Passover Perspectives Exodus 12: A Collective Celebration

#336  Passover Perspectives  Exodus 12:  A collective celebration

 Joy Thompson

A lamb for his family  Exodus 12:3  “…on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.”   We are celebrating the sacrifice of Christ individually in our personal heart appreciation as well as collectively as part of the body and family of Christ.  Each class is a household.  Just as families make up the strength of a nation, so our classes make up the strength of our collective worldwide influence.  Even if our celebration is literally alone, we celebrate with the collective body of Christ in our hearts.

The Memorial of the death of Christ is not to be celebrated alone.  The fullest blessing comes when we partake in heart-fellowship and in sympathy with the needs of our spiritual family.  1 Corinthians 1:29, 33-34  We share the life and death need for our Savior.

Collective praise and thanksgiving is a wonderful way to make the power and deliverance of God the most real to us.  “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  Psalm 34:3   Collective efforts and appreciation also cause an overflow of worship and praise for God and Christ.  “For your giving does not end in meeting the wants of your fellow-Christians.  It also results in an over-flowing tide of thanksgiving to God.”  2 Corinthians 9:13

If the household be too little for a lamb   Exodus 12:4  “If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbors, having taken into account the number of people there are.  You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.”  The literal definition of family was to be overridden by the larger definition of neighbor for the sake of the most respectful and fullest use of the lamb.  In some cases neighbor became part of family.

Out of respect for our Savior and his sacrifice we need to go beyond the “family,” or those we know best, and include others we may not feel close to as “family.”  Even in our own Bible class or church, personality, doctrinal difference and difference of opinion can draw lines that leave out those not closest to our view and approach.

“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus:  that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”  Romans 15:5-7

Please accept any dramatic renditions as attempts to make the last experiences of Jesus more of a reality


They reclined in their places by the table.  The aroma of roasted lamb and the thought of bread and bitter herbs restored the irritable mood of the disciples who had just finished a scramble to be the greatest.  They anticipated partaking of sustenance that would satisfy their hunger and energize their minds with the remembrance of the mighty delivering power of their God.

Jesus spoke as the ‘Head of a Company’ because there were over ten people present, and therefore he was considered the one who offered of the Paschal Lamb, and had the responsibility of being the server for the evening.  (Edersheim 813)  He shared with them his own great need to both strengthen and be strengthened through the observance of this feast.  He longed deeply to share this feast with them, his true family, with those who sought to do the will of His Father.  Matthew 12:46-50

He knew he was the Lamb of God chosen to take away the sin of the world.  He knew well the harsh reality of what being that Lamb meant, especially in the hours that lay before him.  The finished picture of deliverance illustrated in this Passover brought him strength and vision to go forward.  Part of the joy that was set before him was the truth of the complete deliverance of the church of the firstborn and finally the deliverance of all the families of the earth.  Partaking of this feast with this small band of followers gave him joy and foreshadowed his complete joy.

“With desire I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I say to you, that I will not eat of it until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  Luke 22:15-16

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