Title: The Christian Passover
Focus: The purpose of the Passover is to bring the past to the present to root God’s people in their identity as God’s redeemed first born. The same is true of the Lord’s supper
Function: To help the congregation to understand the importance of teaching the meaning behind the Lord’s Supper to shape and form their identity as God’s people
Text: Exodus 11-13; 1 Cor 11:23-25
I. Introduction A. Some songs get stuck in your head, even if they are very very old. Why? B. When you hear something repeatedly, it makes a lifelong impression in your mind C. Israel had something they were to repeat for all time II. Text: Exodus 12-13 A. After God announces last plague in chapter 11, narrative slows to a crawl 1. The flow and pattern of the story comes to an abrubt halt here 2. We would expect the climax of the story to be the telling of the 10th plague, but only one verse in deovted to that (12:29) 3. Instead, verse after verse after verse is given to.... ritual B. Chapters 12 and 15 weaves narrative, ritual and liturgy together. C. 3 Rituals here: 1. Passover 2. Feast of Unleavened bread 3. Consencration and redemption of the firstborn D. We in our fellowship tend to be anti-ritual, anti-tradition, anti-liturgical E. Here God instructs a ritual and the words to go with it (liturgy). Why? III. There were three things God was interested in A. God was interested in establishing a memorial (12:13) 1. What is a memorial? -- A rememberance 2. These things were to call to mind what God had done 3. Was Passover JUST a memorial? B. God was interested in participation (12:4, 42) 1. All Israel was to do this. If family too small to consume lamb, they joined another family. A community affair! 2. Not just remember what happened to forefathers, but "us" (12:27; 13:8, 14) 3. The past was brought to the present in these memorials 4. They “relived” the events C. God was interested in bring the past to the present to root his people in their identity as God’s redeemed people 1. Notice how ritual is inseparably interwoven with narrative here 2. This was to help prevent it from becoming "empty" ritual 3. They rehearsed to their children the events of the past 4. Children hear it over and over again through the years, shapes their identity and the way they live D. But wait, we are Christians - Yes, we are Christians, and it significant that Lord’s Supper during passover IV. Is the Lord’s Supper strictly a rememberance, or is it participation like Passover? A. I Cor 11:23-25 - It is a “memorial” like the Passover B. I Cor 10:16-17 - It is a “fellowship” or “participation” C. I Cor 11:26 - It is a proclamation - “teaching” just like Passover D. Lord’s Supper as a “memorial” is really no different than the Passover 1. Just just transformed the meaning 2. However, the aspects of “ritual” “liturgy” and “story” are the same E. How well are we doing with this? V. Do we fulfill the purpose of this ritual? A. The Passover was prepared on the 10th day and sacrificed on the 14th 1. How much preparation do we put into our hearts and minds? 2. The Lord’s Supper was a central part of Lord’s Day for Early Xns B. The Passover festival was an all night and day afair - Do we rush through the Lord’s Supper? (5 minutes with no comment?) C. The passover events were rehearsed and infused into the hearts and minds of the people to impress on them their identity as God’s redeemed 1. First of the year for them (for us, it is the first day of the week) 2. They didn’t go mindlessly or quietly through it. Do we? 3. ***Jewish children had no ambiguity in their minds as to what the Passover was about. What about our children and the Lord's Supper? D. Early Christians did not rush through the Lord’s Supper, They lingered. E. Early Christians were rooted in their faith, they rehearsed this every week. VI. God gave us traditions and rituals for a reason A. Traditions, rituals with their stories, -- they ROOT ourselves and children B. Only by appropriating the past can we face the future C. We proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Look back and forward. D. ***They were never intended to be mindless outward acts. If they are dry, lifeless, and dead, it is only because we have made them that way. E. What does it say about us when children can recite "my baloney has a first name" but can't recite the events surrounding the death burial and resurrection of Jesus? F. It's time to reform our rituals and make them into what God intended.