Imagine the first time a lightbulb lit and stayed shining. The inventer must have been euphoric as all the hard work had finally paid off. No longer would one have to build a fire to provide light, no more candles to light, and no more oil lamps to fill and trim. The old way of providing light and security were being set aside for this new mysterious and yet to be fully understood phenomenon. Wait, I simply flip this switch and I have light??
Yesterday, we looked at the old religious practices that were being used in the life of God fearing people. The remembrance of the Passover was and is an important part of faith. For christians, observing a Seder meal reminds us of our heritage of faith that has its origins in Judaism. Today, let's look at the Passover event in Matthew and see the changing landscape of how God will deal with enslaved people from this point forward.
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples,
saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them,
saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for
the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28, NIV)
Jews were to observe the Passover and sacrifice to God as a sign of thanksgiving. The meal included elements that spoke about things suffered by the nation of Israel (such as tears, bitterness, hard labor, and slavery). Here in Matthew 26, Jesus turned a corner in this observation and offered the bread and common cup to demonstrate a new thing, a new way to address slavery, and a new way to give thanks to God. He was showing the disciples that he was the once and done sacrifice to be offered to God on behalf of all people.
He is about to show his humanity by allowing Roman soldiers to nail Him to a cross. He will later demonstrate his divinity by rising from the dead. Whoa, I'm getting ahead of the story.
The broken bread and the cup of wine were/are symbols of the sacrifice God prepared for all of humanity and that through Jesus Christ. No longer would one have to gather a perfect animal to sacrifice, no more blood to sweep over the lintel of the home, no more bitter tears and hard labor. Jesus was telling his disciples and tells the world that he is the one to bridge the gap between lost souls and Almighty God. He was offering a new and better way to experience freedom. Tonight, we'll observe the Seder and make the transition from an old way of giving thanks to a new expression that is encomapssed in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
PS: Tomorrow, we'll look at something borrowed.