Mark 14:12-16 (ESV)
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, "Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"  And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him,  and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'  And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us."  And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
They Sacrificed the Passover. A friend of mine was threatening to write an article on that word sacrifice and its use in the Old Testament. Not sure if Robert Macina has gotten around to that, he is a lucky man doing a PHD under Kleinig in Old Testament worship. In any case he was bringing up something that is often overlooked. There is a difference between sacrifices and offerings. Sacrifices are eaten, offerings are not. So you have a burnt offering, which is totally consumed by God, (Yes God consumes meat, or at least he did,) but that is not a sacrifice. The Passover was the sacrifice of sacrifices. In many ways, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament revolved around this one sacrifice which commemorated the Exodus, God’s rescue of Israel from Egypt. The Passover on the other hand, was to be eaten, the whole lamb, nothing left.
The way in which one participated in a sacrifice, was by eating. When one consumed the sacrifice one received the benefits of that sacrifice. Of course this has quite a few implications for the New Testament. “So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53 (ESV) Yeah, I’m going there.
Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross. And he did so during the Passover. He becomes our Passover Lamb. He means to be eaten. It is why he instituted the Lord’s Supper, the New Testament in his blood. We partake of that sacrifice by eating the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In him the whole sacrificial system, including the offerings, find their culmination and final meaning. In him everything they mean and stand for are fulfilled. So now he is our Passover Lamb who forms the basis for all New Testament sacrifice and offering. By eating his Body and Blood, our bodies are prepared to be living sacrifices acceptable to God. (Romans 12:1), our gifts become fragrant offerings and sacrifices acceptable to God (Eph. 5:2). Our prayers, our love, everything we do as Christians revolves around the sacrifice Christ made and our participation in it. Which, as I said in a lecture on Bo Giertz and the devotional life, Acts 2:42 is the verse that sums up the spiritual life of a Christian. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42 (ESV) And here communion is at the center. The celebration of it provides the impetus for fellowship, it occupies center place in the teaching of the apostles, who would know nothing but Christ and him crucified, and a spring board for prayer. This is why it is important to celebrate it weekly if not more often. By and through it, we know Christ crucified, our Passover lamb.