Today’s Devotion is talking about the power of celebrating Passover & Communion Together.
“This day is to be a memorial for you,
and you must celebrate it
as a festival to the LORD.
You are to celebrate it
throughout your generations
as a permanent statute.
~Exodus 12:14 NIV
TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF PASSOVER
When you sit down to have lunch today at 12noon Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, April 8, 2020; people in Israel will start their Passover celebrations and continue until Thursday, April 16th. Hebrew people living outside of Jerusalem will start their celebrations the next day. Every year the Jewish people set aside 12 days to remember how God delivered their nation out of Egyptian bondage and how the angel of death passed-over their homes after the 10 plagues when they applied the blood to the doorframes of their homes.
This Year Is Monumental
This year’s Passover celebrations have much more in common with the first Passover experience than most as Jewish people and others join in to pray and ask God to stop the spread of this corona virus and let it pass-over our homes.
When I was growing up in church there wasn’t a whole lot of talk about Jewish traditions. It wasn’t until I was a late teen that I heard the term Seder meal when our pastor brought in a special speaker in to show and explain this Jewish Passover meal; revealing Christ as the sacrifice of Passover.
I remember being awed at the parallels of Jesus’ life and the Passover traditions. Jewish people were instructed to take a 1-year old sheep or goat (sorry to my vegan/vegetarian friends) without any blemish. They had to shelter it for 5 days and then they would roast it in bitter herbs, serving it with bread that has no yeast.
How Passover Is Celebrated Today
Today, the Seder meal is most often lamb served with bitter herbs and vegetables dipped in salt-water to remind them of the bitter sufferings they experienced in Egypt or that life brings.
They eat matzah bread, breaking the middle piece in half to remind them of how God parted the Red Sea for them to crossover. Half of the broken matzah bread is wrapped in a cloth and hidden for children to find later.
At one point in the meal, the children ask four questions that lead into a retelling of Israel’s history, the difficulties they’ve faced and how God miraculously set them free! They tell the stories in a way that connects them to their ancestors experience. The Jewish website Chabad.org gives direction that…
“At the Seder, every person should feel as if he or she were going out of Egypt… We are with them as G‑d sends the ten plagues to punish Pharaoh and his nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds. We witness the miraculous hand of G‑d as the waters part, allowing the Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions… As we eat bitter foods of affliction and poverty, the Exodus becomes a reality—as real as the festive meal and celebratory toasts that follow.”1
With thankfulness they drink four glasses of wine to pronounce blessings with (something we might call a toast), that end in pronouncing their faith in a coming Messiah. They end the Seder with songs of worship.
Passover & Communion Connected
It’s with the broken bread and glasses of wine where the connection with Jesus work on the cross powerfully connects the celebration of Passover and the observance of Communion. Jesus makes this clear during the last supper with His disciples in Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26 & Luke 22:14-23.Jesus explains how He is the promised Messiah and how Christians are to take communion to remember the freedom He brought us through His shed blood on the cross.
It’s only in the past few years where I’m coming to understand the importance of commemorating Passover and Communion combined. I feel strongly that this year is more important than ever for us to take part in Passover celebrations and take communion, asking God to have Covid-19 pass-over our homes, our countries, our globe.
Father… I thank You for your heart that hears your children in their distress. You hear our cries for health and healing in the midst of Covid-19. I join my voice together with believers around the globe in thankfulness for Your saving grace. Jesus I’m so thankful for your willingness to come down to earth and die on a cross for my sin. I plead the blood of Jesus over my life… my household and the nations… may You cause Covid-19 to pass-over our homes, our countries, our globe. In Jesus Name…Amen
Joe is sharing a special Good Friday message on Facebook Live that you’re all invited to watch. Click HERE
1. Exodus 12:14
2. Exodus 12:17
3. Matthew 26:26-30/Mk 14:22-26/Lk 22:14-23
4. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34