LUKE 22 | Mistery
While I am writing this, it's the Good Friday of Easter here in Sydney, Australia. I went to church in the morning and we took communion to remember the sacrifice Jesus made on behalf of us all. Also, as part of my family background is Jewish, after church I met with my immediate family (all of whom are believers) and we went through the traditional Passover Seder, like we have been doing for a number of years. Passover is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament and Paul even goes so far as to quantify it more with a reminder of Jesus's underlying message of addressing heart issues and motives.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (NIV) says, "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Heart issues and motives are at the center of any sincere relationship. God desires for us to commune with Him in a real and genuine way. Even in His humanity it said Jesus liked to hang out with His mates.
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I thought the disciples of Jesus commemorated His crucifixion in an Easter type of event a year after it all took place. I said I'm not really sure and there's no recording of it anywhere that I am aware of. I did say though that I thought there was a pretty good chance that they would have celebrated the Passover a year later though.
Being that initially the majority of the early church were Jews the annual celebration of Pesakh/Passover would have been an important time. Key dates like Christmas, birthdays, graduations, traveling, etc. can bring back key memories and thoughts that remind us of what was happening at that particular time. I believe the significance of the culmination of Jesus's earthly ministry being at the same time with the Passover is by no means a coincidence. Even a superficial look at the symbolism in the Passover Seder can't help but reveal the depth to which the two events coincide.
Also, Luke 22:15-20 (NIV) says, "And he [Jesus] said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.' After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, 'Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" Paul goes into specifics again and goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 (NIV), "Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves." These and a number of other Scripture passages (including Matt 5:23-24, Mark 11:25, and Ephesians 4:32) go along the same line of getting to the heart of our motivation for doing things, especially when it's things we claim is in the name of The Lord.
For the disciples, Passover would never be the same again. Every year it would serve as a reminder of what transpired after with Jesus's crucifixion & resurrection. We're fortunate that we can remember Passover in the form of Communion more than once a year. It takes us back to the essence of what it's all about. The Passover Lamb that had to be slain to save the enslaved Israelites was personified in Jesus, the final & complete sacrifice for the emancipation of all humanity. The reality of that should remind us of how privileged we truly are to know this Saviour and to have the opportunity to walk with Him, learn from His life, and be fed by His Word. The Creator of the Universe wants to communicate with us, let's continually keep checking our hearts and making sure we allow Him to be the Lord of it at all times.