I was reading Exodus 1-12 about Moses/ the burning bush/ the 10 plagues/ Pharaoh releasing the Israelites. My women's group did a Passover Seder at my house and the ceremony that goes with it. I was the head of the Seder so I had to summarize those chapters and the Passover. We aren't Jewish and we were doing a Seder for Christians - one that connects the Passover lamb with Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
We had just spent weeks in my Connecting the Dots of the Bible class going over all kinds of information on the Bible, the Old Testament historical eras and key words in the Old Testament. I try very hard for them to connect the Old Testament to the New Testament - something many Christians just don't get. I gave them each a CD to listen to from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christianity and Other Religions series Part 3 Jesus and The Jews: Didn't it all begin with them? (It did.) Updated 2/22 - now this sermon is free on Mecklenburg Community Church's website. Christianity and Judsaism So What's the Difference? This sermon by Dr. James Emery White is excellent and clearly explains Christianity's connection to the Jews.
Then I had purchased Feasts of the Bible by Dr. Sam Nadler. (affiliate link) He is a Messianic Jew. A Messianic Jew is someone of Jewish heritage who has come to believe Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew-Aramaic) is the Messiah. We watched his video explaining the Passover. The women were ready for me to connect the dots with the Passover Seder!
I was reading Exodus in preparation and I come to Exodus 12:43,44. I had a clarity on this that I had not had before. I highlight things that speak to me, underline key words and write all over my Bible as I learn new things. These two verses weren't highlighted or written by and I knew I had not made the connection before.
43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; 44 but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it.
There are lots of places in the Bible where it says Passover is an annual thing. The Jews are to remember how the LORD delivered them from slavery. Jews to this day celebrate Passover. It is one of their feasts. What is meant by "no foreigner is to eat of it" is that unless you are in God's people, you cannot eat the Passover feast.
The next part, "but every man's slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it" was significant to me. Do you know what a slave purchased with money is? A bondslave or a bond-servant. This immediately made me think of the New Testament verses in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) where people refer to themselves and others as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.
For instance Mary, the mother of Jesus called herself a bondslave when she found out she was going to have the holy Child, the Son of God. (Luke 1:38; Luke 1:48 NASB)
And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Epaphras in Colossians 4:12 is referred to as a bondslave of Jesus Christ.
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2 Timothy 2:24
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
What is a bondslave or a bond-servant? It is someone bought with a price.
And we believers have been bought for a very high price. Jesus was mocked and ridiculed, betrayed, scourged, beaten, nailed to a cross, took our sins on Himself and died for us. Yes, we have been bought for a very very high price. And we are His humble bondslaves.
The man's slave purchased with money "after you have circumcised him, then he may eat it." The sign that a Jewish person was in a covenant relationship with the LORD is circumcision. ("Covenant" is a key word in the Bible.) If the slave agreed to be circumcised than he was considered to be in the covenant with God and then it was acceptable for him to eat the Passover feast. Throughout the Old Testament there were many examples of others grafted into God's people.
In the Old Testament for the Jews; the sign they were in a covenant relationship with the LORD is circumcision. And their way of remembering that covenant is to celebrate Passover.
In the New Testament for Christians; the sign we are in a covenant relationship with the LORD is baptism. And the way we remember that covenant relationship is by celebrating the Lord's Supper, also referred to as Communion (or the Eucharist by Catholics.) We do not allow just anyone to take the Lord's Supper. Just as the Jews guarded who could eat Passover, we guard the communion table. Only believers in Christ may partake of the Lord's Supper.
And when He had taken some bread and 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 in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."
The new covenant has been ushered in.
God has always provided a way for those outside His covenant to be grafted into His people.
Just as the Jews were saved by faith by applying the blood of the Passover lamb to their doorposts and lintel of their homes; we are saved by faith by applying the blood of the Lamb of God to the doors of our heart.
It all connects together.
"The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed."
~ Saint Augustine ~