Memorial Day, Part 2Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the LORD. This is a law for all time.”
In last Friday’s reflection on Exodus 12, I noted how striking it is that God wove together both the experience of the Passover and the formation of traditions to foster remembrance of what happened in Exodus. I suggested that we need traditions like this in our lives.
Of course, we who are Christians have one such tradition, which we call by various names: Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, the Mass. This tradition was formulated by Jesus even as he was about to experience that which Communion signifies, a clear parallel to the establishment of the Passover feast in Exodus 12.
Moreover, the similarities between Communion and the Passover are numerous and essential. Even as Passover celebrates God as Savior, so Communion celebrates Jesus, God with us, as Savior. Even as the events of the Exodus included the death of firstborn sons, so Communion highlights the death of God’s own Son. Even as the shedding of blood allowed the Israelites to be spared the fate of the Egyptians, so the shedding of the blood of Jesus allows us to be spared from the fatal wages of our sin.
Of course these striking parallels also highlight profound differences between the Exodus and the death of Jesus. In Exodus, the firstborn sons of the Egyptians perished. On the cross, God’s very own firstborn Son died. The blood that protected the Israelites belonged to lambs or goats (12:3). The blood that leads to our forgiveness belonged to the Lamb of God, Jesus himself. Thus, in Communion, we remember how God set us free through the sacrifice of his Son, who freely chose to die so that we might live. Our Savior is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
QUESTION FOR REFLECTION: How does your experience of Communion refresh and deepen your faith?
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for establishing for us the traditions that help us to remember your death and its meaning.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, firstborn Son of God, for dying that I might live.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for shedding your own blood for my forgiveness.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being my Savior and my God! Amen.