Every year, during Passover, we remember that God stepped into the history of an obscure family of slaves, and performed mighty acts in order to deliver them from their bondage. It is amazing to read how after 400 years of silence, God, who with no army and no help, used one man to free a powerless group of slaves from a powerful empire in Egypt.
As a memorial to the deliverance that God brought about for His people, He commands the observance of the Passover every year. The children of Israel were to pass down the story of God’s salvation to every generation. As wonderful as the story is, once the deliverance was complete, why would God command such a penalty for those who do not observe this feast?
“But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people.” (Num 9:13)
In other words, if you do not have a legitimate excuse, and you do not commemorate God’s deliverance every year, you will be cut off from being included among God’s people. That sounds harsh!
The reason God was so insistent on His people remembering and commemorating His mighty act of deliverance is because the story was not complete. This was ACT I of God’s plan and was a taste of the complete deliverance that was going to come later. Throughout the scriptures, we see how the Israelites were indeed delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but they were still “slaves to sin”, (as Jesus describes in John 8:34). The Passover was a signpost along a path, but the path would lead us to a fulfillment that would be completed by a Savior who would set us free from the real bondage we all have and that is to sin.
As Jesus sits down to have His final Passover dinner with His disciples:
“He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:15-20)
In the Body of the Messiah in Israel, we celebrate our Passover because by doing so we remember the mighty act of how He delivered us from our slavery to sin. This act of memorial is more than the ceremony of communion that Jesus was talking about; He was telling His disciples (and us) that He is looking forward to celebrating this same feast one day with us in His kingdom. We hope that you, who have experienced the same deliverance of God through the Messiah, will also commemorate His wonderful salvation with us until we all can celebrate this feast with Him in His Kingdom.