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We take communion regularly in church. What about the deleted scenes from that story? The story of The Last Supper is often times abbreviated to only focus on when Jesus took the bread, broke it, and said, “This is My body,” and the wine saying, “This is My blood. . .” Sure, taking the cracker and grape juice at church helps us to remember what Christ did for us; but often times the church overlooks the deleted scenes. The only part that wasn’t deleted in this story was the plot-twisting climax at the end.
Jesus was Jewish. The Last Supper the night before He was crucified wasn’t just the last time He would pick up take out from Olive Garden, it was a traditional Jewish ritual that was done every year from time of the Exodus thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth.
Judaism is a religion where story is passed on from one generation to the next. We tell our children the story of who we are, how we came to be, and who our Lord is. By telling them of the powerful victories that the Lord has given us, we teach them about who God is.
The traditional Passover Seder is a liturgical style dinner where families gather together and recount how God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.
By the way, ever wonder how they got that name? A man named Jacob was given a new name, Israel, after wrestling with God in a dream. The “Children of Israel” are literally the family members and descendants of that man named Israel.
So when the Children of Israel, otherwise known as Jewish people, celebrate Passover every year, they are remembering God bringing them out of captivity. During that story, it was the blood of a pure white lamb spread over the doorpost of the Jewish people that told the Lord to pass over their homes so they could be free from the Angel of Death. The blood from that perfect lamb protected them and was what made the way for their deliverance.
During The Last Supper, Jesus was telling the disciples that He is the ultimate Passover Lamb. His blood would be shed and bring freedom to those who desire. When you acknowledge the Jesus, as a perfect sinless person, has laid His life down for you, there is freedom from captivity to sin.
How would that Last Supper look if it happened today? Would the disciples all sit around the table and post photos on Instagram of their family’s version of the holiday like we do for Thanksgiving?
When Jesus got to the point of recounting the 10 plagues and the exchanges between Moses and Pharaoh, would there be some awesome holographic display in the middle of the table to replay the story with Charlton Heston playing Moses.
Maybe a liturgical style celebration like Passover wouldn’t be so technologically advanced. Some would see these storytelling aids to be irreverent.
Passover was a normal holiday celebrated every year by Jewish families and the purpose was to remember stories from our past. When we do this type of thing today, we pull out the photo albums or watch old family videos. We look at the facebook posts from the past year and we capture the holiday this year so we can remember it in the future. This is part of Judaism.
I am Jewish. We still do this very thing today. Though some see it as an oxymoron, I am also Christian and Christians do the same. Every Easter my wife insists on getting new outfits. We take photos of our family celebrations. We follow our kids around in the Easter egg hunts. We capture our memories-in-the-making using modern technology and think nothing of it. Then we share the stories of these experiences with others. What we do during the holidays that remember the birth of Christ, the death and resurrection of Him, or even when He sent His Holy Spirit on Pentecost – is organic. We celebrate and teach our kids about these things in very natural organic way much like the Jewish people did and still do today.
Being Jewish entails remembering the victories God gave us in our past. As Christians, we should do the same. We should tell our children about all the blessing of God and the things He continually does in our lives. It’s important not only so that we don’t forget, but so that we never fail to recognize that it is He who brings those victories.
On Passover, the story is the most important thing. Communicating that we serve an all-powerful God that loved us enough to bring supernatural freedom from the bondage’s of a Pharaoh is the purpose of the liturgical celebration. Remember that Christ provided that same thing and it is the power communicated through communion. When you delete the scenes that lead up to Him breaking the bread and distributing the wine, you lose the power of it’s context.
The story of Jesus Christ serving as our Passover lamb and bringing the possibility for us to have eternal freedom is a powerful story. Tell it often. Teach your loved ones about it and be encouraged every time you hear it.
Do you have stories of victory in your life? Talk about those victories and celebrate them as well. When you experience difficult times, remember those victories and draw strength from them. Tell your kids about how God brought you out of bondage into the freedom that only He can bring. Perhaps one day, long after you are gone, your children’s children will be telling their children about the great victories of God in your life. That can’t happen if you don’t share them.