“Feasting on the Lamb”
Text: Exodus 12:1-14
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Slaughter a lamb, a year old and without blemish. Smear it’s blood on the doorposts and lintel of the house. Then roast it and eat it. The blood of this lamb will protect you from death, and the flesh of this lamb with give you strength for the journey. For Egypt is not your home, nor your destiny. The Lord has a home for you, and the journey begins this night. So eat it in haste, looking forward not back, and in anticipation. See what your God is about to do. It is the Lord’s Passover.
And this is a statute forever, God says. This feast, this memorial day. Every year you and your descendants shall keep it - but only, only on this night. And by it not only remember what your God has done, but become participants in it. Generations to come, even those not yet born, who weren’t even there, will say on this night: This is the night our Lord brought us up out of Egypt. It will be as if they were there. The work of God for them, too, in this feast. But miss it, fail to celebrate the Passover, think it only a relic from the past, an old Egyptian liturgy that’s not as much fun as the contemporary Canaanite liturgies, and you are cut off from God’s people (Numbers 9:13). No blood of the lamb, no eating the lamb . . . you bear your own guilt.
And then some 1500 years later, it happened again. A new lamb, new blood, a new Passover, and a new meal. This is My Body. This is My Blood, the Lamb of God says. Blood to protect you from death, and flesh to give you strength for the journey. For this world is not your home, nor your destiny. The Lord has a home for you, and is paving the way for you through His own death, His own roasting on the cross under the fire of divine condemnation for sin - your sin. Crucified! See what your God has done for you!
And with this new feast, the statute forever indeed continues anew. Only better. For not just one night a year, but as often as you do this, Jesus says. As often as you eat and drink in remembrance of Him, your Lord, your Passover lamb, no mere mental exercise is this - you too become participants in what your God has done . . . though you weren’t there, though you weren’t even born. No matter. This Body and Blood is a koinonia, a participation, in Christ, in Him crucified, in His Passover from death to life. And so here you receive life from His roasting; life from His cross; life in the forgiveness of your sins. Here you receive strength for the journey to your home, His home, the Father’s home.
So don’t get too comfortable, here in this world, in your Egypt. You’re not staying. If that makes you sad or uncomfortable, then you have gods that need executing too. Just as the Lord said on that first Passover: and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord - so for you too. What are they for you, those false gods you fear, love, and trust more than Him? That you don’t want to leave? Those sins whose liturgies we so often follow - of bitterness, of lust, of greed, of rebellion, and more. Repent. Their execution is a good thing.
I am the Lord, your Saviour says. I deliver from death; they lead to it. I satisfy; they only leave you ashamed, yet wanting more. So don’t partake of their feasts. Take eat, take drink. This is My Body, This is My Blood. My feast. Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your every sin. Every sin. For that, you see - forgiveness, you see - is your food and strength for this journey.
A better Passover, then, is yours. The Blood of Christ marking the door of your heart. The Body of Christ feeding you unto everlasting life. The old was a shadow, the new the fulfillment. And no longer in haste do you eat it, but in peace - for the battle is over, the victory won. By Him. For you.
In the Name of the Father and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.