April 17, 2014


Luke 22:1-23

Pesach or Passover is an eight-day long celebration that begins on the night of the fifteenth day of the month of Nissan of the Hebrew calendar. (In 2014, Passover begins Monday, April 14, and ends Tuesday, April 22.) The highlight of the Passover celebration is the ceremony of Seder (pronounced: ˈsādər), which is what Jesus and his disciples observed that Maundy Thursday in the upper room. The Lord’s Supper observed now by Christians commemorates the moments in the Seder when Jesus broke the bread and said, “This is my body,” and then raised the goblet of wine and said, “This is my blood.”

During Passover, the Jews were expected to remove all leaven (yeast) from their homes (Exodus 12:15) as a reminder that their ancestors left Egypt in haste and had to eat unleavened bread. Leaven is also used throughout scripture as a metaphor for sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-8): it is small, but powerful; it works secretly; it “puffs up” the dough; and it spreads.

The celebration of the Passover and the Christian celebration of the Lord’s Supper should remind us of God’s master plan to deliver his people from bondage. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36).