“That Old Testament feast of Passover was pointing to a day when there would be One who would come, who would be called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Ray Pritchard says when we think about the Last Supper, we can’t remove it from its original context and procedure.

“We think the Lord’s Supper is a little bit of juice and a little cup and a little piece of bread and you break it off. That is not what Passover was.”

When the Hebrews were to be delivered from Egypt, God gave them specific instructions for what to do: take a year-old lamb without spot or blemish, sacrifice it and put the blood of the spotless lamb on the door of your house, the sides and top of the door.

God’s message was clear.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Exodus 12:12-13

Over the centuries, the meal became an elaborate ritual for the Jewish people with herbs, wine, special recitations, and a sense of somber reflection. The meal the disciples would have had with Jesus would have been like this, except for one thing.

“Jesus took the Passover observance that had been handed down from the days of Moses. From that, He transformed it into what we call the Last Supper.”

Jesus spoke new words to His disciples that changed their view of the meal.

“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.’”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'” Luke 22:19-20

The Israelites remembered this meal as a meal of reflection, of deliverance from Egypt. Jesus took it one step further and showed them it was about deliverance from sin – a deliverance He would gain by His death.

“Less than twelve hours later, Jesus would be hanging on a cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem.  And forever after, they would remember what happened on Thursday night and connect it with what happened on the cross.”

“Jesus was saying, ‘The cup is My blood. The bread is My body. My blood is poured out; My body is broken. I am the one and only means of your salvation. And I am the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Ray Pritchard serves as president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based community serving Christians in 225 countries. Keep Believing Ministries exists to equip and encourage people to keep believing in Jesus. For 26 years he pastored churches in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.

Key Scriptures: John 13:14Luke 22:1-38John 13-17; Exodus 12

Featured Songs: Center of It by Chris August; Here I Am by Jeremy Camp; My Lighthouse by Rend Collective

Spiritual warfare and the Last Supper

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