The Passover and the Last Supper

Next week is the ancient Hebrew observance of Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. 

The Israelites in Egypt were given instruction to observe these as "a permanent ordinance" (Exodus 12:14).

 

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    To this day—3,500 years later—Jewish families are faithful to conduct the Passover Seder to be reminded of their flight from Egypt.  The Passover is the longest running religious observance known to man.

If the feasts were to be “a permanent ordinance,” should the Christian believer be conducting a Passover meal in his home?

I can easily answer “No” for two reasons.  First, the Christian was never given the feast as his own.  This is a Jewish observance, meaningful to the physical children of Abraham.  It is a reminder of the exhibition of God’s grace displayed to physical Israel in the Exodus.  Too many Christians today have a subtle replacement theology that causes them to consider themselves Jewish in some respects.  While our Christian faith is dependent upon Jewish roots, Christians are not Jews.  The book of Revelation condemned those “who say they are Jews but are not” (Revelation 2:9).  Because Christians are not Jews, they do not need to observe the Jewish feasts.

Second, the Christian is clearly free from the Law.  Romans 7, the entire book of Galatians, and other New Testament texts make this clear.  The Law has been fulfilled in Christ.  Being free from the Law, we have no obligation to fulfill its demands.

This said, a Christian can find great wonderment and blessing in observing these ordinances with Jewish friends and neighbors, and in learning about these observances as part of his own Holy History.  He must, however, be very careful not to place himself under the obligation of observance, creating a New Testament form of Old Testament legalism. 

Christians should also be very careful not to rob the Jew of Jewish feasts.  We can make such focus on “Christ in the Passover” that the Jew is robbed of the Jewishness of his feast.  I am afraid that there are many Christians who say they do not believe in replacement theology but they have “baptized” every Jewish Old Testament observance into their Christian faith so that the Jew is left with nothing of what God gave him.

Many Christians believe that the Lord’s Supper is the New Testament Passover.  I am convinced that this is a misinterpretation of the New Testament, and a subtle means of robbing the Jew of the Passover.  The Lord’s Supper is not a baptized Passover.  The Lord’s Supper is a completely new observance given exclusively to the church just as the Passover was given exclusively to the Jew.   There is a debate among theologians about content of the Last Supper—was it the Passover meal, or the day before the Passover?  I believe that the Passover was to be celebrated the day following the Last Supper, making the Last Supper a new and never before experienced meal for Believers. 

To hear my sermon explaining the Passover and the Last Supper, click here and then choose sermon #72.  See the attachment below to open the Listener Guide.

While remembering the Jewish observance of the Passover, join with me in praying for the Peace of Jerusalem! 

 



 
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Randy White,
Apr 14, 2011, 11:27 PM
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