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COMMUNION OR SEDER?

APRIL 24, 2011

 

In the last 40 years in which the Charismatic movement developed in the United States, some groups felt the need to return to Jewish rituals. One of these rituals is the celebration of “Seder,” which is the Jewish name for the Passover Meal that God told the children of Israel to eat while they were waiting to leave Egypt. (Exodus 12:1-14)

Since Jesus was an Israelite from the tribe of Judah, He observed the laws given to Moses, and had the disciples prepare a room to observe the Passover meal. Interestingly, Jesus only selected two rituals from the Passover meal: the cup and the bread. He told the apostles that the wine in the cup represented His blood which was to be shed and the broken bread was to be His body. (Luke 22:7-20)

 

It is important to note that Jesus told them to observe these two rituals in remembrance of Him but He never told them to continue observing the entire Passover meal! The purpose of the Passover meal was to point the people to the coming Messiah. The Jewish apostles accepted this and so did the entire Jewish apostolic church in Jerusalem. Since Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday), it became customary for first century Christians to observe the two rituals from the Passover on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7)

The Gentile churches accepted these two rituals and it is now called “The Lord’s Supper,” but the church in Corinth had some bad habits so the apostle Paul wrote and told them how the Lord’s Supper was to be observed. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) These instructions have been the standard for all evangelical churches throughout the ages and the Roman Catholic Church has their own perverted version which we will not discuss at this time. 

A problem arose when the Lord’s Supper was not enough for some Charismatic Christians and they were lured back into Judaism. They don “skull caps,” wrap themselves in “prayer shawls,” and sing Jewish songs while they observe the entire Passover meal. In doing so they are rejecting Jesus as the “Passover Lamb” and saying he wasn’t the perfect sacrificial lamb that was offered once for the atonement of man’s sin. (Hebrews 9:14-26)

The Jews holding on to Judaism have rejected Jesus as the Messiah and when Christians observe the Passover meal they are crucifying Jesus afresh! You cannot observe Jewish rituals and claim to be a Christian. Since the Jewish apostles rejected Judaism and followed Jesus into the Second Covenant, should we not do the same?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John S. Torell


From the Desk of John S. Torell