Tiger Paws, Block C’s With Gamecocks, And the Blood of the Passover Lamb: Symbols Pointing to What They Represent

Posted: May 10, 2015 in 42-Gospel of Luke

Luke 22:14-30 — Symbols. Something that you see that represents something else more significant. Symbols are used in sports quite often. You see the symbol and you automatically think of the team. You see a Tiger Paw, you think of Clemson’s sports teams and of the university itself. You see a block C with a Gamecock in the center of it, you think of University of South Carolina’s sports teams and the university itself. You see an interlocking SF and you think of the San Francisco 49ers professional football team. Symbols. You see them. They point to what they represent and what they represent is far greater than the symbol itself. Symbols are markers and reminders of what they represent. The Passover meal was symbolic. The Lord’s Supper meal is symbolic.

The Passover meal, the first Lord’s Supper meal. The meal is the same but the meaning has changed. Before we talk about the symbolism of the Lord’s Supper meal. Let us look at its forerunner, the Passover meal. The Passover meal commemorates Israel’s escape from Egypt, when the blood of the lamb painted on their doorframes had saved their firstborn sons from death. This event was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ work on the cross. As we work this passage about the Lord’s Supper over the next few days, let us start with how the Passover is not only symbolic of God’s chosen people’s escape from Egypt but it is symbolic of what Christ has done for us.

As part of the original Passover right before their escape from Egypt, God was to send a plague of death upon Egypt in which all the firstborn sons in Egypt would be killed. Prior to God sending the plague, He instructed Moses to teach his people what they should do and after the plague they must be ready to leave Egypt quickly. He instructed them to find their most perfect one year old male lamb. They were to sacrifice this lamb’s life and use the blood to paint on the doorframes of their homes. They were to consume the food of the lamb and to bake unleavened bread because they were not going to have time to allow the yeast to rise before baking. They were going to have to flee quickly.

When the plague came, the spirit of death passed over those houses marked with the blood of the lamb and moved onto houses that were not so marked. The spirit of death killed the firstborn sons of those houses not marked by the blood the lamb. There was great wailing and crying in Egypt over the death of all her firstborn sons. The pharaoh finally relented at this last plague and let Moses people go, but he said they must go now, immediately.

The blood of the most perfect lamb of each family saved them. This is the symbolism of Jesus Christ. It points us to what Jesus has done for us. It is His blood through which we are saved. He spilled his blood on the doorframes of our lives and saves us from our certain death and the casting of our souls into hell. It is also symbolic that salvation is a gift to us. It is not something that we can do ourselves. It is the work of the blood on the doorframes that saved the Israelites not something that they were able to do on their own. They had to have faith to believe that the blood would save them in order for them to paint the blood on their doorways but that faith was all it took. The blood did the rest. All it takes for us to be saved is to have faith in Jesus Christ. His blood does the rest. We are saved by it and it alone.

The passover lamb that original passover night did not deserve to die. It did nothing wrong. It was sacrificed and its blood was spilled so that others might live. One life given for the protection and survival of many. That is what Jesus is. He is the Passover Lamb. He was killed but had done nothing wrong. He was spotless too like the lamb. He bore no stains of sin. He was perfect. His sacrifice was because He was perfect. Nothing else would do. In his perfection, he was the perfect sacrifice. He stands in the gap for us. He takes on the wrath of the spirit of death for us. Because God said that this was the purpose of the cross. Jesus died there as the perfect sinless sacrifice for all sin of all time so that the spirit of death would pass over us.

We emerge from our passover with new life as the Israelites did in Egypt. Through the blood of the lamb on the doorways they emerged after the passover with a new lease of life. They had to leave their old life in Egypt immediately after that. At salvation through the blood of Jesus, the perfect Lamb, we emerge from our passover with new life. We immediately are changed. Our old life is left behind. The unleavened bread of the passover is to remind the Israelites of the swiftness they had to move into their new life. For us as Christ followers, the unleavened bread represents the immediacy of our new life in Christ. We are immediately and forever changed. Old life left behind. We emerge in new life and cannot look back or wait on our past. We are immediately a new creation.

Now, we understand why Jesus was eager to have this Passover meal. He was about to become the culmination of all Passovers past and future. He is the Passover Lamb. He wanted to make sure the disciples understood that and to also initiate the new covenant that we all now know as the Lord’s Supper. Let us visit the Lord’s Supper together tomorrow together. See you back here tomorrow.


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