IS THE LORD'S SUPPER THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER?
By Wayne Camp
I have before me an article in which the author takes the position that the Lord's Supper is the Christian Passover. He writes, "It could be argued that the moving of the Christian Passover into the church brings it back under this liturgical prohibition." There is no question that the author of the article is referring to the Lord's Supper and he refers to that ordinance several times in the article.
Before I deal with the question that serves as the title of this message, there are a couple of other things in the statement that trouble me. To these I now call your attention. I wonder where this alleged "Christian Passover" was before it was moved into the church. Note the expression, "the moving of the Christian Passover into the church." If I understand the Scriptures, when the Lord Jesus Christ instituted his Supper, he instituted it in the church. He did not institute it somewhere else and then, after a period of time move it into the church. Now, if one believes the church did not start until the day of Pentecost, there would be grounds for such a statement. Christ established the church and when he instituted the Lord's Supper it was, from its very origin, a church ordinance.
The second problem I see with the statement is basically the same as the first. It is the expression, "brings it back under this liturgical prohibition." The statement implies the supper, as it was originally instituted, was not under this alleged "liturgical prohibition." However, when it was allegedly moved into the church from where ever it was before, it was supposedly brought BACK UNDER the liturgical prohibition.
I have never heard such a suggestion before. I am left wondering where the Lord's Supper was before it was moved into the church and brought back under any liturgical prohibition.
The main question before us at the moment is the calling of the Lord's Supper the "Christian Passover." Is that a Scriptural name for the Lord's Supper? Is it even an acceptable name for the Lord's Supper? One statement from Scripture should suffice to answer our questions. "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (I Cor. 5:7).
The Passover feast observed by the people of Israel on the night they were delivered from Egypt was not a type of the Lord's Supper. It was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Passover feast observed annually by the people of Israel was not a type of the Passover; it was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is our Passover who is sacrificed for us. Jesus Christ is The Christian Passover, not the Lord's Supper.
| The Passover required a lamb, a male of the first year. Ex. 12:3|
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. Jn. 1:29
The Lords Supper involves no lamb, nor any other animal.
| The Passover was a slain sacrifice. Ex. 12:21|
Jesus Christ is our Passover, sacrificed for us. II Cor. 5:7
The Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice; it is never called a sacrifice except by those who consider it to be a sacrament with saving benefits.
| The Passover was to be eaten in the homes"They shall take to them every man a lamb . . . ."|
Jesus Christ is the Lamb for every man who will believe.
The Lord's Supper is to be taken in the congregational assembly, not in each individual home as was the Passover.
| The Passover was to be observed on a specific date each yearthe fourteenth day of the first month of each year.|
Christ may be received by the believer as his Passover any day of any month of any year.
There is no specific day of any specific month set forth for the observance of the Lord's Supper; Scripture simply says, "as oft . . . ."
| The Passover was restricted to the nation of Israel; it was not for Egypt nor any other Gentile people.|
Jesus Christ, our Passover, is for the believer, the elect of God.
The Lord's Supper is for members of a local New Testament church; it was instituted as a church ordinance; it was not merely moved into the church from somewhere else.
| Jesus Christ literally and actually gave his flesh and his blood for his people as our Passover sacrificed for us.|
In the Lord's Supper the blood of no animal is shed and the flesh of no animal is eaten.
The broken, unleavened bread is only symbolic of the broken body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The wine is only symbolic of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
If the Lord had intended us to celebrate it as the Christian Passover, surely he would have had us follow the pattern of the Jewish Passover and slay a lamb, eat its flesh and sprinkle its blood.
When Jesus instituted his supper, it was after the feast of the Passover. I think it significant that Scripture nowhere calls the Lord's Supper a Passover, nor does it call it, or even allude to it as the Christian Passover. Paul, an inspired apostle does, however, call Christ our Passover. The writer of the article quoted above, in his efforts to prove that grape juice, not wine, was used in the Lord's Supper, argues that the Bible never uses the word wine, never calls it wine. By the same token, the Bible never calls the Lord's Supper "the Christian Passover."
There are many "Christians" who believe that baptism was moved into the church in the place of circumcision and they baptize babies, make them members of churches, and claim that it puts them into a covenant relationship. Some, if not all of these people, believe that the Lord's Supper is a sacrament, a sacrifice, and has some saving benefits. They believe it was instituted to replace the Jewish Passover, and is the Christian Passover.
My Dear Readers, Jesus Christ is our Passover and he was sacrificed once and for all for us. He put an end to the Passover for believers being our Passover. The institution of the Lord's Supper at the end of the Passover signaled the end of the Passover with the offering of the True Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the grave errors of Hebrew Christians in the days of Paul was their desire to incorporate the feasts and sacrifices of Israel into the church. Some insisted that Gentile Christians should be circumcised, must be circumcised, in fact. Others wanted to continue with other things. The book of Hebrews was written to wean them once and for all from those inferior things and bring them into the better things.
The suggestion that the institution of the Lord's Supper was merely the moving of the Christian Passover from somewhere else into the church seems to be tainted with the ideas held by those early Hebrew Christians. Christians do have a Passover, but it is not The Lord's Supper! It is the Lord Jesus Christ. "Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."
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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011