The Lord’s Supper was instituted right around the time of the Passover. It’s often been compared to that feast, and many similarities have been noted. The Israelites were commanded to eat a lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Wine was a given. Passover is not the only ritual that the Lord’s Supper bears similarity to. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s now November, and the stores are bringing out their Christmas decorations and playing the familiar songs over the PA. Another Christmas tradition in the US is the airing of Frank Capra’s movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” As God and Joseph are telling Clarence about George Bailey’s life up to that fateful night, one of the scenes is of the Martini family moving into their newly built house, financed by the Bailey Building and Loan. Just before they enter the house the first time, they are handed a few things by George and Mary. “Bread… That this house may never know hunger. Salt… That life may always have flavor. And wine… That joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Martini castle.”
What we call Communion was given to us in a similar way. “Take, eat, this is My body, broken for you.” “This [cup] is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The emblems are each a unique reminder of what Jesus has done for us. He fills us with His blessings, so that we can share our overflowing portions with the world.
Our Lord had things to say about hunger, flavor, and joy as well. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become flavorless… it is no longer good for anything.” “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
The Passover and the Lord’s Supper are both somber occasions. For the first, God’s people are nervously waiting to move, knowing that there is a tragedy playing out around them. For the second, God’s people are nervously waiting for what comes next, and seeing a tragedy playing out before them. But in both, God has given us satisfaction and comfort, showing us that the Egyptians, and then Death, will be defeated. Take comfort—and joy—in the ultimate knowledge that all enemies will be defeated. And then, like the Martinis entered their castle, we can enter into the Kingdom of God.