Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and knew the Old Testament law and that the symbols used in these feasts pertained to Him.

In fact in Matthew 5:17 Jesus said,

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil"

Let’s look a little closer at these two important days in the life of the Jews. To do that we must go back into the Old Testament and see where they started.

Remember the nation of Israel were in bondage for 430 years in Egypt and Moses was about to lead them out. God had sent 9 plagues to Pharoah because he would not let the Jews leave and now God was about to unleash the 10th plague upon the Egyptians.

Turn to Exodus 12:1-15,

"And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye 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 an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye 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. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire."

"And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and 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 LORD.

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye 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. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel."

Normally when the Hebrew women made their household bread, they took a piece of fermented dough they saved from a previous day and mixed it into their fresh flour. With time, the yeast would overtake the dough and she could then make her family's daily bread. (After saving a piece for future baking, of course.) (i.e. Friendship bread) When God delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, there wasn't time to bake bread or hassle with yeast. They ate their bread unleavened.

Exodus 12:39 says,

"And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual."

Eating unleavened bread became a reminder of the time when God delivered the children of Israel out of bondage.

In Exodus 13:8-9, God gives meaning to the unleavened bread, He said,

"And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt."

At the Lord's Supper, the bread that celebrated the people's deliverance from Egyptian bondage took on a new meaning. Now it commemorates Jesus' broken body and celebrates the Christian's deliverance from eternal bondage. Because of Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb, eternal life is possible to all who believe.

1Corinthians 11:23-24 says,

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."

The unleavened bread that is used in the Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the broken body which the Lord Jesus gave for us so that we could have freedom from the bondage of sin and receive the gift of eternal life!!

 

Now let's look at the picture of Christ's blood in the Lord's Supper. In Matthew 26:27-28 the Bible says,

"And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

When Jesus handed the cup to the disciples, they naturally would have thought of the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorpost of their ancestors' homes in Egypt. In preparation for the tenth plague, God instructed the children of Israel to put the blood of the Passover lamb on the two doorposts and on the lentel of the house. God made a covenant with the people: when the death angel saw the blood on the doorposts, it would "pass over" that house and not kill the first-born son. But if a house did not have the blood on the doorposts and lentel, the death angel would visit their home and kill their first-born son.

The Lord said in Exodus 12:13,

"And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye 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."

As the disciples drank the juice of the fruit of the vine, they remembered the blood covenant. But Jesus reinterpreted the juice to symbolize a new covenant. In the Lord's Supper, Jesus' blood now symbolizes more then salvation from a single night of terror and the death angel, instead, it celebrates eternal salvation.

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:18-19,

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

Today, as we celebrate the Lord's Supper and as we take the bread, we remember Jesus’ broken body and celebrate our deliverance from eternal bondage. And then as we take of the fruit of the vine, we celebrate the new covenant of eternal salvation through His precious blood.

Before we close in a word of prayer, the Bible says in 1Corinthians 11:23-30,

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 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 ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

 

Paul is not saying that you must do something before you partake of the Lord's supper so that you are now "worthy" to take of it. He is rebuking the Corinthian Christians because of the manner in which they were taking the Lord’s supper had turned into an idolatrous and drunken feast. No one is truly deserving or worthy to partake of so great an honor. But the Bible says we should examine ourselves before we partake and I think that self examination is a good thing to do whether you are taking the Lord’s supper or not.

What about you this morning, do you understand the true meaning of the Lord's supper. Have you trusted in the finished work of the Lord Jesus when His body was broken and His blood shed in payment for your sins? If you have, then this is a memorial service of what the Lord has done for you.

If not, the Lord's supper has no meaning for you except as a ritual that is done in a building or church of your choice. Think about the great sacrifice that the Lord made so that you can have eternal life and a home in heaven with Him. Come forward in a moment and let someone take the Bible and show you how you can put your faith and trust in the sacrifice that Christ made for our sin.

Let's pray.