New Testament Passover Service

Passover marks the first of seven festivals that outline the plan of salvation for mankind. Without its fulfillment, mankind would not and could not be saved.

Salvation came through a selfless act of both the Father and the Son.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The Father and the Word knew what would have to transpire in order to accomplish this… Knowing this they did it any way. They were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

He became the The Passover Lamb Sacrifice – which gave us the opportunity that we have today.

We recall these events and their meaning with solemnity. Also, when we fully understand the Passover service, it carries life or death for us!

God gave us commands that we have to follow today – and in a specific way.

1 Corinthians 11 Passover

Divisions in the Church

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.
1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

It is interesting that the divisions in the church give us a chance to show ourselves approved

2 Timothy 2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase [lead] to more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
2 Timothy 2:18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

It is Not a Meal

1 Corinthians 11:20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; [it is not a potluck with a buffet line that everyone takes individually and eats it separately] and one is hungry and another is drunk. [one comes starving looking to be filled physically and another drinks of the symbolic wine to excess].
1 Corinthians 11:22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Do in a Worthy Manner Remembering What Christ Did

Hopefully this has been one of our main focuses of the day of Passover and the lead up to it.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord [in particular I believe He talking about the Passover and all that Jesus did for us] that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; [gives us timing of the 14th of Abib].
1 Corinthians 11:24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

We do this in order to remember the greatest love shown for all of humanity

We do this so you will not forget incalculable value of the sacrifice that He made for us.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

When we partake of it we: preach, teach, speak and declare what Jesus did for us

1 Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Unworthy means unfit – this is where the Corinthians went off the track.

Who among us is ever worthy of any of the gifts of God – we do not deserve them. After our first sin, all we deserve is death – that is the payment for breaking God’s word (Romans 6:23).

We are only worthy to take the Passover in the sense that we are baptized and God commands us to do it.

What Paul is saying then is that we need to partake of this ceremony in all the respect, honor and dignity that is commensurate with the evening. We are not to make a mockery of the symbols.

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

In regard to the way that we go about the ceremony…in particular to the eating and drinking

Now notice how dire this warning is:


1 Corinthians 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Cause and effect: if we disrespect the service

1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

If we make sure that we take the bread and wine in the right way, then we won’t be condemned

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
1 Corinthians 11:34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

We must partake of Passover and apply Christ’s sacrifice to our sins. There is no other path to the Family of God. We are not capable of doing this by ourselves. We need to remember that!

It is life and death to us now

Christ is very specific about His observance of Passover — which is why we assemble for it – it is following the example and command of Jesus Christ.

These symbols of this day that we are now going through are not an afterthought, but purposeful and meaningful events.

Let’s revisit and follow the example Jesus set concerning the Passover – and bring it to remembrance and see if we can capture some of the “fervent desire” that Christ had at His last Passover when He gave us the symbols that we are to use today.


John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. [Greater love; We see the extent of Christ’s love and what it means to love].
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,
John 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
John 13:4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
John 13:5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

He begins setting the example that we are to follow.

Back to John 13:

John 13:6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” [Do we fully understand all of this?].
John 13:8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” […in the Kingdom of God ].
John 13:9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
John 13:10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed [baptized] needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

As we walk in the flesh, there is an expectation of staying clean, but as we walk through the world, our feet will become dirty when we stray from the path.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

As a Christian that God has left in the world and is to remain separate from the world, we will need call upon the sacrifice of Christ “to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” and have our feet washed as a reminder of this.

John 17:11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

John 17:15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
John 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

This is a two person ceremony and now we come to the part where Jesus Christ explains WHY He did the washing of the feet.

John 13:12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?
John 13:13 “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
John 13:14 “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
John 13:15 “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

This job was customarily reserved for the slaves or the lowest of servants. The disciples knew that Jesus was their Teacher and Rabbi, their Lord and Master and the Son of God, so if He can do this, then surely they could and we should!

What was the meaning of this example?

Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

By washing one another’s feet you are demonstrating your willingness to serve. By serving you give a portion of your life for someone else. You stop your life for a moment and give it to someone else. In other words, in that instant, you lay down you life.

The example that He set throughout His time on Earth was leading to the ultimate act of service for mankind…His death.

Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is where Jesus was leading with all of this.

Matthew 23:11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Matthew 23:12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

We are reminded through Jesus’ example that we are to show our love to one another through service and giving and laying down our lives for each other in a spiritual manner.

It would be at this time in the service that we follow this example and wash one another’s feet.


Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

John 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 6:48 I am the bread of life.

It is bread that imparts to us spiritual life — to eat this bread is to live the life Christ lead.

John 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
John 6:50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

His body was also given and broken for our healing

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The meaning for “wounded” is “pierced through,” and the “bruises” or “stripes” describe “blows that cut in.”

He was beaten beyond recognition

Isaiah 53:7 He [Christ] was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people [for our sins] He was stricken. [It was not because of anything that He did].

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 52:13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

This was done so that we can obtain forgiveness of our sins and healing from our sicknesses and diseases

Can we understand this now: 1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

2 Chronicles 30:18 For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone
2 Chronicles 30:19 who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.”
2 Chronicles 30:20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.

So there is a seriousness to the ceremony that we partaking of tonight. When we reflect upon this we can see there is nothing cavalier or meaningless about it.

THE BROKEN BREAD includes healing from physical pain, sickness and injury the broken bread symbolizes spiritual healing or reconciliation with God as man’s sins separate him from the Father

It would be at this time that God’s blessing is asked on the unleavened bread, it is broken and everyone should take some of the unleavened bread and eat it.


Here we find Christ’s institution and example.

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

We see this echoed in Hebrews 9:11-26

Hebrews 9:11  But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Hebrews 9:12  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. [It is this ransom that He paid].
Hebrews 9:13  For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
Hebrews 9:14  how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Hebrews 9:25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—
Hebrews 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Christ released us—set us free—from transgressions, sins, iniquity and our sinful nature. 

We have been set free, eternally, from transgressions and sins and cleansed by the blood that he shed for us

The wine which Christ drank, and which He wants His disciples to partake of, was red wine, symbolizing Christ’s blood, which He shed for our sins. 

When we drink the wine, we once again show our acceptance of the blood of Christ for the remission or forgiveness of our sins

It would be at this time that God’s blessing is asked on the wine, then you would take some of the wine and drink it.



Read highlights of John 13 – 17. This was Jesus’ last Passover



Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

I can imagine this a little better now that we have to do without one another

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

[Sing one song acapella].

Additional reading:

Romans 5:6  For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. [How true is this verse].

Who would you die for?  Would you die for the ungodly?

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 5:10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:11  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 

If we do our part then God will be faithful in His part:

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:24 being justified [made right before God] freely by His grace [God’s loving giving nature that He shows toward us] through the redemption [is a deliverance from death by means of payment; buying back (the cost that we were talking about)] that is in Christ Jesus,
Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood [the means by which amends or reparations can be made], through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, [If we repent God will forgive and forget and allow us to move forward].
Romans 3:26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Jesus’ blood through the sacrifice of Himself as the Passover lamb covers our sins so that we too can be passed-over and saved.

1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

In all that we do and say we need to be self-aware – why? Because we have been bought with the invaluable blood of Christ. A very high price was paid for us.

His life for ours (Matthew 20:28  “… to give His life a ransom for many.” ”).

Passover is about what Jesus did for us — the magnitude of His sacrifice and that none of us are worthy.