In the second week of our Focus series, Scott talked about how the way that the Jewish religion of Jesus’ day was about preserving the past. Passover was, and still is, the most prominent Jewish holiday. It celebrates the way that God freed the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Celebrating Passover is done through the use of many traditions and rituals which represent the final plague of death and the exodus from Egypt.
When Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, he took the old practices of Passover and made them about something new. The unleavened bread traditionally a reminder of the Passover lamb, and of the fact that the Hebrews hurried out of Egypt without time to allow their bread to rise. This time, Jesus said that the bread was his body. The blood was a reminder of the Passover lamb that was sacrificed, but Jesus said that it was his blood. Jesus took the old symbols of the Exodus and gave them new meanings. They became about him. This was significant, because in order to follow Jesus, his followers would have to reject the idea that faithfulness to God was about the 613 written laws of the Old Covenant, and embrace that there would now be a New Covenant with one law.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus insisted that the command to love God and to love others completely summed up everything written in the law and the prophets. This kind of teaching is exactly what got Jesus into trouble with the authorities of his time. Jesus was a threat to their establishment. He was a threat to the things that they were trying to preserve.
In his message, Scott mentioned that during the Egyptian slavery, the Egypt’s religion was a system of justifying and legitimizing their culture. Do you think that in our culture, people use religion to justify their own values?
It must have been difficult for the disciples to let go of the old religious meaning that they had always placed on the Passover meal, as it gave way to a new meaning. Do you ever have trouble letting go of old things? Is there anything in your life that you are struggling to let go of?
It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting new results. Have you ever found yourself in this kind of place, stuck in the same old patterns, but longing for something new?
The Bible tells us that if we are in Christ, then we are new creations. What is something new that you would love to see God do in you or through you?
PRAY FOR YOUR LIFE GROUP
Pray that we will let go of old religion and seek the newness that Jesus has in store for us.
PRAY FOR FCC & OUR COMMUNITY
Pray that we will experience newness as a church, and that people will be drawn to Jesus because we look like something new and different in our community.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Spend a few moments in prayer praising God for all that was accomplished through FCC’s Adult Chile Global Connection Team last week. The team was able to help with several Church facility refurbishments in Santiago. Pray for the team as they transition back to normal routine at here at home. Pray for the impact the team had on their new Chilean friends to be an ongoing encouragement and to have long-term positive effects as the Church continues to make a difference in its community.