Dear Friends in Christ,                                                                     April 1, 2010

In this season of remembering Christ’s death and resurrection we are called to remember and reflect upon the Passover of God, what we know as Easter. It is our time for introspection and self-examination of our faith and life in Christ.   This is a time for us to remember the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation, not only for His people but also for the creation.

The Passover of Israel was the Covenant that originated with their salvation and deliverance from Egypt.  It was a memorial service that was to be preformed by their families “as a festival to the Lord – a lasting ordinance.”  It was to be an “everlasting covenant” to remember God bringing them out of Egypt with “a mighty hand.”

The Passover festival was "a thanksgiving for the facts past and present" in the representation of the Exodus from Egypt, and the looking for the Messiah.  Jesus took the traditional meal of the Kiddush (a meal of male Jews consisting of a rabbi and his followers) whose purpose was to prepare for the Sabbath of a festival.  The Kiddush meal was leaven bread and used only one cup.  This contrasts to the many cups used in administering the Passover.

The Kiddush meal is the major event from which the Lord's Supper is derived. The elements of the Kiddush provided Christ with the liturgical symbols of the Eucharist.  The Kiddush bread, symbolic of the faith in God’s deliverance through the Passover, was used to symbolize the body of Christ.  The Lord took the thanksgiving liturgy of the Passover and used the example of "to recall the Messiah" to be replaced it with the “recalling” to do this "in remembrance of Him" (the Messiah) and to look to that future when He will come again.

In this he took the use of the facts past and present, and changed them into the facts past and future.  He took the covenant of the Exodus Passover and changed it to the New Covenant of remembering His having come as the Messiah, and His promise to return.  Now Salvation was not limited to the Jews.  The people of the world had become the “chosen people” with the Jews as part of God’s Covenant and salvation plan for creation.

           The Eucharist is to remember the one sacrifice of Christ for all time, and all people.  It is the sacrament that reminds us of Christ presence with us in the meal and in our life, and in our faith.  The Eucharist as a meal, is not to be taken without meaning.  John Calvin states in the words of St. Augustine, "Prepare not your jaws, but your heart; it is for this that the supper is enjoyed... We are fed... not by what we see but by what we believe.”  The Reformation, in essence, brought the Eucharist back to the center of the church’s focus.  The New Covenant is the Passover of God established through Christ for our salvation as God’s people.  It is the center of our life, and the center of faith as followers of the Christ. 

 

           Yours-In-Christ,  Jim