(5) On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD?s Passover.
The bulk of the instruction about the Passover is written in Exodus 12, and a great deal of it concerns the Old Testament ritual meal that was eaten on that evening. These details are types that were fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so the New Testament church is no longer required to slay a lamb, since, as the apostle Paul writes, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7).
The New Testament Passover is modeled after the events that occurred during what is commonly known as the Last Supper, the Passover meal that Jesus ate with His disciples just before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Jesus began His instruction that evening with a command to wash one another's feet: "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (see John 13:1-17), and so we do.
The apostle Paul summarizes what happens next:
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (I Corinthians 11:23-25)So, to commemorate His sacrifice—His broken body and His shed blood—by which He paid the penalty for human sin and consecrated the New Covenant (see Hebrews 9:11-28), Christians eat a little unleavened bread and drink a small amount of wine. In doing so, they acknowledge His sacrifice and rededicate themselves to their covenant with Him. It is clear from both the Old Testament and New Testament examples that only those who have made the covenant—Christ's disciples—are allowed to partake of the bread and wine, thus only baptized members should participate in this part of the service (see the principle in Exodus 12:43-49; also I Corinthians 11:27-29).
As Christ did after changing the Passover symbols, members of the church then listen to the words of Jesus' discourse to His disciples, which is found in John 13–17. Then, to close the service, they sing a hymn before concluding the solemn service (see Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Mike Corthell, Editor & Publisher
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How Do We Keep God's Festivals?
The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates ofNissan 15-22. Here are coinciding secular dates for the next three years:
2013: March 25-April 2
2014: April 14-22
2015: April 3-11
Note: The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus all holiday observances begin at sundown on the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of the holiday. (Thus, the first Passoverseder is held on the evening of the first date listed.) Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.
The first two days of Passover (from sundown of the first date listed, until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holiday days. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full holiday days.