The Apostle Matthew records his version of the events that transpired when Jesus instituted this covenant meal. We read in Matthew 26:17-29
In the text above, we can note instances where the Passover is mentioned, and where Jesus takes this Passover and transforms it into what we know as the Lord’s Table. In this post, I want us to see how God developed an important theological truth which points us to Jesus Christ – The Lamb of God.
1. Pattern of the lamb. Genesis 4:3-5
Moses writes in Genesis 4:3-5
When it says God “had regard”, that underlying Hebrew word speaks of “finding favor”, in other words – grace. There was already a pattern, the only one, acceptable to God.
This same pattern of God's lamb would continue in Israel, especially in God’s instructions concerning the morning and evening sacrifices. We read for instance in Exodus 29:38
2. Prescription of a lamb. Exodus 12:5-7,13
Once I was prescribed an antibiotic for a virus. For whatever reason, I did not follow the doctor’s orders. I ended up get worse. I thought I knew better. How often do people treat spiritual matters pertaining to eternity? They think they can come up with their own prescription. Think of what happens when we ignore God’s prescription. It can spell doom for the soul. There is only one prescription that can cure the sin and separation problem between God and the sinner - trust in Jesus Christ alone by grace alone through faith apart from good deeds.
The first part of the Book of Exodus centers around God's redemption of the Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 1-23). On the eve of their Exodus, God, through Moses, gives them their first festival, celebration, to commemorate His deliverance - The Passover. Notice what we read in Exodus 12:5-7
As I noted already, the context here is the final night for the Jews in Egypt. God sent nine plagues, and Pharoah refused to let them leave. The final plague would involve the death angel passing over the land (which is why the feast here is called “Passover”, translated from the Hebrew “Peschach”). Those who did not have the prescribed blood of the lamb upon their door posts or gates would find their firstborn sons dead by the morning.
Paul describes Jesus as the Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7 "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed." The Apostle Peter likewise utilizes language from Exodus 12 in 1 Peter 1:18-19 "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."
3. Predicted Lamb. Isaiah 53:7-9
We read the following in Isaiah 53:7-9
This remarkable prophecy was penned by Isaiah under Divine inspiration some seven-hundred years before Christ came into this world. It has been called by many "The Fifth Gospel", due to its detailed description of what Jesus underwent going to the cross. This text is quoted or alluded to some fifteen times in the New Testament. Let me mention just two of them as we consider how the Lamb of God was predicted.
1 Peter 2:21-24 "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."
Both of these passages explicitly tell us that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah. He came as the fullfillment of God's pattern for the lamb of God. He came as the prescribed Lamb of God. As God in human flesh, He came to fulfill this prediction about the Lamb of God. Notice with me a fourth truth...
4. Prevailing Lamb. Revelation 5:6-9
We have witnessed God's pattern, prescription, and prediction about the Lamb of God in the Bible. These and many more Scriptures point us to the cross of Christ. No doubt, the Lord's Table (or what we could appropriately call "The Lamb's Table") reminds us of what Jesus achieved.
Why the Table of the Lamb?
As we draw this post to a close today, I hope this may be used by some to prepare for the next time they participate in the Lord's Table. I had mentioned earlier how we could nickname this "The Table of the Lamb". Indeed, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is the One who prescribed it for Christians in His Church. As I close this post today, how can we apply what we learned about the Lamb of God in the Bible to the Lord's Supper?
A. This table reminds us of Christ, our
His coming as the Prevailing King of
Kings, Lord of Lords, the Lamb who was