Passover Symbols

In O.T. Accounts At Last Supper and/or in Early Church In Rabbinic Tradition In Contemporary Judaism As Applied in the Church Today
God’s dealings with Israel—yearly celebration and remembrance (Ex. 12:24-27) Freedom in Christ from Bondage of sin (Romans 6:18) “In every generation let each man look on himself as though he himself came forth out of Egypt” (individuals to personalize the meaning of Passover) Plight of Soviet Jewry seen as a counterpart to ancient bondage in Egypt God as Redeemer of lost humanity
One of the 3 items to be eaten at the Passover meal (Ex. 12:8) Christ is the Passover lamb (I Cor. 5:7) No tradition because not eaten at Passover since destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Chicken substituted Christ portrayed as “Lamb of God”
One of the 3 items commanded in Exodus 12:8 May have been the “sop” which Jesus handed to Judas Represents the bitterness of Egyptian slavery Eaten at the contemporary seder, called maror
One of the 3 items commanded in Exodus 12:8 (called matzoh) The body of Christ given in sacrifice (Luke 22:19);* Absence of sin (leaven) (I Cor. 5:8) Represents the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt (they could not wait for their bread to rise) Eaten at the contemporary seder and 7 days following in place of leavened bread; also year-round non-ceremonial use Many churches use matzoh as Communion element
* Early Jewish believers may have added afikoman ceremony—breaking, burial and retrieval of a piece of matzoh to portray Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
(A sweet mixture of chopped apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon)
Another possibility for Judas’ “sop” Represents the mortar used by the Israelite slaves to make bricks for Pharaoh Eaten at the contemporary seder
The cup before the Last Supper (Luke 22:17-18); The cup after dinner (Luke 22:20); The cup of blessing represents the blood of Christ (I Cor. 10:16) Represents the four phrases in Exodus 6:6-7: “I will bring you out”; “I will deliver you”; “I will redeem you”; “I will take you to me for a people” Four cups now taken at the contemporary seder as part of the ceremonial meal One of the elements of Communion
Probably eaten at the Last Supper, but not specifically mentioned (greens were a likely part of festive meals during that time period) Dipped in salt water, they represent the lives of the Israelite slaves immersed in tears Eaten at the contemporary seder as part of the ceremonial meal

In 1986 (Jewish calendar year 5746) Passover begins at sundown on April 23 and continues until sundown May 1.


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Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.

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