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Jesus reimagines the Passover meal | Bible Trek – Easter Series - 03

On Thursday night, gathered with the disciples, Jesus celebrated Passover – a simple meal in remembrance of the Exodus, the time when the people of Israel were dramatically rescued from slavery in Egypt. Here at the Last Supper, Jesus re-imagined the Passover meal. The bread was now his body, the wine was now his blood. He was preparing himself for the ultimate Exodus, through his death and resurrection for Israel and the whole world.

Quick read 

Mark 14.12–16      

In a nutshell  

Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples. ‘Take it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ (Mark 14.22 GNB)  

The Upper Room, where Jesus celebrated a final meal with his friends, is traditionally thought to be on a hill outside Jerusalem: Mount Zion. God’s temple and the king’s palace are both on Mount Zion; heavenly and earthly rule meet here. The traditional site of the Upper Room is also above what may have been the tomb of King David, who once unified the nation of Israel. Jesus, David’s royal heir, will restore Roman-occupied Zion. But how?  

Jesus and his friends celebrate the Passover meal to commemorate Israel’s escape from Egyptian slavery. He likens the bread and wine they share to his own body and blood. By covering the doorposts of their dwellings with the blood taken from the broken bodies of slaughtered lambs, the Israelites were spared by an angel of death taking revenge on their Egyptian oppressors. Jesus is about to become the lamb whose body is broken and blood is shed to free humanity, not from Egyptian or Roman rule, but from the slavery of sin and death. He is a spiritual, not a political saviour, not just for Israel, but the world. 

As humans, we associate meals with remembrance. Some meals take us back to our childhood, some remind us of lost loved ones and others cast us back to moments of real celebration. God knows this. He made us this way. And that’s why on the night he brought Israel out of Egypt, he made sure Israel weren’t having take-out. He prescribed the menu for a meal that they’d never forget. All over the world the practice and story told is the same today.  

That Thursday night Jesus changed everything. The Passover was not to be just in memory of Israel’s liberation from Egypt but it was to be in memory of him. He is the Exodus. On the cross, the New Testament says, ‘Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed’ (1 Corinthians 5.7).  

Through a meal, God made sure Israel would not forget who they were. Have you forgotten who you are? Whether you feel it or not, remind yourself that you are forgiven and free because of Jesus. Death passed through him, so it could pass over you.  

Dare to remember today. 

Read on to find out more about Jesus’ Passover sacrifice: 

Passover Exodus 12 
Bread and Cup Mark 14.22–26  

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