Lent 2 Midweek (Ex 12, 14–20; 13, 3–10)

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᛭ INI ᛭

The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover are linked. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a Feast that lasted seven days and started on Passover. That overlap means the Feast of Unleavened bread is also tied to the Lord’s Supper.

For the Passover and for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the LORD says, “This day will be a remembrance, and you will celebrate it as Yahweh’s feast, for your generations, you will celebrate [this feast] as an everlasting statute.” For the Sacrament of the Altar, the LORD says, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

“Remember” along with as its corresponding opposite “forget” are different in Bible speak than we normally use them. They’re just a different way of talking about “faith” and “unbelief.” So, “what is the meaning of ‘remembrance of me’? To ‘remember Christ is to remember His benefits and realize that they are truly offered to us; and it is not enough to remember the history, for the Jews and the ungodly can also remember this.’ (AC XXIV § 34) The remembrance of Christ is that faith which receives the gift that these words in the Lord’s Supper convey.” (Schlink, p. 177–178)

When it comes to His people, “remember” is passive. The LORD saves His people, and then He works “remembrance” and “faith” in His people so that they trust in Him and His salvation. But, on the flip side, His people are active in their forgetting and unbelief. This is what the Feast of Unleavened Bread was all about, and this is what the Lord’s Supper continues to be all about. The Lord sets up means to enliven remembrance, that is, faith in His salvation. It’s all physical—for the senses. It’s always something you can hold on to, see, or even sink your teeth into. “The promise of the Gospel is meant for the whole man.” (Schlink, 187) So,

TO ENLIVEN FAITH IN HIS SALVATION, THE LORD GIVES SOMETHING TO HOLD, SEE, AND EAT.

(I. The LORD saves His people.)

The LORD saves His people, that comes first. He saved His ancient people from Egypt. From slavery to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. “Remember this is the day when you were brought out from Egypt, from the house of slavery.” He saves them from the Egyptian false gods. “On all the gods of Egypt I execute judgments.” (Ex 12) He brings them out of Egypt to bring them to the promised land, “which He swore to [their] fathers,” to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “to give to [them].”

The LORD saves you, too. “From sin, from death, and from the power [and kingdom] of the devil.” In the sending of His Son, the Father has “taken you from the domain of darkness and brought you into the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1) Jesus saves us from judgement by being judged. He judges sin and death as paid for and finished by “His innocent suffering and death.” He judges the devil “by being just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom 4)

This rescue from Egypt is symbolized by unleavened bread, “because with a strong hand Yahweh brought you out of Egypt.” Leaven is used to symbolize “false teaching,” as Jesus warns of the Pharisees teaching (Mt 16), or it symbolizes “evil living,” as Paul says, “Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.“ (1 Cor 5:8)

(Transition.)

The LORD always saves His people, and the Lord doesn’t expect mental gymnastics when it comes to remembering His salvation, that He rescues from sin, death, devil, and hell. He doesn’t expect you to drum up faith for yourself. He enlivens faith within you. He gives you “a new heart” (Ezek 36) to trust in Him, His salvation, and His promises.

TO ENLIVEN FAITH IN HIS SALVATION, THE LORD GIVES SOMETHING TO HOLD, SEE, AND EAT.

(II. The LORD brings His salvation to remembrance.)

TO ENLIVEN FAITH IN HIS SALVATION, THE LORD GIVES SOMETHING TO HOLD, SEE, AND EAT.

That’s what the Feast of Unleavened bread is all about. This feast “will become for you a sign upon your hand, a remembrance between your eyes, so that the Law of the LORD will be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.” The Lord creates the remembrance of the Exodus by instituting the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They’ll hold that bread in their hands, see it with their eyes, and taste it with their mouth.

This is exactly how the Lord’s Supper works, too. The Lord Jesus, the Messiah promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, came and is the redemption for the sins of the whole world. He died for you, gave His body into death for you, and shed His blood for you on the cross, for the forgiveness of your sins. You see the bread and wine that are, according to His promise, His body and blood. We receive that into our hands and mouths, and we eat and drink, and that is the Lord creating and enlivening remembrance, faith. We can confidently say, “Jesus died at Calvary for me,” because we receive His body and blood at the Sacrament.

All this involves preaching, too. “You shall tell your son on that day, ‘[This feast] is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’” Or as Paul says of the Sacrament, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Cor 11) The eating and drink is preaching and includes preaching of the salvation and the remembrance.

(Conclusion.))

The Lord saves His people, and then He enlivens faith in Him and His salvation.

TO ENLIVEN FAITH IN HIS SALVATION, THE LORD GIVES SOMETHING TO HOLD, SEE, AND EAT.

That’s the Sacrament of the Altar for you, just like the Feast of Unleavened Bread was for the Israelites until Jesus died and rose for them and for you and for all.

Jesus wants you to believe that He did this for you, to receive the forgiveness that He achieved for you there. That’s the Supper of His Body and Blood.

TO ENLIVEN FAITH IN HIS SALVATION, THE LORD GIVES SOMETHING TO HOLD, SEE, AND EAT.

You see it. You take it. You eat and drink it. Faith must and will be strengthened. That’s what “remembrance of Me is all about.” After all, the Lord promises: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

᛭ INI ᛭

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