A Devotion for Maundy Thursday, 1 April 2021 Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord), the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:4-8; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The glorious Easter Season follows hard on the Lenten Season of sad reflection. Though the term Easter has gained prominence in reference to the day. The term Passover would be more accurate for we are told in Scripture quite clearly that Christ is our Passover. His claim to that title is reflected in all the Old Testament blood sacrifices of the Passover initiated in Goshen of Egypt. In the service of Holy Communion, the Church observe the real spiritual Presence of our Lord at His Table in the elements of wine and unleavened bread. Leaven represents sin, but the Body of Christ (bread) must be sinless as symbolized in that unleavened bread.
Matthew Henry has this to say:
“See the deficiency of the legal sacrifices for sin; they were therefore often repeated, not only every year, but every feast, every day of the feast, because they could not make the comers thereunto perfect, Heb. 10:1, 3. See the necessity of our frequently repeating the same religious exercises. Though the sacrifice of atonement is offered once for all, yet the sacrifices of acknowledgement, that of a broken heart, that of a thankful heart, those spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable to God through Christ Jesus, must be every day offered. We should, as here, fall into a method of holy duties, and keep to it.”
The typical aspects of the Passover to Christ are multitudinous. The extensive marks of similarity and exact congruence is beyond the scope of a single devotion, so I urge the Reader to please digest the beauty and grandeur of this Type through deeper study.
The Passover, inaugurated in the Land of Goshen in Egypt while the Children of Israel were subject to cruel bondage, was a signal Light from the Great Lighthouse of God to the Hebrew people, as well as to you and me, of His promise of Redemption to be made available in Christ. The effulgent beams of that Light swept the near and troubled Sea of the Hebrew people and beyond to the Pacific and Atlantic Waters of all races and tribes of people – even to those in the Islands of the Sea (who today sing praises to His Holy Name).
God often turns the assaults of the Devil back against him (by using the very plans the Dark Prince employs) as a means of grace and salvation from it for His people. Due to the greed and cruelty of the Egyptians, Pharaoh had ordered all male children of the Israelites to be cast into the river Nile. The mother of Moses did, indeed, cast Moses into the River Nile, but in a small ark of bulrushes daubed with pitch and slime in order to save him. Pharaoh’s daughter was of a kind and loving disposition and, when she saw the baby in the ark, she took him for her own. Moses became the choice man of God, raised even in the very house of Pharaoh, to save His people from Pharaoh’s oppression. Moses became God’s ‘man for the time’ and obeyed God in his walk.
After sending forth nine terrible plagues against Egypt to persuade her king to release God’s people, God dictated new terms and a final plague for Moses to report to Pharaoh. “…Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.” (Ex 11:4-7) This would be the final plague God would send against Pharaoh, his household, and all of Egypt. But god always makes special provision for His people, and this time is no exception. Read for further explanation, Exodus 12:2-20
That unblemished and innocent lamb, slain at first Passover, foreshadowed that innocent and perfect Lamb of God: “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) This Passover was authenticated in Christ for He has become our Passover that we observe in the Lord’s Supper. If we are, like the Israelites in Goshen, covered under His blood, we shall not perish. The Cup (wine) of which we partake represents His warm and living blood that was shed for us. The unleavened bread (for the symbol must comport with that symbolized, represents His Body in all parts. The Passover Lamb was also foreshadowed by that animal which died to cover the shame and sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden eastward in Eden. Christ was, like the unblemished lamb, without sin and an acceptable sacrifice for our sins.
The Passover Lamb was to be taken from the fold of other sheep just as Christ was made man and dwelt among us, and was taken from among us for the sacrifice at Calvary.
The Passover Lamb was to be one year old signifying its peak maturity. So was Christ at the peak of manhood slain for us. The Lamb was roasted whole just as was Christ crucified, pierced and recipient of the fire of God’s wrath. Our Lord, though wholly crucified, did not suffer a bone of His body to be broken.
The blood of the Passover Lamb was not to be allowed to spill upon the ground illustrating the preciousness of the blood of Christ which is to be revered. Just as the blood of the Passover Lamb was to be sprinkled upon the lintels and doorposts, so must Christ blood not only be shed wholly for us, but our consciences must be sprinkled by the notice of that blood. All who enter the house must see the blood of Christ as evidence of our salvation.
The flesh of the Passover Lamb was to be eaten in its entirety. So must we feed upon Christ spiritually as our Bread of Life and drink His blood as a sacramental form and grace of His sacrifice. The Passover Lamb was to be eaten in one house symbolism the ONE-NESS of the Body of Christ at the Communion, and at all times.
The sprinkling of the blood of the Lamb was to be done by dipping a cluster of hyssop into the blood to afford the sprinkling. Hyssop has many symbolic features. It will grow even on rock. The Christian will remain faithful even under hard oppression. Hyssop was used as a purgative to cleanse the inward body just as the blood of Christ first cleanses the inward heart, and then the outer.
The unleavened bread of the Passover symbolizes sinlessness, pure doctrine, and sincerity. Leaven symbolized the hypocrisy and false doctrine of the Pharisees. Christ is sinless, pure, and true. The symbol of bread we consume in the Supper should also reflect those qualities of Christ.
The Passover symbolizes the coming of God’s people our of Egypt, or spiritual bondage of sin. Christ, being our Passover, has freed us, too, from the yoke and bondage of sin.
The Passover Lamb was not to be eaten until all leaven (sin, hypocrisy, hate, impure hearts, grudges, etc) were removed from the house. We, too, should cleanse our hearts of all sin, ill-will, personal animosities – when we observe Holy Communion.
Next when you observe the Holy Communion (our present Passover) remember the first Passover in Egypt. Remember the blood over the doors and upon the door posts. Remember that we are spared the Angel of Death when we are in that blood-covenant relationship with Christ. Are you?
“ 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: 24 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. 25 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. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 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. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (1 Cor 11:23-29)
“Do this is remembrance of me.”