Luke 22:19 – And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. KJV
We call it the Last Supper, but for Jesus and His disciples, it was the Passover where they ate the seder meal. Personally, I have only served it once, for a Wednesday night Bible study, but I shall never forget it. The congregation was engaged as the seder was shared, and afterward many came forward to taste the items on the plate. It was a time of remembrance, as God had intended.
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.Exodus 12:14 KJV
Moses had done as God commanded. He had gone into Pharaoh’s palace and told him to let God’s people go. Pharoah wasn’t interested in releasing the Hebrew slaves. So God released plagues upon the land.
- the first plague was blood in the Nile River (Exodus 7:17-18)
- the second plague was frogs everywhere (Exodus 8:3)
- the third plague was gnats everywhere (Exodus 8:16)
- the fourth plague was flies (Exodus 8:21-22 – this is when God makes a separation of His people and the Egyptians by keeping the flies away from Goshen
- the fifth plague was upon the livestock, except in Goshen – (Exodus 9:2-3)
- the sixth plague was boils on the flesh of the people and the animals, except in Goshen – (Exodus 9:8-9)
- the seventh plague was the hail upon the land, except in Goshen – (Exodus 9:18-19)
- the eighth plague was the locusts on the land, except in Goshen -(Exodus 10:4-5)
- the ninth plague was darkness on the land for three days, except in Goshen- (Exodus 10:21-23)
All of these plagues were attacks on the Egyptian gods. Our God demonstrated to them that He is the only true God. So with the tenth plague, He silenced the god of ultimate power, the pharaoh! And He did it by striking the firstborn of man and beast:
…Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.Exodus 11:4-5 KJV
Then God told Moses that would not be the case for His people. He was doing something different for His people, He was covering them in the blood:
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…Exdodus 12:7 KJV
This is where the seder meal comes into play. God told them what they were to eat on the night of the Passover forever:
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.Exodus 12:9 KJV
The seder meal has very specific items included. God told them that they were to kill a lamb, and to roast it. Although there is no longer a lamb slain and eaten, the seder plate contains a bone. It also contains a roasted egg which may represent the lack of the roasted lamb for those who do not prepare lamb for the meal.
God told them that they were to have unleavened bread and bitter herbs. On the seder plate today you will find matza, a cracker like bread that is unleavened. The bread that Jesus took, and broke:
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.Luke 22:19 KJV
Jesus connects the matza with His body. Unleavened bread representing His body without sin, given or offered for us willingly.
God told them to have bitter herbs. On the seder plate, there are bitter herbs, or horseradish. The bitter herbs represents the bitterness of slavery. With each item they took and placed in their mouths, they remembered the events of the first Passover.
And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.Exodus 12:22 KJV
Parsely or celery is dipped in salty water, not blood. The green vegetable represents life, and dipping it in the salty water is symbolic of dipping of the hyssop. There is also an apple and nut mixture called the haroset, which represents the bricks the Israelites had to make, this may have been added later.
Throughout the meal they drink from cups of wine. There are four cups of wine at the seder meal. Jesus took up a cup of wine and said:
This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.Luke 22:20 KJV
For the Jewish nation, the time of Passover is a time of remembrance. They remember the time of captivity, the plagues, the death angel passing over them, their deliverance.
For the Believer in Jesus, not only do we remember that Passover, but we also remember the Passover night when Jesus was betrayed. We remember how He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. We remember the Blood that He shed for our sins, pains, and diseases. We remember how they hung Him on the cross between two thieves, and how He died! For us!
Both events are tied together. The blood that was shed on that first Passover in Egypt was symbolic of the Blood that Jesus would shed on another Passover. That first night, God spared the firstborn of every Hebrew who was covered under the blood of the lamb. But on this night, the night that Jesus died, He was the firstborn Son of God. He had a different outcome. He died on the cross so that one day the death angel would pass over us and we would have eternal life.
He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. His death was a series of horrific events, but He told us that we are to remember these events, just like the Jewish people were told to remember the first Passover in Egypt.
It’s also a great time to remember the day He saved me. The day you were saved. A time to remember that we once was lost, but now we are found. We were blind, but now we see. However, Paul said it like this:
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.Ephesians 2:12-13 KJV
Rather you participate in the Passover with the eating of the seder meal, or you sit down to Easter dinner with your family, make sure that it is a time of remembrance. We should never forget what He did for us to give us eternal life. We should never forget the Blood that He shed for us. It’s a time worth remembering!
Our daughter played and sang this song many years ago. It has been a favorite of mine ever since! Enjoy Michael W. Smith as he sings “Above All”! Wonderful Jesus!