Psalm 128:3-4 "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord."
The kitchen table is a place where family gathers and life happens.
The kitchen table is a place where conversations take place.
The kitchen table is a place where life decisions are sometimes made.
What college do I attend? What job do I take? Who do I marry?
The family table is a picture of stability and hope BUT so is the Lord's table.
The Lord’s table goes back to the Last Supper. The Last Supper is a kind of hybrid, a mixture of an Old Testament Passover and the institution of the New Testament communion celebration.
The Passover feast begins the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread celebration. Preparations for the Passover meal began with a diligent search for any leaven which might be in the house. Leaven was not to be used in any of the bread.
This was to remind every generation of the original Exodus from Egypt – something that happened quickly. There was not time to bake bread that would have to rise. Exodus 12:34
As always there are some wonderful life lessons in Scripture. With the story of the Exodus, TWO LIFE LESSONS are:
· Always be prepared to go or do when the Lord says to go or do
· Removing leaven (sin) from your life
These conditions of the Exodus have become a teaching point that can pass down to each generation.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
· a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough
· get rid of the old yeast
· old bread = malice and wickedness
· unleavened bread = sincerity and truth
In the morning, the unleavened bread would be prepared for the feast. In the afternoon, the Passover lamb would be taken to the temple and slain. After sunset the Passover meal was observed. This was a family gathering, with not less than ten, nor usually more than twenty at the table.
Parents have the privilege of teaching their kids about the importance of the Passover Lamb.
"...when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell the, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" Then the people bowed down and worshiped."
Dad gets to lead his family in prayer.
God gave the Israelites SPECIFIC instructions as to HOW the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered. There is so much you can teach your kids within these instructions:
“…must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.”
Take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
The entire lamb was to be roasted. This represents a complete and unbroken
fellowship with the God who had passed by the blood-sprinkled doors
Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire
Not a bone of the Paschal lamb was to be broken, and it was not to be 'sodden
(soaked) in water, but roast with fire. THIS IS A MESSAGE OF PURITY
Roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs
The lamb was roasted on a spit made of pomegranate wood, the spit passing right
through from mouth to end. Special care was to be taken that in roasted lamb was
not touch the oven, which might otherwise have stuck to it. IF SO, that part touched
had to be cut away.
The lamb was to be undefiled by any contact with foreign matter. IS THAT NOT A
GREAT LESSON TO TEACH KIDS?
Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.
It was to be served up entirely. None of it was to be left over.
ALL OF THESE TRUTHS ARE TO BE KEPT. WE ARE NOT TO DISCARD ANY OF
This is how you are to eat it: “with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.”
Those who gathered around it were to form one family. All this was intended to
express that it was to be and with those who together form but one family and one
EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WAS TO ALWAYS BE READY FOR THE COMING
OF THE LORD.
The last Passover meal God commanded was the night of the Last Supper. The Passover Meal transitioned to Communion. Depending what church you attend, this may be called the Lord’s table, the breaking of bread, the Eucharist or Communion.
On the night of that last Passover, Josephus recorded the number of lambs sacrificed in Jerusalem was 256,500. They were slain between the ninth and eleventh hour, which is from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
"Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. And the chief priests and the scribes were trying to find a way to put Him to death, since they were afraid of the people."
"Now the first day of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And so Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it." They said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare it?" And He said to them, "When you have entered the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house that he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?" And he will show you a large, furnished upstairs room; prepare it there." And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover."
Some significant backdrop to the Last Supper:
Luke told of the preparations that were made for the supper. It is obvious that the location and details of the Last Supper were a closely guarded secret.
The disciples did not know where the Passover was to be held nor what preparations had been made.
Luke tells us that Peter and John (two of the most intimate of the disciples) were sent to handle the preparations.
They were not told the location of the house where they were to gather, but were to discern that by a set of circumstances, all of which were out of the ordinary.
They would see a man carrying a clay water vessel. This was unusual because normally these pots were carried by the women, while men carried water in skins.
When they followed this man to his destination, they were to ask the owner of the house for a room for the Teacher to use to keep the Passover. He would then show them where they were to make their preparations.
All of this shroud of secrecy was on account of Judas, who had already agreed to betray the whereabouts of the Lord, and who waited for an opportune time, out of the sight of the crowds (verses 3-6).
So far as Judas was concerned there would have been no better time than during the meal itself.
Jesus removed this option by keeping Judas ‘in the dark’ until it was too late for him to notify the officials as to their exact place of meeting.
Again, there are so MANY LIFE LESSONS we can teach our kids from this last Passover gathering. Despite the famous last Supper painting, the disciples were not at a table. They ate on the floor, sitting on soft cushions, leaning to their left side.
THERE IS SIGNIFICANCE TO ALL OF THAT
Judas, you will recall (John 13:27-30), left sometime during the meal to disclose the location where Jesus could be apprehended. I suspect that he led the temple guard first to the upper room, and, then, finding Him already gone, began to search for Him at some of His most frequently used places of refuge and privacy.
Each disciple reclined at the table. This was the position of a king. This is HOW royalty would eat. Supper in a reclining attitude indicate rest, safety, and liberty.
The poor or the unwelcomed could NOT recline at the table. They had to eat standing up. Look at the example found in Luke 7:36-39.
“Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, and began kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume…”
If you were a guest of royalty – this is how you would be treated
You would lean on you left side so your right hand / arm would be free to eat with your right hand
The right is always the privileged side – this is one of the reasons why we shake hands with our right-hand
LIFE LESSON -Teach kids they are sons & daughters of THE King
In God’s eyes they are royalty
Encourage them to see themselves that way, not to become prideful but to acknowledge
which Kingdom they are a part of.
The Passover meal HAD to be eaten within the walls of the city
LIFE LESSON - kids must be raised with safe & PROPER boundaries
The Jewish Talmud describes the death of the Passover Lamb of God was a sign of freedom - Exodus 13:18.
LIFE LESSON – We need to be and can be free from worldly expectations
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a picture of our relationship and walk with God.
Leaven is a type or symbol of sin. As leaven was removed from Jewish homes, we are to
remove sinful habits, actions, attitudes, and associations from our lives.
We are to get the leaven of sinful living out!
It was Paul who told us to "put off or get some things out of our lives". Colossians 3:8-9
· Judas got up and left the meal – WHY was this not a red flag?
· If you are having a family Thanksgiving dinner and one the prominent members of the family gets up and leaves, would that not be a concern?
· Yet the disciples seemed to be Ok with Judas leaving. WHY?
An expectation of the Passover was to give to the poor.
LIFE LESSON – We need to be Generous– giving to the poor is good
The Passover meal always ended with song – usually songs from the Psalms, especially
from Psalm 115-118.
LIFE LESSON - we worship together as a family.
The Passover meal was a family celebration, and not just a gathering of men.
“And He said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”
Jesus desired to gather with the twelve for this meal. He needed to prepare His followers for the events of the future. He needed one last time to teach them the meaning of who He was and what He had done for them. Thus, He ate His final Passover with His disciples.
LIFE LESSON – we need to be and to teach our kids to be prepared for the events of the future. Jesus is coming back!