Key Verse: “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25
The disciples on the Road to Emmaus were returning from Jerusalem after celebrating the Passover. As Jesus revealed himself to the disciple, one passage we can be sure he used was that of the Passover. Luke 24:30 says, “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” These words should be very familiar to us. They instantly remind us of Luke 22:17-20 where Jesus ate the Passover with His followers at the ‘last supper.’
“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:17-20)
Jesus was again reminding them that he was the fulfillment of what God had promised many years before. In fact, it was upon the breaking the bread that the two disciples recognized Jesus.
We often miss the significance of many elements of the Passover because it is uncommon to us, but the Passover has been celebrated by Jews for thousands of years. It is a commandment to remember how God redeemed the Jewish nation from slavery in Egypt. The celebration focuses on the Passover lamb. A lamb without blemish was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the Lord passed over the houses of the Jews during the last plague poured out on the Egyptians.
In the New Testament, Jesus is introduced by John the Baptist as, “The Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). Furthermore, 1 Peter 1:18-19 makes direct reference to Passover in relation to our salvation saying, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
On the Friday, when Jesus was crucified, it was also the day that the Passover lamb was sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest would blow the shophar at 3:00 p.m. – the moment the lamb was sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins on behalf of the people of Israel. It was at 3:00, while Jesus was being crucified, He said, “It is finished”
Christ became the perfect sacrifice by which we are saved.