“For Christ did not enter a manmade sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:24-28
Today, we conclude our time spent in the study Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg. We have spent the last six sessions learning about various foods in the Bible and we have learned more about God, His provision and His providence. All that we have learned has led us to this last session about Christ as the fulfillment of the Passover and the mediator of the New Covenant.
Margaret Feinberg writes in her companion book to the study that “Passover commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.” (pg. 165) The Passover feast incorporates a plate with six foods that represent different aspects of the exodus story from Egypt. These foods are a shank bone with meat representing the lamb whose blood on the Jewish doorposts saved lives, a boiled and roasted egg symbolizing the offering eaten along with the lamb at Passover during temple times, a mix of date and nuts rolled into a ball called charoset representing the mortar used by the slaves in Egypt, lettuce dipped into salt water which reflects the tears of the slaves, and parsley symbolizing the bitterness of slavery. Lastly, matzo commemorates those who fled Egypt in a hurry and couldn’t wait for bread to rise. Jewish families not only commemorate the exodus story with food, they also reenact the story. This reenactment serves as a visual reminder and a help to the participants to fully engage in their history with God.
“The meal commemorates a physical freedom, but the heart of Passover ushers an invitation for spiritual freedom. To leave behind that which hinders, ensnares, enslaves us. To discover that God satisfies the deepest hungers of our hearts.” Taste and See pg. 169
When Jesus Christ came, he fulfilled the story of Passover. He offered himself, the Lamb of God, “during Passover to free people from the slavery of sin. Just as God asks the Jews to commemorate the Passover with a meal, Jesus asks those who hunger for him to commemorate his life with a meal.” (pg. 170) He is the Passover Lamb, the Bread of Life at the communion table, and the True Vine from which the wine of communion flows. The practice of the early church was to break bread together in community. They did this practice not only as a way to commemorate the Last Supper along with the death and resurrection of Christ but to also have fellowship with one another as they participated in the sharing of a meal. Around the table, we share our lives and in that sharing, we satisfy the hunger of our souls through connection.
“Every table is a doorway, an entrance into a holy and sacred communion with God and those around us. In the midst of a busy life, we can all create a space to taste and see God’s goodness…. Every mealtime is an opportunity to be on the lookout for Christ to reveal himself in surprising ways. We can all pause in order to pay attention to the One who has provided the food before us.” Taste and See pg. 172
One of the major themes of this study has focused on communion with others at the table. In this busy and hectic life, our modern conveniences make it so easy to pull into a fast food restaurant and eat a meal on the go without stopping to give thanks and to remember the value of mealtime. Let us try and reclaim the table time as a place for the intentional sharing and giving of ourselves in meaningful conversation and above all, love.
The Liturgy of the Table
“Creator of all things delicious and nutritious, May we come into each other’s presence and recognize that you are among us. May we crack open the hurts behind our smiles and have you feed the unspoken hungers deep within. May you break down our walls as we break our bread. May our hearts be filled as we fill our cups. May those who gather here today taste from the Bread of Life and drink from the Living Water. May we glimpse the Garden of Eden that was and the feast of the lamb to come. May we taste and see your goodness, not just in the food we eat, but in the company we keep. God, pull up a chair. Eat with us today. Amen.” Taste and See Study Guide pg. 117