Teaching on the Background to Communion

There are two ways of reading the Bible:
1. Book order.
2. Event or Timeline order.
Both are valid.
Today we are going to follow the event or Timeline order. Enjoy identifying with our biblical heritage.

Bible Lay out

We invite you to join us to travel through the Time Line order of the then Hebrew nation who had been subjected to an horrendous life of torment and slavery for about 400 years under the eyes of the Egyptians. GOD, hearing their cry for help, appointed His servant Moses to lead them out of Egypt, to the Promised Land.. before they began their ‘Exodus’ .. they held a Passover meal, of which we will delve into.. and we’ll also learn how the Passover then,.. is incorporated now with Jesus and Communion and how they tie in together.
Let us start by following the life of Moses through Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy:
Passover is mentioned in these scriptures:- Exodus 12:1-20, Exodus 23:14-20, Exodus 34:18-26, Leviticus 23:4-8, Numbers 9:1-4, Numbers 28:16-31, Deuteronomy 16:1-8 and other places through out the Bible.

Passover is celebrated on Nisan 14th which is the Sring Equinox, is also the time of the full moon.

Is the Passover mentioned in the books of Joshua , Judges and Ruth directly or indirectly?

Is the Passover mentioned in the books of the life of Four Kings directly or indirectly?
Is the Passover mentioned in the books of Kings and Prophets plus 400 years directly or indirectly?
Is the Passover mentioned in the books of The Gospels, Birth of Jesus, Ministry of Jesus directly or indirectly?

Lastly Easter with the last meal or supper Jesus had which was a religious meal called a Feast of Passover where He, Jesus, changes some things after meal but before the end of the Feast of the Passover was finished for the night.

Jesus had authority unlike some of the Scribes and Pharisees so He, Jesus, could make changes. (Matthew 7:28-29)

The Yearly sacrifice the Priests did only covered the sins of the people for that year.
Whereas Jesus sacrifice, His death, changes the system so it is once for all never to be needed to be repeated again.

One of many Passover Seder (order) Dinner:

(the text recited Passover Seder)

Lighting the candles

A woman begins the Passover by lighting the candles because the light of the world was put out by a woman (Eve), even so Messiah, the Light of the world, will come into the world through a woman.

Candles are lit

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by your commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.
Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us in life and brought us to this season.

As we read through the Passover Service (Haggadah) we see the cup of wine is drunk four times. These four cups represent the four “I wills” recorded in Exodus 6:6-7.

1. The cup of Sanctification
“I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians”

2. The Cup of Judgement
“I will bring you out of their bondage”

3. The Cup of Redemption
“I will redeem you with an outstretched arm”

4. The Cup of Praise (Glory or Hope)
“I will take you to me for a people”

The First Cup (The Cup of Sanctification)

Fill the first cup

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

All drink the first cup while reclining to the left.

The Washing of the Hands

A member of the family pours water over the hands of each person in turn.

Each person washes their hands

The Dipping of the Parsley (Karpas)

As the wine is red and represents the blood of the Passover lamb, so does the parsley represent the hyssop which was used to place the blood of the Passover lamb upon the doorposts and the lintel. The salt water represents the tears shed in Egypt and the Red Sea, both of which are salty.

All Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruits of the earth.

All dip a piece of parsley in the salt water and eat it.

At this point when Yeshua was sharing His Last Passover, He said concerning Judas “the one who dipped his hand in the bowl with me will betray me” (Matt. 26:23, John 13:26)

The Breaking of the Middle Matzos

The Leader: takes the middle piece of the unleavened bread and breaks it in two, leaving one half between the whole ones and wrapping the other half (Afikomen) in a linen cloth. Afikomen means in Aramaic “I have come”. The Afikomen is hidden, to be searched for later by the children.
The Afikomen represents the body of Yeshua which, after He died was taken down from the cross and wrapped in clean linen and hidden in a tomb for a set time.
The unleavened bread is found in its special covering called “The Unity” even though it is in three sections. The Jews are not sure why this is so but we, as believers, see it as representing the unique unity of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In Kosher unleavened bread we see the Messiah, Yeshua, beautifully represented. It is bread that is unleavened and in its baking it is striped and pierced.

Psalm 22:16 And they pierced My hands and My feet, they part My garments among them and cast lots for My raiment.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, upon Him was the chastisement of our peace and by His stripes we are healed.

The Maggid: retelling of the story of the Exodus

Reader: Exodus 12:1-14

The Exodus story tells how God redeemed His people from Egypt by His mighty power. Literally it is the Passover story of redemption by the shedding of the blood of the lamb.

Leader: lifts up the Matzos container (“The Unity”)

This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let those who are hungry enter and eat of it, and all who are in distress come and celebrate the Passover Feast.

The second cup of wine is poured.
Do not drink yet.

The Four Questions

The youngest member of the family rises to ask four questions.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

We were slaves to the Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord redeemed us with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. And if the Lord, blessed be He, had not brought our forefathers out of Egypt, then we, our children and our children’s children would still be slaves. Even though we might all be wise, learned, full of experience and understanding, knowing God’s Word well, it is still our responsibility to tell the story of the going out from Egypt and to praise Him.

We as believers can rejoice as we keep the Passover in remembrance of our own slavery to sin and our subsequent deliverance by Yeshua our Messiah.

On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread. Why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?

I am glad you ask these questions. This night is different from all other nights because on this night when Pharaoh let our forefathers go from Egypt, they were forced to flee in great haste. They had no time to bake their bread and could not wait for the dough to rise. The sun which beat down on the dough as they carried it along, baked it into unleavened bread.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

The Leader: breaks two small pieces of unleavened bread for everyone (one from the top matzos and one from the middle broken matzos)

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by your commandments and commanded us to eat unleavened bread.

All eat together a piece of unleavened bread.

On all other nights we eat vegetables and herbs of all kinds. Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs?

Why do we eat bitter herbs tonight? Because our forefathers were slaves in Egypt and their lives were made very sorrowful and bitter by their captivity.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by your commandments and commanded us to eat the bitter herbs.

All dip a piece of unleavened bread in the horseradish and eat it.

On all other nights we never think of dipping herbs in water or in anything else. Why on this night do we dip the parsley in salt water and the bitter herbs in Haroset?

Why do we dip the herbs twice? We dip the parsley in salt water because it reminds us of the tears we shed in Egypt. We dip the bitter herbs in sweet Haroset to remind us that our forefathers were able to withstand bitter slavery, because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.. The Haroset is made to resemble the mud mortar representing the clay bricks, which were made by our people in Egypt.

Leader: breaks two pieces of unleavened bread for everyone from the bottom matzos
All dip a piece of unleavened bread in the horseradish and the Haroset.

On all other nights we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we recline?

Why do we recline at the table? Because reclining was a sign of a free man long ago and since our forefathers were free on this night, we recline at the table.
And so we who are believers in the Messiah can rejoice that we keep the Passover in the days of our Messiah Yeshua. We can rejoice that in His death we have found life. In Messiah’s coming is the Passover completed.

The Ten Plagues

Exodus 12:12 “Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements. I am the Lord”

These are the ten plaques which the Most Holy, blessed be He, brought on the Egyptians in Egypt.

As each of the ten plagues is read, 3 drops of wine are spilled by everyone from their cup and the name of the plague is said 3 times as they do so. This is followed each time by the declaration by all (in loud voices) ….
“I am saved by the blood of the Lamb”
This is a tradition observed by Sephardic Jews. There are two main group of Jews we hear of today they are Separdic and Ashkenazi and a number of smaller groups including Mizighim, Abayplaya, Italkim, and Romaniotes.

1. Blood The river Nile turned to blood as the first judgement fell.
The Egyptians worshipped the river God.

2. Frogs The Egyptians worshipped Hekt, a goddess with a frog’s head.
The whole land was covered with frogs.

3. Lice The dust of the ground turned to lice on man and beast as judgement
fell on Seb, the earth god.

4. Scarab swarms The sacred dung beetle of Egypt, was the symbol of the soul,
resurrection and immortality. Judgement came upon this god,
known to the Egyptians as Khepera, god of the dawn.

5. Pestilance All the cattle of Egypt were struck with disease but the cattle of the
Israelites remained healthy. Apis, the sacred bull and Hathor a
goddess with a cow’s head were worshipped. The goddess Isis is
always pictured wearing a pair of cow horns.
After the children of Israel came out of Egypt they made an idol, the
golden calf. God had taken Israel out of Egypt but He still had to take Egypt out of Israel.

6. Boils The people were struck with disease. This time Neit the goddess of health was the target of God’s wrath.

7. Hail Hail, with lightning and thunder devastated the barley and flax crops of Egypt just as they were ripening and shattered all the trees. Thus Shu, god of the atmosphere, met with judgement.

8. Locusts Locusts covered the land and consumed every green thing, every blade of grass. Serapia was worshipped as the goddess who gave protection from the plagues of locusts.

9. Darkness Thick darkness that could be felt fell on Egypt for three days, but in the land of Goshen there was light. Ra, the sun god of Egypt was judged.

10. Slaying of the firstborn
This plague dealt with Pharaoh himself. The Egyptians worshipped
him as the god Horus in human form. His son held equal status with
him on the throne. As this plague fell, the first born of every
household in Egypt died, from the throne to the peasant and even
the first born of the cattle.

The protection of the Hebrews was assured as judgement fell, as long as they kept inside the houses where the blood of the Passover lamb was applied. In the same way all who put their trust in the atoning blood of the perfect Passover Lamb are spared judgement and have passed from death to life (John 5:25). God sent judgement on His own first born Son that we might be spared His judgement.

Each Jew is called to keep the feast as though he came out of Egypt personally.
Salvation is experienced now.

We therefore are privileged to thank, praise, adore, glorify, extol, honour, bless, exalt and revere Him who wrought all miracles for our ancestors and us. For He brought us forth from bondage to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning into holy days, from darkness to great light and from servitude to redemption. Therefore let us chant to Him a new song.

The Little Hallel

The family chants Psalms 113 and 114.


John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but the world through Him maybe saved.

Blessing of the Second Cup (The Cup of Judgement)

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

All drink the second cup while leaning to the left.

The Seder meal is served.

After the meal
The children search the house for the Afikomen which has been hidden during the meal. The Afikomen is redeemed by the leader with silver or a present.

The Afikomen is our substitute for the Passover Lamb which, before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, was the final food of the Seder meal.

The leader unwraps the Afikomen and breaks a piece for every person.

This is the piece of bread that Yeshua took and broke and gave to the disciples saying “This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19, John 6:32-25, 48-51). Afikomen means “I have come”.

The Third Cup (The Cup of Redemption)

The third cup is filled and lifted up by the leader.

This cup is the Cup of Redemption and represents the third “I will” … “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.” It is the cup which, after supper, Yeshua took and said ..
“This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood, which was shed for you.” (Luke 22:20)

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

All drink the third cup while leaning to the left.

The Fourth Cup (The Cup of Praise, Glory or Hope)

The fourth cup is filled along with Elijah’s cup.

You will have noticed that one place setting has not been touched throughout the meal. This is the traditional place for Elijah, forerunner of the Messiah. Yeshua clearly identified John the Baptist as Elijah (Matthew 11:13-14).

A child opens the door to see if the prophet Elijah has come.

To the believer this is a reminder that Messiah has already come and that we have a responsibility to tell the Jewish people this. It also represents our expectation of Yeshua’s second coming (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

The door is closed.

The roasted egg and the shank bone .

The egg was roasted as the lamb was roasted. It speaks of sacrifice, which means life and death. The shank bone speaks of the lambs that can no longer be sacrificed because of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
As believers in Yeshua the Messiah, we recognise that the sacrifice is no longer necessary because His death satisfied the need for further sacrifices. In His death there is life. In the shedding of His blood is the remission of sins.

Leader: (raising his cup)
This cup represents the fourth “I will” … “I will take you to me as a people.” For the believer, this speaks of the time when the Lord will gather Israel again to Himself.
Romans 11:25-26 “ A hardening has come upon part of Israel until the full number of the Gentiles comes in and so all Israel will be saved.”

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

All drink the fourth cup while leaning to the left.

The Second Hallel

The family chants Psalms 115-118 and sings hymns of praise.

Matthew 26:33 “And when they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

ALL: sing a song of praise to the Lord.

ALL: say
Baruch haba be’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Next year in Jerusalem!

The Passover is now ended.

Remember, communion is to bring us closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

This communion is based on my personal walk with God and His son, Jesus and it has brought me closer to Him.

The biblical history of where communion is based on we have had a look at it.

Q1. What does the term ‘Last Supper’ mean, and what does it mean to us?

Q2. What is the biblical history of Passover?

Q3. What did Jesus change in His last Passover?

Passover is a religious feast which reminds the Jews of when God saved them from Egypt.

Jews then, and still today eat food and worship God at the same time.

Passover meals start with these spoken words “Why is this night different, why do we sit down and also why we eat unleavened bread.”

The 14th Nisan, which is the day Passover is celebrated on, is also the spring equinox, which is also a full moon.

Details for Passover are in Exodus 7:1- 15:21.

There are a number of scriptures detailing the Passover of which we will read only two of them:
Leviticus 23:4-5,
Numbers 9:2-5

We see the last Passover Jesus celebrated had its roots in the book of Exodus where God took Israel out of Egypt under Moses who was under God.

Did Jesus make the changes to Passover:
at the 1st cup? (Sanctification)      NO
at the 2nd cup? (Judgment or Plagues)   NO
at the Passover Meal      NO
at the 3rd cup? (Redemption)   YES

Who is our redeemer? – Jesus

Who redeemed Ruth? – Boaz

It is at this cup the 3rd cup that Jesus changes the rules with His Jewish disciples (all 11 of them), and all other believers must now follow! Remember up until then, all disciples and followers would have been brought up under the original Passover rulings.

Jesus, a trained rabbi with Authority means he could change the rules, and here He changes the rules of Passover with these words:

The unleavened bread: “This is my body broken for you take eat.” Luke 22:19
The cup: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20

(Please pass out the bread and wine)

Other passages of scripture are:
Matthew 26:17-25, 26:26-30
Mark 14:22-26
John 13:1-14:31

Today we have looked in reverse order where communion came from – Jesus and His last Passover and the ten plagues in Egypt – One of the three sets of Feasts or Fasts of God that He gave to the Hebrew people.

During desert and drinks time. This is time to ask questions. We hope there will be many questions.
We have found some resources that are free. The ones that have a cost you need to pay for yourself. Thank you for your understanding.

Other modules in this unit: