Recently I found some of my notes from keeping the Passover as a small group a few years ago. Rather than the very formal and consistent script that many of the corporate COGs use for Passover, the smaller groups often have a more interactive meeting where multiple people share speaking roles.
This post is adapted from my notes when I presented the Passover wine meaning portion of the ceremony one year. While a bit more perfunctory than many studies on the site, these are good themes to re-visit as we prepare for the Passover every year, and may be helpful for those keeping it in small, interactive groups.
If you want to download my speaking notes for your Passover night meeting, you can do so here: Passover Night Service: The Wine
Themes of Keeping the Passover: The Wine
We know that every single one of us has sinned, and so fall short of the glory of God. And we know that the penalty for that sin is death (Rom. 3:23, 6:23).
God told the Israelites that the blood of the many sacrifices He required was to help make atonement for them, saying “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).
Prior to Christ coming to earth and giving His life for our sins, for Israel to keep the Passover entailed the slaughter of thousands of lambs as a symbol of this need for cleansing. But in Hebrews, Paul makes it clear that it’s not possible for the blood of animals to actually take away sins (Heb. 10:4).
Instead, Jesus Christ—God in the flesh—came as our eternal High Priest to make this atonement for us.
“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God…
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:12-15, 22)
That word translated “remission” means freedom, pardon, forgiveness, or liberty. As our kinsman-redeemer, Christ purchased us with His blood, freeing us from the debt (death) that we owed and from our bondage to sin.
He was able to pay the price for our sins, and transfer ownership of us from Satan (the ruler of this world) to the God family ONLY because He didn’t owe the same debt. He was perfect and blameless, never having committed even a single sin.
“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:15, 18-19)
As our Passover Lamb, only Christ was qualified to make this sacrifice. This redemption out of sin makes possible our eternal salvation, and opens the door for our future roles in God’s kingdom.