A New Passover
Good Friday Devotional
Read Luke 22:14-23
“And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!’ And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.”
On the night before Good Friday, the day that Jesus was crucified, He ate Passover with his disciples. Now, the traditional Passover meal was very organized and structured. There were multiple moments of scripture reading, communal song, and recited prayers. Jesus and his disciples would have eaten this celebratory meal every year since their childhood. The prayers were memorized, the steps were wrote…but this time, Jesus adds to the meal.
The traditional Passover meal left one piece of ceremonial bread that was never to be eaten. But this time, as the meal comes to an end, Jesus takes out that piece of bread, breaks it, and says to his disciples — “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then Jesus takes the cup of wine and holds it up and says —“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
The words at the end of this meal are significant. The Passover meal was about remembering the Lord delivering his people from the angel of death and slavery from Egypt (Exodus 12). The significance of Jesus’ words point out that this meal was now about Him. This meal was not ultimately about Egyptian exodus, but about this body and blood of the new covenant.
Jesus and his disciples participated in this altogether different Passover meal on Thursday night, and less than 18 hours later Jesus’ body would be given and his blood poured out for our sins.
So, on this Good Friday, remember God’s people have done this for thousands of years and it has always pointed to Jesus. We are blessed to be able to make and observe communion, even now, to remember that Jesus’ body was given for us and his blood was poured out for our sins.
As the blood of the Passover lamb in Egypt spared them from death, the blood of Jesus was shed to take away the sins of the world and spare us from the ultimate death of separation from God. Communion is an opportunity to remember Jesus’ body broken for us and his blood poured out for us.
Communion is exclusively for people who are in relationship with Jesus. That means those who have confessed Jesus as their Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.
Before You Receive Communion:
Paul gives the church in Corinth two particular things to consider before they receive communion:
1. Their relationship with Jesus. Is there any unconfessed sin in their life? If so, confess it before remembering the body and blood of Jesus.
2. Paul instructs them to “consider the body,” meaning the church. Is there any disunity or division between you and another brother or sister in your local church? If so, go and forgive and be reconciled to your brother or sister.
Communion is the remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus broken and poured out for your sins. This is what reconciles you to God and unifies us as the Church. Before you receive communion, take a few moments to remember the sacrifice of Jesus in your place. Remember his body and his blood as substitute for your body and blood.
As you receive the bread say, “The body of Jesus broken for me/you.”
As you receive the juice say, “The blood of Jesus poured out for me/you.”
Praise Jesus for who He is. He is lovely. He is all-knowing. He is almighty. He stands forever. Confess any sin in your heart. Confess where you do not trust Him. Confess where you have worshipped the gifts more than you have worshipped the giver. Thank Him for taking your sin to the cross on your behalf. Ask the God of miracles for big things. Ask Him for healing. Ask Him for revival.
We look forward to gathering with you and remembering His sacrifice during our Good Friday services, and celebrating His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday.