Make Ready the Passover

Dear Brethren,

Jesus saw to it that preparations were made for the Passover service.  He had His disciples make ready the arrangements ahead of time.

“[Jesus] sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat...  And they went, and found as He had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover.”   (Luke 22:8, 13)

We find that there is an instruction in the Bible that tells us to prepare for the Sabbath and to get ready for the Passover and all the Holy Days.

We often mistakenly think only of the physical aspects of readiness as the Sabbath approaches.  On Friday afternoons when I was working construction I would find myself rushing with all my might to get home before sunset as the Sabbath began.  That rush down the highway constituted the greater part of my Sabbath preparation for a long time.  When we consider the need for spiritual preparedness, we can easily see that racing the sun against time hardly constitutes the readiness that is called for.

On the other hand, I once heard a minister say that preparedness meant that when the Sabbath commenced, you would have already arrived home, bathed, shaved and dressed in evening attire – ready to sit down at the Sabbath dinner table previously spread with food to last for 24 hours without additional effort.  Yeah, right.  In my dreams!  Maybe when the kids are grown, the bills are paid, and the oil in the car doesn’t need changing.

Passover will be here soon (Leviticus 23:3-4).  Passover is the next Feast of the Lord for which we are told to “Get Ready.”  We are told that a spiritual examination of ourselves is the correct way we are to prepare.

“Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”  (1 Corinthians 11:28)

As we prepare for Passover and Unleavened Bread, we put leavened bread and leavened products out of our homes as Israel of old did.  As New Testament Christians, we apply the spiritual lesson by also putting sin out of our lives.  We are told to examine ourselves.  It is appropriate that we examine ourselves throughout the year, but especially, as Passover approaches.

In the days of the apostle Paul, the brethren de-leavened their homes.  "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened.  For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."   (1Corinthians 5: 7)  Though the brethren were meticulous in physically cleaning their homes, there was the recurring problem then – just as today – of not spiritually discerning the Lord's body.  "He that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."  (1 Corinthians 11:29) 

There is no more important preparation for Passover than to understand what discerning the Lord's body means, and then doing what Paul indicates we must.  Discerning the Lord's body is recognizing who our Spirit led brothers and sisters in Christ are – and then acting accordingly! (Romans 8:14)

Discerning the Lord's body is the correct way to make ready for Passover.  When reading the phrase, "the Lord's body," in this Scripture, many will mistakenly think about the dead body of Jesus. They will then begin to try to "discern the dead body."  That is not what is meant here.  We must answer the question, what does Paul mean by the "Lord's body?"  Paul was speaking of the Church of God brethren!  "The Body of Christ" is a common term meaning all the converted people of God.  All the brethren who are in the Church of God are the "Body of Christ."  Notice Paul’s consistency:

"For [Christ's] Body's sake, which is the Church."  (Colossians 1:24)

"The bread which we break, is it not the [fellowship] of the Body of Christ?  For we being many [brethren] are One Bread, and One Body."  (1Corinthians 10:16-17)

"You are the Body of Christ, and members in particular."  (1 Corinthians 12:27) 

"The Church, which is His Body."  (Ephesians 1:22-23)

"You are all called into One Body; and be ye thankful."  (Colossians 3:15)

"We, being many, are One Body in Christ, and every one members one of another."  (Romans 12:4-5)

"For the perfecting of the saints…for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:12)

It is abundantly clear from these Scriptures that in explaining the meaning of the Lord’s Body, Paul is referring to all the members of the Church of God.  Paul spoke of the tremendous importance of discerning the Lord's Body.

How do we then, examine ourselves with regard to all the members of the Church of God – the Body of Jesus Christ?  It is a big job – isn't it?  And it’s an important task at Passover time.  Paul said that because of the ongoing division between members – described as, not discerning the Lord's Body, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."  (1 Corinthians 11:30)

Is Paul speaking of brethren who are physically sick and prematurely dead, or is he describing the spiritual state of some members?  Paul then calls for self-examination using the same word again:  "If we would discern ourselves, we should not be condemned."  (1Corinthians 11:31)

Brethren, as we make ready for Passover let’s act accordingly toward all of God’s people.


Sermon:  "Make Ready the Passover"
More Information:  "The New Covenant Passover"
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