Exodus 6:6-7 “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians; I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment; I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.”
“Why is this night different from all other nights?” That is the question the youngest child would ask as the Jewish family gathered to celebrate the Passover meal. As the pieces were almost in place and a trial, severe beatings, and death were fast approaching, Jesus took this final night of fellowship with His disciples to answer that very question.
During the meal Jesus spoke many things to His disciples. John records these intimate last words in his gospel [John 13-17]. Yet it was the institution of the Lord’s Table that was to be a lasting means of grace in the lives of all those whom He would call to be His disciples. Until the kingdom finds its final fulfillment this remembrance of the body and blood of Christ will strengthen our faith again and again in the present age. Let us be reminded today, as His disciples, what the Lord’s Table represents.
The life and death of Christ was given as a ransom. God told the Hebrew people, “I will deliver you from their [the Egyptian’s] bondage.” Ever since our father, Adam, sinned against God in the garden, every child since has been born into slavery to sin. The son or daughter of a slave is a slave by birth. Christ purchased us from our master, Sin, and freed us from its power. “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” –Matthew 20:28
The life and death of Christ was given as a sacrifice. God again promised the Hebrews, “I will redeem you with an outstretched hand.” Not only are we as sons and daughters of Adam born into slavery to sin, but we are also born under the penalty of sin. We inherit Adam’s guilt. And then we quickly begin to build upon that guilt with our own acts of disobedience. The justice of God stored up wrath for each thought, word, motive, and action that was not in perfect obedience to God with the purpose of glorifying Him completely. No amount of recompense on our part could ever satisfy the wrath of God against our sin. How shall we be saved from the Day of Judgment? A redeemer must come to save us from death and bring us into life. In order to do that, this redeemer must satisfy the wrath of God in our place. Christ was the Lamb of God slain for the sins of His people. “…he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.’ –Hebrews 9:26
The life and death of Christ was given to establish an everlasting covenant between God and those He calls to Himself. God told the Hebrew people, “I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.” Our sin not only brought about bondage and wrath, but it also brought separation between us and our Creator. The very Presence we were created to enjoy was rejected by our sinful hearts. We desired to rule our own kingdoms and so we were cast out of His kingdom. The atonement of Christ was simply a means to the end for which God created us. Without the atonement, we could never be made the covenant people of God. God redeems us out of sin [Egypt] so that He could bring us into His kingdom [the Promised Land].
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” -Hebrews 8:8-12
Let us remember the marriage feast that awaits us each time we gather together around His table!