8.2.4 The Passover meal

At the Lord's command, the Israelites celebrated their first Passover on the night before their exodus from Egypt. Lambs without blemish were killed and prepared. With the lamb, the Israelites ate unleavened bread. The blood of the lamb, which was painted on the doorposts, was the sign that would spare the Israelites from the tenth plague to come upon Egypt, namely the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12).

God commanded that the Passover should be celebrated every year in commemoration of the liberation from Egypt.

The similarities between the Passover meal and Holy Communion are quite apparent: both are meals of commemoration in which bread is an indispensable component. The cup of wine which is drunk at the end of the Passover meal symbolises the joy resulting from the Israelites' deliverance from Egyptian captivity. The blood of the Passover lamb effected deliverance for the firstborn of the Israelites. This is a reference to Jesus Christ as the "Lamb of God" who was sacrificed: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1: 29; cf. 1 Peter 1: 19).

The Passover meal is a commemoration of the Israelites' deliverance from Egyptian captivity. Holy Communion refers to deliverance in a much broader sense, namely to the redemption of mankind from the bondage of sin through the sacrifice of Christ, and to deliverance from eternal death.

See also