Thursday, 17 April 2014

From Passover to Pentecost: The Last Passover

This was G Campbell Morgan's way of describing the event which we often call the Last Supper. The events of the trials and crucifixion took place during the Jewish celebration of the Passover. By the time they gathered together in the upper room the covenant nation of Israel had celebrated Passover, somewhat sporadically, for some 13-1400 years. The First Passover took place in Egypt and looked forward to God's deliverance and Exodus. Jesus and the Twelve gathered in the upper room to share their meal.

There are some remarkable parallels that connect the mediator of the Sinai Covenant with the mediator of the New Covenant. Peter, James and John witnessed Christ's transfiguration and Luke records the topic of the conversation between Christ, Moses and Elijah.
And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Luke 9:30–31 NKJV.
There are words here which might have been translated very differently. The topic of conversation, literally, was 'his exodus which he would finish at Jerusalem'. Moses and Elijah engaged Christ in a conversation concerning 'his exodus' which must be 'finished' in Jerusalem. The scene is being set for a replay of the First Passover. Christ's death was not a tragedy or accident but an Exodus to be accomplished.

In part this explains the strange comment made by Christ in that upper room at the Last Passover.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; Luke 22:14–15 NKJV.
The expression is very intense 'with desire I have desired' and the word for 'desire' is the one usually translated as 'lust' in the New Testament. This is a a testimony to a craving desire, an all consuming longing to celebrate 'this Passover with you before I suffer'. Why? and what is the unique significance of 'this Passover'? The next verse is our clue;
for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Luke 22:16 NKJV.
The annual celebration of the Passover had always looked backwards to an event in the history of the covenant people but now Christ declares that every previous celebration had been not only a commemoration but a prophecy looking forwards to a future Passover. The annual Passovers had been a promise that one day must be fulfilled in a a New Passover and a new Exodus.

The shadows and types had served their purpose. Now the reality at which they had pointed has arrived. This would be the Last Jewish Passover. A new tradition is being born. No longer the Seder once a year but now... often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 1 Cor 11:26 NKJV.
Events will move quickly now and Christ will be seen not only as the New Covenant's mediator but as its Passover Lamb.
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 1 Cor 5:7 NKJV.

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