Passover. It’s a Jewish holiday right? Yes… and no. You see, it was a celebration of the Passover where Messiah Jesus met with His disciples for what has traditionally been called “The Last Supper.”
Yep, the great, intimate evening, where Jesus washed His disciples feet and shared what most Christians call “Communion” for the first time, was actually a traditional meal celebrated by the Hebrews for centuries prior to the final evening Jesus would spend with His followers before His crucifixion.
So, the “Holy Eucharist” is actually a Jewish sacrament? Well, at its genesis, yes. You may ask “How can that be?”
Well, at its core, the Christian faith heritage is Jewish. We Christians sometimes forget that Jesus was a Jew. He wasn’t a Catholic. He wasn’t a Methodist. No, Jesus wasn’t even a Baptist. Why, followers of Jesus weren’t called “Christians” until years after Jesus’s resurrection.
And that’s the really cool thing about Passover, known in Hebrew circles as “Pesach.” You see, I believe Passover is a unique holiday that God has given us in that it is Jewish and Christian at the same time.
Passover celebrates the story of God’s faithfulness to deliver the Hebrew people from the hand of Pharaoh and their slavery. You may recall the story found in Exodus 12 in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. God told the people of Israel to take a lamb, one for each household, and kill it and paint its blood on the doorposts of the home. And then, when the tenth plague came upon the land of Egypt, the death of the first-born child, the Angel of Death would “pass over” any home protected by the blood of the lamb. The result of this plague was that Pharaoh released the Hebrews from their bondage. And, so the blood of the lamb became their freedom.
Now, fast forward about 1500 years. John the Baptizer said of Jesus in John 1:29 “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” The blood of Jesus, via His crucifixion and resurrection, frees us all from the bondage of sin and death.
Passover is a Jewish feast that the Lord God commanded the Hebrew people to observe every year. In the course of the meal, the Jewish people remember the great Exodus and they symbolically drink four cups of wine throughout the meal. They are the Cup of Sanctification, the Cup of the Plagues, the Cup of Redemption and the Cup of Praise. It has been suggested that it was during the third cup of the evening, the Cup of Redemption, where Jesus said to His disciples “take and drink and when you do, remember me.” Isn’t it amazing that this is the Cup that we Christians drink when we celebrate Communion!
There are many awesome symbolisms that tie the Passover to Yeshua, Jesus. A Christ-centered Passover Seder meal will give you new appreciation for this incredible feast. You will find yourself looking at Communion, or the “Holy Eucharist,” in a whole new light. Our family has celebrated for many years. You can find our family’s Haggadah, or Story, of this celebration here. Portions are from a booklet written by Barbara Balzac Thompson and published by Augsburg Publishing House in 1984.
May you be blessed in your relationship with Yeshua, Jesus, the Lamb of God.