I'm so thankful for these pointers to the story this season commemorates. We need to look back, to remember. This is why God commanded the Passover feast, and, as barlow_girl and I experienced at the Millers' Seder last weekend, remembrance has still deeper layers of meaning for Christians. It's one of the reasons I love the Maundy Thursday service each year, and though the homily was not focused on retelling the story this time, I have powerful memories of previous years to look back on. From 17 April 2003:
The Passover was God's mercy on Israel as He prepared to deliver them from Egypt. When He went through the land to slay every firstborn, He told the Israelites to kill a lamb and smear the blood on the doorframe. Each house so marked would be passed over and spared God's destruction. The lamb itself was to be roasted by fire and consumed that very night, in haste, with unleavened bread.
By the end of that night, in every house throughout Egypt, something was killed—either a lamb or a son. Judgment night.
He commanded the Passover to be a lasting feast, celebrated at each year's beginning. The families of Israel would remember and reenter this story of mercy, breaking bread, drinking of four cups, and eating the lamb. This was the supper Jesus celebrated with His disciples in the upper room, the meal that would be His last.
He presented the bread as they ate, but He told a new story: "This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." The disciples must have looked at one another in shock and bewilderment. What story was He telling? Lifting the cup of blessing, He continued: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you." A new covenant in His blood? What could this mean?
And where was the lamb?
What kind of Seder could be presented without the lamb, the centerpiece of God's story of mercy? Without the lamb, none would have survived God's wrath. Without the lamb, there could be no story, no salvation, no praise of God—only fear and death. Where was the lamb?
The Lamb reclined at table with them. He fed them of Himself, told them His story, now theirs.
The Lamb, slain from the beginning of the world, was the Son.