Assembled together on the night before he died, Jeshua and his disciples and closest friends came together in an upper room to celebrate the Passover meal. They recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses. They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt. They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.
That night the 14th of Nisan is one Jesus wanted to be remembered for an other occasion as well. Not only had his followers to remember the deliverance of God’s Chosen People, the Israelites, but now their rabbi had opened they way for others than Jews.
By his own example the sent one from God showed how his followers had to become servants for God and for the People of God. Like Jesus had called for people to follow him, the apostles had to come to do so too. They too had to become as humble as Christ was. As a sign of humbleness Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The work which is reserved for servants Jesus did and he also asked them to do the same for one another. There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol. Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads to freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters. Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.
In the end, in life which passes so quickly and everything is vanity (like Solomon writes in today’s reading – Ecclesiastes 1) everything turns around “Giving and Receiving”. We all have received the Grace of God by the sent one from God, who is the son of man and the son of God, who gave his life for our sins.
Like Jesus offered himself as a lamb of God to have his blood as a signpost to deliver us from the punishment of death, we too should offer our lives as we are strengthened by the Messiah and are giving life-spirit by the blood of Christ, being partakers in the Body of Christ.
Thanks to the ransom offer brought by Jesus God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.
As God commanded to remember the night the firstborns of Israel where saved so also Jesus asked his followers to remember the day he gave his body and poured out his blood for the salvation of mankind.
Long before the Mosaic Law covenant was altered, Jehovah foretold through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make with the nation of Israel “a new covenant.”
32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,+ ‘my covenant that they broke,+ although I was their true master,’* declares Jehovah.”
33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them,+ and in their heart I will write it.+ And I will become their God, and they will become my people.”+(Jeremiah 31:32, 33)
Stained glass image of the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) with a Christian banner. photo by John Workman in St. Ignatius church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Throughout history we have seen how God made Himself a people. For a very long time it was for the People of Israel that there was a covenant on which they could count. One of the regulations or demands was to remember how the exodus from Egypt was made possible. That putting of blood at the doorposts could also considered as a signature of choosing for God, which made it possible to be passed over for damnation or destruction. After that event there was still a need of offers to be brought to the temple or synagogue. But on the 14th of Nisan Jesus spoke about an other offer which would not have to be repeated any more and which would be sufficient for all times. though that offer would not take away the remembrance of the liberation marks.
Jesus came to institute and Evening Meal on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. Speaking of the cup of wine, he told his 11 faithful apostles:
“This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20)
Matthew’s account quotes Jesus as saying regarding the wine:
“This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26:27, 28)
Jesus’ shed blood validates the new covenant. That blood also makes possible the forgiveness of sins once and for all time.
A few years later the apostle Paul would remind the new followers
14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.+ 15 I speak as to men with discernment; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ?+ The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?+ 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body,+ for we are all partaking of that one loaf. (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17)
On that special intimate night rabbi Jeshua had taken the bread and the wine.
26 As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it,+ and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”+(Matthew 26:26)
19 Also, he took a loaf,+ gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body,+ which is to be given in your behalf.+ Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+(Luke 22:19)
Notice how Jesus says
Keep doing this in remembrance of me.
The blood+ of the covenant,+ which is to be poured out in behalf of many+ for forgiveness of sins + should, like the blood of the lambs for the liberation of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery, be contributed to the heathen or pagan people who are willing to come under the blood of Christ, whitewashed from sin. But they should remember it and come together, more than once in a year, because Jesus asks it to do it often and whenever we do it to do it in remembrance of him.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night+ on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body,+ which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+ 25 He did the same with the cup+ also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant+ by virtue of my blood.+ Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”+ (1 Chorinthians 11: 23-26)
For that reason we should come together today and remember the Exodus out of Egypt, out of slavery of the worldly work, but also the exodus from the slavery of sin and death.
14 “‘This day will serve as a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to Jehovah throughout your generations. As a lasting statute, you should celebrate it.(Exodus 12:14)
Please read also the related articles concerning this special weekend, 14 Nisan and following days:
- 1 -15 Nisan
- Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
- This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
- 14-15 Nisan and Easter
- Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
- Getting out of the dark corners of this world
- A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
- Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
- The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
- Day of remembrance coming near
- A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
- Observance of a day to Remember
- Jesus memorial
- Holidays, holy days and traditions
- Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
- White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
- First month of the year and predictions
- Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
- Death of Christ on the day of preparation
- A Great Gift commemorated
- Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
- Passover and Liberation Theology
- Seven days of Passover
- Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
- Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
- The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
- The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
- Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
- Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
- Like grasshoppers
- Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
- Who Would You Rather Listen To?
- Focus on outward appearances
- After darkness a moment of life renewal
- Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
We wish you a nice memorial day and a holy Pesach
Johannes de Doper wijst Christus aan als het Lam Gods. Ca. 1500-1510 – Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art – Master of the Saint John Altarpiece