Greetings Brethren around the world on this Passover evening!
We are gathered this evening for the observance of the most sacred and solemn and sobering event of the entire year. We are sobered because our Savior had to die for our very sins. The purpose of our convening this evening is to reaffirm our continued faith in the sacrifice of both the body and the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ and to reaffirm the Covenant we made with God at baptism.
Yet, it's a joyous time because Christ has died for our sins ushering in a New Covenant with direct access to the Father and the promise of eternal life.
First, let's look at the Old Testament Passover because there are parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament—the Old Testament Israel and the New Testament Israel. One was a physical nation spared physical death. But we are a spiritual nation that can be spared spiritual death.
Let's turn now to Exodus chapter 12 and we will begin in verse 3. Verse 3 of Exodus 12:
Exodus 12:3. Speak [you] unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house: (KJV)
Exodus 12:5. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: [you] shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6) And [you] shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
7) 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. (KJV)
Exodus 12:11. And thus shall [you] eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and [you] shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover.
12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and [I] will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the [Eternal].
13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where [you] are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and [you] shall keep it a feast to the [Eternal] throughout your generations; [you] shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Exodus 12:21. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover.
22) And [you] shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
23) For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he [sees] the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
24) And [you] shall observe this thing for an ordinance to [you] and to [your] sons for ever.
25) And it shall come to pass, when [you have] come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he [has] promised, that [you] shall keep this service.
26) And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What [do you] mean by this service?
27) That [you] shall say, It is the sacrifice of the [Eternal's] Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. (KJV)
Exodus 12:43. And the [Eternal] said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the Passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
44) But every man's servant that is bought for money, when [you have] circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. (KJV)
And we understand that circumcision is a type of baptism.
Exodus 12:45. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof.
46) In one house shall it be eaten; [you shall] not carry forth [anything] of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall [you] break a bone thereof.
47) All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
48) And when a stranger shall sojourn with [you], and will keep the Passover to the [Eternal], let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. (KJV)
This is why no unbaptized person can partake of the New Testament Passover.
The sacrifices, as we know, were instituted later with the slaying of lambs along with other animals.
Now, the Old Testament Passover is symbolic of what was later to follow. Let's turn now to John 1 and read verse 29.
John 1:29. The next day John [sees] Jesus coming unto him, and [he says], Behold [referring to Jesus Christ] the Lamb of God, which [takes] away the [sins] of the world. (KJV)
Christ—the Lamb of God.
Now, let's turn to 1 Corinthians 5 and verse 7.
1 Corinthians 5:7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that [you] may be a new lump, as [you] are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: (KJV)
Christ, the Lamb of God, is our Passover.
Further instruction is given in Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 1.
Hebrews 10:1. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers [thereof] perfect.
2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance [or a reminder] again made of sins every year.
4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (KJV)
Hebrews 10:9. Then said he, Lo, I come to do [Your] will, O God. He [takes] away the first [referring to the First Covenant], that he may establish the second [referring to the Second Covenant].
10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [and] for all. (KJV)
Hebrews 10:9. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (KJV)
Hebrew 10:14. For by one offering [He has] perfected for ever them that are sanctified [or set apart for a holy purpose]. (KJV)
Now let's turn to Romans chapter 5 and we will read verses 8 and 9. [This talks] about [how] the Old Testament Passover is symbolic of what we are here to observe tonight. Romans 5:8:
Romans 5:8. But God [commended His] love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (KJV)
Tonight we are here to observe the Passover according to the example set for us by Jesus Christ on the night prior to His crucifixion. Let's turn to Luke chapter 22 and begin in verse 7.
Luke 22:7. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed.
8) And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. (KJV)
Luke 22:14. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: (KJV)
Christ wanted to be with His people that night and to eat and share that Passover with them.
But Christ changed the way we keep the Passover. Paul instructed us in that manner in 1 Corinthians 11. We will begin in verse 23. Paul says:
1 Corinthians 11:23. For I have received of the Lord [directly from Jesus Christ] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24) And when he had given thanks, he [broke] it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 11:25. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do [you], as [often] as [you] drink it, in remembrance of me.
26) For as often as [you] eat this bread, and drink this cup, [you] do [show forth] the Lord's death till he [comes].
27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat [of] this bread, and drink [of] this cup of the Lord, [in an unworthy manner (as it should be translated)], shall be guilty of the body and [the] blood of the [Eternal].
28) But let a man [or a woman] examine himself [or herself], and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29) For he that [eats] and [drinks] unworthily, (KJV)
And again, the Greek means "in an unworthy manner."
1 Corinthians 11:29b. ... [eats] and [drinks] damnation to himself [or judgment to himself], not discerning the Lord's body. (KJV)
Now before the bread and the wine, Christ did a most unusual thing to get us in the proper attitude to receive the symbols. He instituted an ordinance of humility that we know as the Ordinance of Foot-Washing.
Let's turn to John chapter 13 and begin in verse 2.
John 13:2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
3) Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4) He [rose] from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5) After that he [poured] water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6) Then [he came] to Simon Peter: and Peter [said] unto him, Lord, [do You] wash my feet?
7) Jesus [Christ] answered and said unto him, What I do [you don't know] now; but [you shall] know hereafter.
8) Peter [said] ..., [You shall] never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I [don't wash [your feet, you have] no part with me.
9) Simon Peter [said] unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10) Jesus [said] to him, He that is washed [he who has a clean body, needs] not [except] to wash his feet, but [he] is clean [everywhere]: and [you] are clean, but not all.
11) For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, [You] are not all clean.
12) So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, [Do you know] what I have done to you?
Even washing the traitor's feet—the thief and the liar's feet. Verse 13:
John 13:13. [You] call me Master and Lord: and [you] say well; for so I am.
14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; [you] also ought to wash one another's feet.
15) For I have given you an example [an example of humility], that [you] should do as I have done to you.
16) [Truly, truly], I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17) If [you] know these things, happy are [you] if [you] do them. (KJV)
And we also know in Matthew 28 and the beginning of verse 20, we're told that we are to teach "them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." All things include the foot-washing.
So please pause your CD at this time and commence the foot-washing.
Now, we will take and address the symbols that Christ used on the very night He was betrayed. Let's go to John chapter 6 and begin in verse 53. John 6 verse 53:
John 6:53. Then Jesus said unto them, [Truly, truly], I say unto you, Except [you] eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, [you] have no life in you.
54) Whoso [eats] my flesh, and [drinks] my blood, [has] eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56) He that [eats] my flesh, and [drinks] my blood, [dwells] in me, and I in him.
57) As the living Father [has] sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that [eats] me, even he shall live by me.
58) This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that [eats] of this bread shall live for ever. (KJV)
The Bread and the Wine are both necessary for salvation. They symbolize the body and the blood of our Savior.
The Bread symbolizes the broken body of Jesus Christ willingly given for us.
Let's turn to Luke chapter 22 and verse 19.
Luke 22:19. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and [broke] it, and gave [it] unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (KJV)
The prophet Isaiah refers to this in Isaiah chapter 53 verses 4 through 6. Isaiah 53:4:
Isaiah 53:4. Surely he [has] borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5) But he was wounded... (KJV)
The New International says, "He was pierced."
Isaiah 53:5b. ... for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV)
Verse 6 tells us that the primary focus of this is spiritual healing. Verse 6:
Isaiah 53:6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the [Eternal has] laid on him the iniquity of us all. (KJV)
Now Christ repeated this quote from Isaiah in Matthew chapter 8 verses 16 and 17. Matthew 8 verses 16 and 17:
Matthew 8:16. When [evening] was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, (KJV)
And the Greek word for "infirmities" means feebleness of mind or feebleness of body.
Matthew 8:17b. ... and [He] bare our sicknesses. (KJV)
Christ, through His stripes, heals our mind and our body and can forgive our sins, obviously.
1 Peter 2 verses 19 through 25.
1 Peter 2:19. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20) For what glory is it, if, when [you] be buffeted for your faults, [you] shall take it patiently? but if, when [you] do well, [you] suffer for it, [you] take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21) For even hereunto were [you] called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that [we] should follow his [footsteps]:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that [judges] righteously:
24) Who his own self [bore] our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes [you] were healed.
25) For [you] were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and [the] Bishop... (KJV)
The Greek means "Overseer."
1 Peter 2:25b. ... the Shepherd and [the Overseer] of your [lives]. (KJV)
Romans 12 verse 5.
Romans 12:5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (KJV)
Once we are baptized, once we have received God's spirit, we become members of the Body of Christ, all of us together.
1 Corinthians 12 and verse 27 tell us:
1 Corinthians 12:27. Now [you] are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (KJV)
Now, we will read 1 Corinthians 10 the second part of verse 16, and then verse 17. 1 Corinthians 10 verse 16b:
1 Corinthians 10:16. The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17) For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (KJV)
When we take the bread, we become one with Christ and one with each other by the very fact of sharing the bread.
Now, we will have a prayer over the bread before we take it.
Almighty God, we come before You and we ask You to bless this bread as a symbol of Christ's broken body for us, given for our healing—spiritual, physical and emotional and mental healing.
Help us to grow in unity within the Body of Christ. Help us to realize that Christ is the Head of the Body, that we are members and we need to support and serve one another.
So, we do ask Your blessing at this moment on the bread. We pray this in our Savior's name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Please pause the CD and take the bread.
The Wine is representative of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Let's turn to Hebrews chapter 9 and begin in verse 11.
Hebrews 9:11. But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, [sanctifies] to the purifying of the flesh:
14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (KJV)
Hebrews 9:22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood [there can be] no remission. (KJV)
John chapter 19 verse 34, we see where blood was, indeed, shed—Christ's blood. John 19 verse 34:
John 19:34. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came out blood and water. (KJV)
Christ died because of His shed blood. He bled to death.
I John 1 and verse 7, we see the purpose of the shed blood.
I John 1:7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son [cleanses] us from all sin. (KJV)
Then, let's turn to Matthew chapter 26 and read verses 27 and 28 showing us what Christ did this very evening. Matthew 26 verse 27:
Matthew 26:27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink [you] all of it;
28) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (KJV)
Now, we will have a prayer in order to bless the wine.
Great God in Heaven, we come before You on this Passover Evening. We ask You please bless this wine as a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of our sins.
We thank You for the sacrifice that He willingly went through. We thank You that He was willing to die for our sins before we were ever born.
So, please bless this wine to this use. We ask this in our Savior's name again, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Please pause the CD and take the wine.
Let us spend a few closing minutes to read what Christ told His disciples the very night He was betrayed. These are His last words with them before He was crucified. They are very, very important. John 13, we're going to read verses 33 through 35.
John 13:33. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. [You] shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, [Where] I go, [you] cannot come; so now I say to you.
34) A new commandment I give unto you, That [you] love one another; as I have loved you, that [you] also love one another.
35) By this [this love] shall all know that [you] are my disciples, if [you] have love one to another. (KJV)
John chapter 14, we will read verses 15 through 27. Christ continues this theme and He says in verse 15 of John 14:
John 14:15. If [you] love me, keep my commandments.
16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that [it] may abide with you for ever;
17) Even the Spirit of truth; [which] the world cannot receive, because it [sees it] not, neither [knows it]: but [you] know [it]; for [it dwells] with you, and shall be in you.
18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19) Yet a little while, and the world [sees] me no more; but [you] see me: because I live, [you] shall live also.
20) At that day [you] shall know that I am in my Father, and [you] in me, and I in you.
21) He that [has] my commandments, and [keeps] them, he it is that [loves] me: and he that [loves] me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself [or make myself apparent] to him.
22) Judas [said] unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that [You will make Yourself] unto us, and not unto the world?
23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him [inside him].
24) He that [loves] me not [keeps] not my sayings: and the word which [you] hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy [Spirit, which] the Father will send in my name, [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (KJV)
Verse 27 [is] very important!
John 14:27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world [gives], give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (KJV)
Now, John 15 and we will read verses 5 through 14. John 15 verse 5:
John 15:5. I am the vine, [you] are the branches: He that [abides] in me, and I in him, the same [brings] forth much fruit: for without me [you] can do nothing. (KJV)
Only Christ's spirit in us brings forth fruit.
John 15:6. If a man [or a woman abides] not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7) If [you] abide in me, and my words abide in you, [you] shall ask what [you] will, and it shall be done unto you.
8) Herein is my Father glorified, that [you] bear much fruit; so shall [you] be my disciples.
9) As the Father loved me, [also] I [have] loved you: continue [you] in my love. (KJV)
Verse 10 of John 15:
John 15:10. If [you] keep my commandments, [you] shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12) This is my commandment, That [you] love one another, as I have loved you.
13) Greater love [has] no man than this, that a man [or a woman] lay down his [or her] life for his friends.
14) [You] are my friends, if [you] do whatsoever I command you. (KJV)
John 16 and verse 33:
John 16:33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me [you] might have peace. In the world [you are going to] have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (KJV)
And then, one final Scripture in John 17 beginning in verse 1:
John 17:1. These words [spoke] Jesus, and [He] lifted up his eyes to heaven, (KJV)
And this is the true "Lord's Prayer." Christ was praying to the Father this very last time in front of His disciples at least. He said:
John 17:1b. Father, the hour is come; glorify [Your] Son, that [Your] Son also may glorify [You]:
2) As [You have] given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as [You have] given him.
3) And this is life eternal, that they might know [You] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [You have] sent.
John 17:20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21) That they all may be one; as [You], Father, [are] in me, and I in [You], that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that [You have] sent me.
22) And the glory which [You gave] me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23) I in them, and [You] in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that [You have] sent me, and [have] loved them, as [You have] loved me.
Now, please pause the CD and sing a closing hymn.
Page 41 - In Thy Loving Kindness, Lord
Words (121KB PDF) | Music (2.63 MB MP3)
We pray you have a wonder Passover. And we pray that this evening after you go home, you will reflect on the meaning of this day and the very solemnness of this occasion. Then, we can celebrate the Days of Unleavened Bread together in unity and peace.
Rick Railston, Elder
Transcribed by kb March 10, 2012