Hi everyone. I’m back from a week’s vacation, so it’s taking me a while to get back in the saddle of blogging. But here I am. I’m continuing this series from Exodus, “Becoming People of God”. This week we’re looking at the institution of the Passover.
This passage contains so much depth I think I could dwell here for a month or more. As I read Exodus 12 this time, I realized that the Hebrews celebrated the first Passover before the Passover actually occurred. That first night they they celebrated their salvation before they’d been saved!
While I suspect that many Hebrews that night followed Moses’ instructions out of fear, they still expressed an element of faith. At a minimum the believed that God could/would carry out His threat of killing the first born sons. At a higher level, many of the people celebrated that night out of faith that God would bring about their release that night. They ate that meal as if God had already delivered them.
Jesus demonstrated a similar example of faith at the Last Supper. The account of the Last Supper in Luke 22 emphasises Jesus’ forward view. Twice, in vs 16-17, he looks beyond the cross to a future meal with his disciples in the kingdom of God. Even when he looks forward to the cross he speaks with faith that God will complete what He has begun. When he says “this is my body given for you“, he speaks of a future event.
My pet peeve is that when we participate in the Lord’s Supper today most of the time we do so looking backward, not forward. We look backward at the cross. We look backward at our sins. We remember the suffering Jesus went through on our behalf. Yet this one dimensional approach to communion omits the promises Jesus gave his disciples.
It’s appropriate for us to remember our sins, but why not do so in a context of celebrating their forgiveness? Why do we not do a better job of remembering Jesus promise of the future meal with him? Why do we not spend our time around the Lord’s Table remembering that he’s coming back for his saints?
Even 1 Corinthians 11:26, (the classic backward perspective passage due to the instruction “examine yourself“” in v 28, but more on that another time), looks outward when it describes the Lord’s Supper as a proclamation, not a commemoration. It also looks forward by say that we do this “until he comes“.
At the core of this discussion is the issue of how we live out our faith. Do we live as though God’s promises are already completed? This was the challenge for the Isrealites at the first Passover, and for Jesus at the Last Supper. As we participate in the Lord’s Supper this is the question we should be asking ourselves. In earlier posts I posed the questions this way, “Most of us believe in God, but how many Christians actually believe God?” Read those posts here.
Do you agree or disagree? How do you approach the Lord’s Supper? Please leave a comment!