Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Fulfilled Passover

Luke 24:14-16

14 • And when the hour came,
he reclined at table,
and the apostles with him.

15 • And he said to them,
"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover
with you before I suffer.

16 • For I tell you I will not eat it
until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

There might seem such a contrast between the 'relaxed' posture at the table and the intensity of the suffering that was to follow but we ought to understand that even as they reclined they ate hastily with their newly-washed feet reshod, their staffs in their hands and their belts tightened. [Exodus 12:11] The eagerness to be gone from Egypt of the first Passover is replicated in the earnest desire that Jesus had to eat this Passover, with his disciples, knowing that he was about to suffer for them too.

From the inauguration of the feast no Passover had been as important as this one was to be and this one was no mere commemoration of the first. From that night on it is not so much the first Passover that is commemorated as the one fulfilled in the kingdom of God. The old Passover is not forgotten but now it is to be perceived as pointing forward to salvation from the greater far bondage of sin and death.

The lamb that was sacrificed and eaten at Passover was to be, like all sacrificial animals, unblemished in any way to symbolise its holiness. It was as the Holy Lamb of God that Jesus was preparing to be the sacrifice for sin. We take the bread and the cup in the feast of the Lord's Supper, having examined ourselves to see that we do so in a worthy manner because our rightful taking of it is dependant on Christ's righteousness and the acceptance of him as a sacrifice to cover my unrighteousness.

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