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Communion Meditations (2012)

Passing Over

Originally scheduled for September 30

Most Christians are aware of the fact that Communion was instituted by Christ using the Passover meal of the Jews. This was done at what we call the Last Supper; and it is a fact that Communion is taken directly from Passover. For example, the bread that we use is unleavened, just as the Jews used unleavened bread in Passover. The elements of Passover were transformed by Christ to represent his body and his blood, as sacrificed on the Cross.

What many Christians do not know is where the name “Passover” came from. It came from the fact that the Angel of Death passed over the Jewish houses in Egypt (those marked with the blood of the Lamb) and did not visit the plague of the firstborn death upon them. That’s how Passover got its name.

The impact of the story is quite difficult to visualize. One example of how difficult this is comes from Cecil B. DeMille in his motion picture The Ten Commandments. The first nine plagues were shown quite well, by the special effects standards of the time, in that movie. But the death of the firstborn children doesn’t lend itself too much to special effects. DeMille portrayed this simply by the wailing of the mothers. It’s hard to picture. You can see a similar effect if you talk to combat veterans. Many of them know what it is like to have someone next to them killed yet they themselves are unharmed. It produces a very spooky sensation — and one they don’t usually like to talk about. We get a very funny feeling when death just misses us; when death passes over us.

Christ took this incident and gave it an entirely new application — eternal life. If you have made Jesus Christ Lord of your life, then you are one who is saved and will spend eternity with him. Passed over? Yes, you are passed over for eternal death — the eternal torment of hell.

You did not purchase this passing over. It was freely given to you by Jesus Christ — but it did have a price. That price was the Cross. The elements of Communion symbolize his body and his blood. Therefore, remember the sacrifice he made for you. Then partake with humble gratitude, in a worthy manner.

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