We saw in chronicle #2 that there was to be a gathering center, a place
where was the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone: the NT house of
God. The term ďNameĒ has to do with Godís presence and conveys authority,
unity and glory unto Him. In Chronicle #3 we saw that in the place of
Godís dwelling one learns the fear of God by being in His holy presence
and observing His ways. It was also where the best is reserved for
In our study so far we have progressed to the fifth major activity in
the house of God which is highlighted below.
A Place of Remembrance:
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto
the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD
shall choose to place his name there. ... that thou mayest
remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of
Egypt all the days of thy life (Deu. 16: 2,3).
In Deuteronomy 16:1-8 the subject of celebrating Passover at Godís
place is brought before us. What the passover was to Israel, the Lordís
Supper (breaking of bread, communion) is to the church. Not only is the
ordinance of passover taught in the Old Testament, but also its
character. Character is the manner, style, or way it is to be
done in order to be compatible with the desires and nature of God.
For example, if you tell a child to wash the car, you not only want
it to be clean but you also care how it gets clean. You donít want him
to wash it with sewer water or a scouring pad.
Seven characteristics were to accompany Passover. Understanding
Passoverís character will shed light on the keeping of the Lordís
supper. We will look at both in the following characteristics.
Who was to partake of it?
Keep the passover unto the LORD thy God:
for ... the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of
Egypt by night (16:1).
The instructions for passover were not given internationally but only
to those who experienced the deliverance from Egypt. Israel had been
redeemed (delivered) by the blood of the lamb and through the waters of
the Red Sea. God had made it clear that ďno uncircumcised person shall
eat thereofĒ (Ex. 12:48). Circumcision was the sign of a covenant
relationship with God. Passover participation was limited to the
Who is to partake of it?
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth,
to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be
saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus
Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours (1Cor 1:2).
The instructions for the Lordís Supper are given to those ďin Christ
Jesus,Ē not the world at large. It is limited to those who have been
redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus) and have declared so
with the confession of water baptism like the Corinthians did (Acts
18:8, 2:42,42). How can you remember someone you have never met?
When 1Cor. 11:28 tells a man to ďexamine himself, and so let him eatĒ
it is not talking about any person deciding for himself if he has the
right to the Lordís Supper. It is to someone already saved and in the
church to be sure he knows what heís doing. A church is not being
legalistic but rather godly when it limits the Lordís Supper to
the redeemed who confess the Lord Jesus.
What was it for?
Keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: ...
sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God (16:1,
Though Godís people participated in the memorial of passover it was
to be ďunto the Lord.Ē It was not designed to please Egypt, the world
nor even Israel. It was for the delights of Godís heart to see His
people delivered and thankful unto Him. It was called the ďLordís
PassoverĒ (Ex. 12:11) not the peopleís passover.
What is it
The Lordís supper ...
in remembrance of me (1Cor 11:20, 24).
The Corinthians were guilty of misunderstanding and so the Lordís
apostle called it their ďown supperĒ rather than ďthe Lordís Supper.Ē
They were using the assembling time for their own social, emotional and
physical needs. The apostle has to point them away from self and show
that they were to focus on the Lord and what He did for them. Some
things are for God and God alone. It is His supper,
The Lordís supper and the church are
not designed to be user-friendly or seeker-sensitive Ė but unto
What was the main activity?
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the
passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd
... And thou shalt roast it and eat it (16:2,
Israel was not to focus here on teaching, personal problems,
victories or the proselytizing of Gentiles but the eating of a
sacrificed lamb. Simple, but this memorial lamb spoke volumes. It
was the blood of the spotless lamb that was put on their doors, which
when God saw, He ďpassed over,Ē sheltering them from judgment. Passover
drew them back to the source of their national salvation to honor God
alone as their Savior.
What is the main activity?
For as often as ye eat this
bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the
Lordís death till He come (1Cor 11:26).
The Lordís Supper involves taking bread and wine (the cup). Itís not
occupied with entertaining dramatizations, musical performances or
dynamic sermons, but the Lord and His death. Here there is liberty for
the men (orally) and women (silently) to worship and thank God for His
great salvation and Savior (1Cor. 14).
Till He come we take the bread, Type of Him
on whom we feed,
Him who liveth and was dead! We give thee thanks O
Till He come we take the cup; As we at His
Eye and heart are lifted up! We give thee thanks O
Why was it done?
That thou mayest remember the day
when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days
of thy life (16:4b).
God designed this feast for a remembrance or a memorial. ďThis day
shall be unto you for a memorialĒ (Ex. 12:14). God wanted to keep before
His people their deliverance. This recollection of the past was meant to
keep them focused on their Savior and Sustainer.
Why is it done?
This do in remembrance of me (1Cor
The Lordís Supper does not re-sacrifice Christ or help obtain
salvation any more than observing Memorial Day wins a battle that
soldiers fought 200 years before.
Observing the Lordís supper does more than jog our memory. It is an
act of remembrance Ė which induces a memorial. One observes Memorial Day
not just to remember that soldiers died, but to honor them. One goes and
speaks at a memorial service not to be reminded a loved one died but to
honor them. Partaking of the Lordís supper is the remembrance of the
Lord Jesus that He requested. Thus He is honored in the portrayal of His
Where was it observed?
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover
unto the Lord thy God ... in the place which the Lord thy
God shall choose to place His name there ... Thou mayest
not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates (16:4b,
When Israel settled in the land of their inheritance God chose a
place where His presence and Name would be. First it was the tabernacle
in Shiloh and then it became the permanent temple in Jerusalem.
Israel did not have the liberty of individually expressing their
remembrance to God in a place that was closer, or more convenient for
the family. They were not to go to the place of their choice but the
place of Godís choice. There, at the place of Godís dwelling, they
would remember the Lordís deliverance in Passover. At Godís house would
be a collective gathering which, along with the priesthood, would
preserve the feast from being corrupted unto the Lord.
Worship is sacrificial and has
feet to it. God wants His people to come
Where is it
When ye come
together in the church ... When ye come together
therefore in one place, ... to eat the Lordís supper (1Cor
When the Corinthian believers would come together in one place they
were the assembly (church) and temple of God. There, Godís presence
dwelt among them collectively. There, they owned and called upon the
Name that God chose, the Lord Jesus Christ. There, would be the liberty
of the priesthood of all believers to function in the assembly (1Cor. 1,
Only in the collective church setting does the NT epistles show the
Lordís supper observed. Yes, it is a ďsacrificeĒ to come together. But
there is a gospel dynamic when believers of all backgrounds, together
glorify the Lord with one mouth and one mind (Rom. 15:6).
How was it observed?
Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with
it ... there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in
all thy coast seven days (16:3, 4).
Yes, the lamb was to be sacrificed and eaten. But did it matter to
God how it was eaten? It did. The Lord specifically commanded
that there was to be no leaven (yeast) in the bread eaten with the lamb
at the feast. The feast was to be leaven-free. Of course, yeast is
something that spreads and permeates the whole. It is a picture of sin.
Therefore, His people were reminded to be set apart from sin as the Lord
How is it observed?
... Christ our passover is sacrificed for
us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven,
neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness ... (1Cor
In the New Testament it is not the literal leaven the Lord is
concerned about at the feast, but what the leaven represents: sin. The
feast is not Israelís passover but the fulfillment of it in church life.
The assembly who owns ďChrist our passoverĒ is to be sin-free, like
The Corinthian assembly was glorying in the liberty of grace and love
but ignoring a sinning believer in the fellowship. The Lordís apostle
said their glorying was not good. Rather than glorying they should have
mourned. The godly solution was to excommunicate the sinning person
(until repentance, 2Cor. 2). This act was viewed as removing leaven from
the feast Ė the leaven of malice and wickedness. Thus the feast would
now be unleavened with sincerity and truth (1Cor. 5).
It is possible to be eligible for
Godís heaven by the gospel, but not be holy enough for
fellowship in Godís church because of its testimony unto the
Lord on earth.
It is possible to be eligible for Godís heaven by the gospel, but not
be holy enough for fellowship in Godís church because of its testimony
unto the Lord on earth.
When was it observed?
Thou shalt sacrifice the passover at
even, at the going down of the sun, at the season
that thou camest forth out of Egypt (16:6).
It was God who decided when passover remembrance would be kept. The
peopleís choice did not enter into it. The time would coincide with the
time of year God delivered them and the time of day. It was in the
evening the spotless lamb was slain and the blood applied (Ex. 12:6, 21,
22). And so the congregation would collectively sacrifice the passover
When is it observed?
As it began to dawn toward the first
day of the week ... He is risen. ... Upon the first day
of the week, when the disciples came together to break. ... For as
often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup ... (Matt. 28:1, 6,
Acts 20:7, 1Cor 11:26).
It was at the end of the sabbath, at the dawning of the first day of
the week when the crucified Lord Jesus rose from the dead: the dawning
of a new age. It is on this day God records that the New Testament
believers in various cities assembled together in one place to remember
Him and edify one another (Acts 20:7, 1Cor. 16:2).
Notice in John 20:19 that the disciples assembled on the first day
(Lk. 23:33-36). It was at that precise time the risen Lord chose to come
in their midst and reveal Himself. However, Thomas was missing and thus
received no understanding and fell behind the others. He did not get
more understanding until the following first day.
May you be encouraged to remember HimĖHis way. Is the Lord Jesus
Christ worth it?