// Kenneth W. Hagin
The Old Testament Passover commemorated the children of Israel's deliverance from the hand of Pharaoh's tyranny in Egypt. In the Bible, Egypt is a type, or symbol, of sin. The Israelites' deliverance required the blood of a lamb. Today when we take Communion, we remember our spiritual deliverance from the bondage of sin through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Communion could be called a "New Testament Passover."
Jesus instituted this so-called New Testament Passover when He shared His last meal with His disciples. When He was crucified, Jesus became the Sacrificial Lamb offered for mankind so we could be delivered from the tyranny and rule of Satan! Just as the children of Israel observed the Passover to celebrate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, Christians observe Communion to celebrate deliverance from sin and its consequences. Communion is our "Passover"!
In the Old Testament God said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Exod. 12:13). When the death angel saw the blood of the lamb on the door, he passed over the people in the house. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, His blood—the blood of the Lamb of God—is applied to our lives. Therefore, when judgment comes our way, it passes over us because of the blood!
Hundreds of years after Israel's release from bondage, Jesus and His disciples were in the Upper Room celebrating what happened long ago in Egypt. And at this time Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper as an ordinance for the Church.
The Passover Was Prophetic
In the Old Testament, the Passover was prophetic. Through the centuries, the prophecy had been passed down from generation to generation that there would come a great Deliverer—a Messiah—who would again free the Israelites from their slavery. But, unknown to them, the fulfillment of that prophecy required the death of Jesus Christ.
At the Last Supper, as Jesus and His disciples celebrated their forefathers' freedom, Jesus picked up the cup and said, " 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins' " (Matt. 26:27–28 NIV 1984). He was referring to His own blood, soon to be shed.
When Jesus took bread and broke it and took the cup and drank from it, He knew what He was doing. He understood that His breaking the bread was a type, or shadow, of His offering His own body to be mutilated, beaten, and pierced. When He offered His disciples the cup, it represented His blood being poured out.
As Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal, He told them, "I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:16). After saying this about His death, Jesus looked at the 12 men who had walked with Him through thick and thin. Jesus tried to explain the coming events to His disciples, but they wouldn't receive what He was saying. He didn't get upset with their lack of understanding. He simply continued to encourage, minister to, and instruct them.
Jesus did His best to strengthen His disciples—to give them encouragement and hope that would sustain them through the coming hours. He knew that they would be tested to the limit. He understood that they were about to face the most trying three days of their lives.
According to the Scriptures, when Jesus was arrested, the disciples ran away (Matt. 26:56). Even Peter, who had said, " 'Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!' " (Matt. 26:35 NKJV), stood in the courtyard outside the high priest's house and said, "I don't even know who this man is!" (Luke 22:54–62).
When the hour finally arrived, Jesus was beaten, mocked, and scorned as all the forces of hell unleashed their power against Him. Picture in your mind Jesus standing in the judgment hall with the crown of thorns upon His head, blood streaming down His forehead onto His beard and dripping onto the floor, his back cut to ribbons from the stripes that had been laid upon Him. There He stood, condemned to death so we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Jesus chose to walk up Golgotha's hill. He said, "I lay down My life. No man takes it from Me" (John 10:17–18). Jesus went to the cross willingly. And with three nails and two rough pieces of lumber, He built a bridge whereby mankind could pass from death to life—from the slavery of sin to the freedom of glorious salvation!
Jesus' death on the cross was God's divine plan to deliver mankind from Satan. Satan had walked into God's garden and had stolen man from Him. God had to pay a ransom to buy mankind back, and that ransom was the death of His Son Jesus on the cross. Jesus paid the ultimate price and made the supreme sacrifice. But He arose! God planned the cross so He could ransom us, make us whole, and give us everything that He says belongs to us!
The Communion Table speaks to us of its origins in the Jewish Passover, which commemorated the deliverance of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The Communion Table speaks of our deliverance. Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, was slain so we could be saved, and His blood has been applied to our hearts. Jesus is our Passover Lamb!
FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM
"I have eagerly desired
to eat this Passover with you."
—Luke 22:15 (NIV 1984)
Jesus longed with all His heart to eat the last Passover meal before His death with His disciples. Why? Because at the end of that meal, He would institute a new "Passover meal" which we call the Lord's Supper, or Communion. It symbolizes mankind's redemption from slavery to sin. Jesus knew His death would provide deliverance for all people from the chains of sin, sickness, and poverty forever.
Jesus looked forward to fulfilling the will of God in the earth, even though it meant His death on Calvary. He eagerly awaited the cross that stood before Him because He understood the message it would preach for centuries to come. He looked toward His impending death with hope and anticipation, because He knew that He was the Sacrificial Lamb for all mankind.
To learn more about what Jesus accomplished at Calvary, go to http://www.khm.com/0xw5 and read the article “Christ: The Bread of Life” by Kenneth W. Hagin.