Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Lamb of God

Today is Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus' death on the cross. John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God and John the apostle and writer of the Gospel specifically connected Jesus to the Passover lamb. The connection works like this:
As the blood of the Passover lamb marked the Israelites as God’s own people, and protected them from the Angel of Death, Jesus’ blood overcomes death and seals the new covenant that marks us as children of God. We too can pass over from death to life as we by faith make Jesus’ death our own.

Jesus expands on the role of the Passover lamb. Once a meal to connect the people of God to their covenant with God, Jesus also made the Passover lamb into the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Jesus death would accomplish once and for all what the blood of thousands of lambs could never do. Jesus’ sacrifice of himself had the power to end the whole sacrificial system. Jesus was the perfect Passover lamb who ended the need for sacrifices and changed the meaning of the Passover itself.

There is yet another connection to the Passover lamb. The Passover lamb was first and foremost a meal. The way one sealed a connection with the covenant was to eat the meal. Jesus also asked his followers to do this. Jesus changed the significance of the Passover meal making his body the bread and the blood the wine.

Jesus called on his disciples to continue to observe that ritual meal with its significance for the New Covenant and we do that each Sunday. Every week, we celebrate our Passover, the Holy Eucharist. Each week we remember Christ our Passover who is sacrificed for us. Each week we are invited to partake of the meal that binds us to the new covenant.

On Good Friday, we remember Jesus’ passion and death and are called to renew the covenant once more as we come forward to receive Christ’s body and blood in communion. In doing so, we renew our commitment to Jesus, the one who died that all might have life and have it abundantly.

For it is on this day, that Jesus began the process of taking us with him from death to life. It is on this day that Jesus destroyed the power of death. And it is on this day that Jesus can once again call us his people.
In the archives is the full text of the sermon excerpted above, The Passover Lamb.

We will offer the Good Friday liturgy today at 12 noon at King of Peace and tonight at 7 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Saint Marys. Both services are combined worship services for the two congregations.

While neither service includes communion as we usually do it—telling the story and blessing the bread and wine—both services will have blessed bread and wine set aside from last night's communion (from reserved sacrament it is called).

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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