Mark 14:1 - 72
ESV - 1 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him. 2 For they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.
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The way a Christian keeps Passover is not by keeping the old Hebrew ritual laid out in the law commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Even back then Moses had hinted to them this ceremony they kept for the first time the night before they departed was only a prophetic type of something much larger. Jesus told his disciples the same thing on the night before his crucifixion when he shared a seder with them and instituted a portion of this feast as what we now call communion. I have not studied this in near enough detail, but there were four glasses of wine shared with the household in this particular fellowship dinner, and if I recall correctly what has become the communion ceremony is based on the rituals of the third cup. The fourth cup was set aside and Jesus said that he would not drink of it with his disciples until he returned in glory (Mt 26:29, Mk 14:25). I don't know precisely where this information comes from because it is not stated in scripture, but the early church fathers wrote in great detail about a great many things and many of these writings are extant, so we do not need to rely solely on scripture for this information. Much of it will come from Ignatius who is reputed to be the child placed on Jesus lap in Mt 18:2-7 or perhaps the incident in Mt 18:14, Mk 10:14 and Lk 18:16. He was later a disciple of John and Bishop at Ephesus after John and wrote detailed histories where we get much of this information. Jewish tradition also left one cup of wine for Elijah, just in case he were to return and come to the celebration, and I have never been clear if it is this 4th cup or a separate cup. Regardless, this shows that there is an aspect of Passover that remains unfulfilled and will not be fulfilled until the second coming. That being said, Christians keep Passover by fulfilling it in spiritual realities, not in physical types. Furthermore, there are other ceremonies that demonstrate other aspects of the same spiritual reality. Furthermore, all of these things are fulfilled in us individually, and only between us and God. When we apply the blood of the Passover lamb (Jesus) to our doorposts (ears) and lintels (minds, thought processes) we change the way we hear his word, think about it and obey it. The law is not put away; the way we understand it changes (See Mt 5 where Jesus gives proper understanding for 6 of these laws most of your teachers tell you have been put away.) When you eat the flesh of this lamb you take his character upon yourself. Various texts define this flesh as the bread of life and as his word. Jesus himself made these definitions in John 5 and at the last supper. He also defined the wine as his blood of the New Covenant. To my knowledge, this is the only offering in which anyone drinks the wine, which also represents the blood (and soul) of the sacrificial lamb. It might be possible that other fellowship dinners also involve drinking the wine, but all other ritual wine is poured out with the blood on the side of the alter and is never to be drunk by anyone but God. (Lev 17: 11, 14, Dt 12:23 when properly translated say the soul, not the life, is in the blood.) In short, this ceremony illustrates justification by faith in the blood of the lamb (Ro 3:22, Gal 5:5 and Philippians 3:9). This is also illustrated in the circumcision and naming ceremony on the 8th day after the birth of a son, which also helps to show us how we are "born again." A more accurate translation is begotten (conceived) from above, which changes the perspective of this type considerably, but regardless, it shows that this is God's work (fulfillment) in us, not something we do ourselves or that the church does with us. Heart circumcision is the sign of the New Covenant, and no human has any control over that. It is only God's doing in us, individually, and one-on-one. This is how the Christian observes Passover by himself.
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