Because God took sin so seriously that He made His Son our Passover in order that He might pass over us in judgment, we ought to take sin so seriously that we keep the feast of unleavened bread in our hearts by ridding our lives of sin.