Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Remembrance of Me...

We are just about through the Passion Week and I am reminded that today is the day that the Lord instituted the Holy Communion, or Lord's Supper.
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." - John 6:35

"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me'." -Luke 22:19
It was on this day over 2,000 years ago that Jesus and His disciples partook of the Passover. But this Passover wasn't like any of the other Passovers, this one was special. It was there that Jesus commanded His disciples and His other called and chosen followers to remember His coming death and suffering for us. The way we remember that is by eating of the unleavened bread.

To understand the significance of the unleavened bread you have to look at how it is referenced through ought scripture. At the time of the first Passover in Egypt, the Children of Israel were in such a hurry to get out, that they just grabbed the bare essentials. That meant no yeast. God instructed them to observe that day each year to remember the great work He did for His children in redeeming them from the evils of Pharaoh and Egypt. Fast forward to Jesus' time when He told them to remember another day, when He would redeem them, once and for all, with His blood.

Still, there are other references to leaven or yeast in scripture that should be noted. "Whenever leaven is mentioned in the bible, 22 times in the Old Testament and 17 times in the New Testament, it always or almost always, represents sin or evil." The unleavened bread was without leaven or yeast which represents sin and Jesus, our 'bread of life', was without sin.

And still further, in the practice of a traditional Jewish Seder, the matzoh, or unleavened bread, is kept in a matzoh bag. Three pieces are kept in 3 different compartments of the bag. The middle bread is broken in two, and half of that will be hidden. After the meal, the children are sent out to find it. Then, every member of the family eats a small piece. I don't know about you, but everything about that and all of the other practices from a traditional seder meal, scream out to me, "This is all about Jesus!":

*The 3 different matzohs represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
*The middle matzoh being broken in two represents the Messiah; broken, striped and pierced for us all,
*And, the half of the middle matzoh that is hidden represents the body of Christ which was gone from the tomb

The bible is FULL of symbolism and I have to tell you, I love it! To understand the Jewish customs and know what meaning they had then, can add that much more meaning to your experience of Jesus now, because all scripture was written for our learning to teach us endurance and give us hope. And that hope we have when we take the time to remember Him and the sacrifice He made at His death on the cross.
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever. The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." -John 6:51

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