Communion Our Passover By Kenneth W. Hagin

Communion Our Passover
By Kenneth W. Hagin

(Editor's Note: This article was adapted from Kenneth W. Hagin's book
The Table That Speaks.)

In the Old Testament, Passover commemorated the deliverance of the children of Israel, God's people, from Pharaoh's tyranny in Egypt. In the Bible, Egypt is a type, or symbol, of sin. The Israelites' deliverance required the blood of a lamb.

The Communion Table commemorates the Christian believer's spiritual deliverance from the bondage of sin through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Communion could be called a "New Testament Passover."

This so-called New Testament Passover was instituted when the Lord Jesus Christ shared His last meal before the Cross with His disciples. On the Cross, Jesus became the Sacrificial Lamb offered for mankind so that we could be delivered from the tyranny and rule of Satan! Just as the children of Israel observe the Passover to celebrate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, Christians observe Communion to celebrate deliverance from sin and its consequences. Communion is our "Passover"!

In the Old Testament God said, ". . . When I see the blood, I will pass over you. . (Exod. 12:13). In other words, when the death angel saw the blood applied to a house, he passed over the people in that house. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, the blood of Jesus is applied to our lives. Therefore, when the judgment our sin deserves comes our way, it passes over us because of Jesus' blood!

Hundreds of years after Israel's release from bondage, Jesus and His disciples were in the Upper Room celebrating what had happened long ago in Egypt. That night with His disciples, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper as an ordinance for the Church.

Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper the night of His arrest, and then taught the Apostle Paul about Communion many years later (1 Cor. 11:23).

Notice the importance of what. Jesus did. He instituted Holy Communion not for the Jews or the Gentiles, but for the Church—the Body of Christ. Every Christian is a member of Christ's Body. The Lord's Supper is an ordinance for us to keep.

Paul said that he had received the ordinance of Communion from the Lord. And he preached it as part of the Gospel. In his letters, Paul testified that what he preached and taught was not from man.

11. I want you to know, brothers that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
12. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave this revelation about Communion to Paul so that Paul would teach it to the Church. The fact that Jesus revealed this teaching to Paul shows how important Communion is for us today.

In the Old Testament, the Passover was prophetic. Through the centuries, the prophecy had been passed down from generation to generation that there would come a great Deliverer—a Messiah—who would again free the Israelites from their slavery. But, unknown to them, the fulfillment of that prophecy required the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was a spiritual slavery from which Christ set mankind free.

At the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples celebrated their forefathers' freedom. Jesus picked up the cup and said, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matt. 26:27-28 NIV). He was referring to His own blood soon to be shed. Therefore, when we take Communion, we drink from the cup not only to indicate that His blood was shed but also to illustrate that the blood e applied to our hearts. When the blood of Jesus is applied to our hearts, our sins are washed away and we are redeemed.

Now it is important that we understand what Jesus was doing. When Jesus personally took bread and broke it and took the cup and drank from it, He knew what He was doing. When Jesus instituted Communion with His disciples, I don't think His disciples fully understood the significance of His words and actions. It wasn't until later, after all the events of the Cross had unfolded, that they really grasped the significance of the Lord's Supper.

Jesus understood that His breaking the bread was a type, or shadow, of His offering His own body to be mutilated, beaten, and pierced. When Jesus offered His disciples the cup, it represented His blood being poured out.

As Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal, He told them, "I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:16). After saying this about His death, Jesus looked at the men who had walked with Him and had been with Him through thick and thin. He saw the troubled looks on their faces, and I believe He understood their heartache.

Jesus tried to explain the coming events to His disciples, but they wouldn't receive what He was saying. Notice, however, that Jesus didn't get upset with them over their lack of understanding. But rather, He continued to encourage, minister to, and instruct them.

Jesus did His best to share with His disciples, to give them strength, encouragement, and hope that would sustain them through the coming hours. Jesus knew that His disciples would be tested to the limit. He understood that they were about to face the most trying three days of their lives. According to the Scriptures, when Jesus was arrested, the disciples ran away (Matt. 26:56). Even Peter, who had said, "Even if I. have to die with You, I wilt not deny you" (Matt. 26:35 NKJV), stood in the courtyard outside the high priest's house and said, "I don't even know who this man is!" (See Luke 22:54-62.)

Jesus was aware of the pain and sorrow the disciples were going to face. Yet He said, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you ..." (Luke 22:15 NIV). Jesus anticipated this time with His disciples, and His death, with great expectation.

Why was Jesus so eager to eat this meal with His disciples? Because at the end of that Passover meal, He would institute a new "Passover" which we call the Lord's Supper, or Communion. And it would be a symbol of mankind's redemption from slavery to sin. Jesus looked forward to the future with expectation because He knew His death would deliver mankind from the chains of sin, sickness, and poverty forever! 

From, “Word of Faith Magazine”/ Page 4-6, May 2008, By Kenneth W. Hagin