CHRIST OUR PASSOVER.
Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7). The passover was one of the most important of the types given to the Children of Israel, and was ever observed by them as one of their most solemn feasts. They kept it in remembrance of the passing over of their first-born when the tenth plague was visited upon the first-born of Egypt. They commemorated it every year on the anniversary of the event, slaying a lamb each year on the fourteenth day of the first month. They saw only the type: We, instructed by the Holy Ghost through the apostles, are able to recognize the antitype as "Christ our Passover Lamb slain for us"--"the Lamb of God." Death would pass upon us, were it not that our Lamb's blood is sprinkled upon us, but in Him we have life.
As the typical lamb was put to death on the fourteenth of the first month, so our Passover Lamb was put to death on the same day. No other day would fulfill the type, and so it was, as we read, Luke 22:7. As they feasted on the typical lamb, we feast on our Lamb. It was on this same day that Jesus gave to the apostles the symbols of His broken body and shed blood, saying: "THIS do in remembrance of me;" i.e., keep this feast hereafter, thinking of me as your Lamb.
It has for several years been the custom of many of us here in Pittsburgh to do this; i.e., remember the Passover, and eat the emblems of our Lord's body and blood, and it has ever been an occasion of solemn pleasure and communion, and was particularly so this year. We met on the night of March 24th, as usual, at the house of Brother and Sister Conley (it being the most commodious); and ate together the unleavened bread--eating, meantime "the truth" which it symbolized, viz: That Jesus was unleavened (without sin), holy, harmless, undefiled, and therefore food "of which, if a man eat, he shall never die." We said, with Paul, "Christ, our Passover is slain; therefore, let us keep the feast." We saw clearly that because we had Christ within, therefore (soon, we believe), all the church of the first-born will be passed over, and spared, as it is written: "I will spare them, as a man spareth his only son that serveth him," and we said one to another, "Watch that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things coming upon the world, and stand before the Son of Man."
We read, also, how that if we are Christ's, we are part of the same loaf; to be broken as He was; to die, as He did to the flesh--crucifying the flesh. "The loaf, which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one loaf and one body." (1 Cor. 10:17.) We saw, also, that if we would count ourselves parts of that loaf, and be broken, we must first "purge out therefrom the old leaven" of sin, that we may be like our Master, "who knew no sin."
After supper, we took the cup--the wine. As we took it, we remembered that it was not represented by the type, the passover supper, but that it was the symbol of joy and life. After supper, He took the cup,... saying, "Drink ye all of it," and we realized that, when the present night of eating the Lamb with bitter herbs (afflictions) has passed, our Lord will give us the new life and new joys, saying, "Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord," And we realized, even now and here, a foretaste of those joys of Paradise. Thus, the wine of our feast was but typical of the joys of the kingdom, when we shall drink it new with Him, in our Father's kingdom--"after supper."