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Posts tagged ‘Last Supper’

Holy Week – The Passover Lamb

As promised in yesterday’s message, today I am writing with a bit more detail about Passover.

Old Testament Passover

In the 1956 film, The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston, one of the more memorable scenes is when Moses requests Pharaoh to, “Let my people go!”

God appointed Moses to lead the Israelites (the Hebrews) out of bondage from Egypt. In order to do this, Moses approached Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) asking that he let the Hebrews be set free. But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he said no to Moses. Every time Pharaoh said no, a plague was brought upon Egypt. There were ten plagues total. The last of the ten plagues was known as the “death to the first born in all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 11:5)

305569544_640In order to be saved from this coming plague, people had to place the blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes. If the blood of a lamb was on the door posts, then the death plague would “pass over” that home and not kill the first born child. From the Scriptures, we know that the Hebrew people followed the instructions Moses gave them to put blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes. But, the Egyptians did not do this and they soon saw the effects of the tenth plague upon their families. When Pharaoh saw his first born son dead because of the plague, he was distraught and he let the Hebrews be set free. To this day, Jewish people still remember the “passover” as the celebration of the deliverance of their ancestors from Egypt.

Read this in Exodus 12

Passover and Jesus

newJewish Passover is commonly celebrated with a meal called a “seder.” Part of the seder meal consists of six items on a plate, and four cups of wine, each taken in a significant order to aid in retelling the Old Testament Passover story.

What does Passover have to do with Jesus? This is an excellent questions with many layers to it. As mentioned in my previous post, Jesus was Jewish and he took part in the customs of Passover (John 13:1). The last Passover meal that Jesus participated in is commonly referred to as “The Last Supper.” If you are familiar with the Christian church, this term may sound familiar.

As Jesus is partaking in this passover meal with his disciples, he tells them many things that they are not understanding. Jesus is making a new covenant (Luke 22). He knows that soon the disciples will understand that He is the Passover Lamb that saves people from death (1 Corinthians 5:7) and that the Passover lamb in the book of Exodus was a foreshadow to what Jesus came to fulfill while on earth. Jesus came to deliver all people, to free us from the bondage of sin.

Jews vs. Christians

jew+to+christianYou may be asking, what is the difference between a Jewish belief system and a Christian? The difference between Jews and Christians is that Christians receive Jesus as the Messiah. Christians receive Jesus as the savior who paid the penalty for our sins. Jews do not believe this. Jewish people believe that Jesus WAS NOT the prophesied Messiah spoken about in the Old Testament. Jewish people reject Jesus and currently still wait for their Messiah.

That’s why Jews still consider the Temple ruins in Jerusalem so valuable. They hope to one day be able to rebuild the temple and again be able to offer sacrifices to God for their sins. But, God does not want that. You see, God wants you to see Jesus was THE PERFECT sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27-28). No more sacrifices for sins need to be made (Hebrews 10). Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb that paid for all the sins of the world. All we have to do is RECEIVE THAT GIFT IN FAITH (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:25).

Know that receiving this truth of Jesus Christ will change your life forever (literally) and will be the most important decision that you will ever make. Again, I know today’s message holds a lot of information and probably questions too. Feel free to send me your questions and we will see how we can answer them together.

Lastly, I leave you with this beautiful song by Gateway Worship, “O The Blood” and  these words:

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

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The Last Supper Model

I remember when the professor of my Bible class diagrammed for us a visual representation of the Last Supper. It was very different from the familiar “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci that most of us have seen.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting

In my recent trip to Israel, our group stopped by an olive tree wood shop in Bethlehem to check out souvenirs. The shop had hundreds of carved items including crosses, saints, angels, nativity scenes and so on. But, among all the items was one that caught my eye! When my professor and I both saw it we were like two little kids who had just found the best toy in the store.

Olive tree wood model of the Last Supper

In this representation of the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples sit at an “n” shaped table. The first seat on the lower left is the disciple, John. John is reclining back, looking at Jesus who is seated next to him in the second spot on the left, also know as the place/seat of honor. On the other side of Jesus is Judas. Peter would probably be the last disciple across the table on the right.

In that time period, tables for eating were not high off the ground like they are today, they were low to the ground. People didn’t use chairs but rather they reclined to eat. Leaning on their left arm for support, their legs were to the back  and they used the right hand to eat. To talk to the person next to you, one would lean back onto the others chest. For example, John would lean back onto Jesus’ chest to speak to him. Jesus would lean back onto Judas to speak with him. Interesting to think about the intimacy in the set up and then remember that Judas would stab Jesus in the back with betrayal just a short while after this supper.

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