“For our Passover Festival is ready, now that Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed”.
1 Cor 5:7 GNB
Today the Christian church sees itself, both theologically and socially, as being poles apart from the Jewish faith. Normally we neither meet nor communicate with each other.
It was not so in Paul’s day. Most of the new Christians in the church at Corinth had been Gentile converts to the Jewish faith first. They were fully conversant with the customs and laws of the Old Testament.In calling on the Corinthian Christians to expunge the sinful sexual practice that had come to his attention, Paul used the picture of yeast. It was customary in Jewish usage to regard yeast (or leaven) as sinful. They had to cleanse their homes at Passover time of every last shred of yeast in order to purify themselves for the feast. For Christians, celebrating Easter concurrently with the Jewish Passover, Christ was (the substitute for) their Passover lamb. Paul says, “Our sacrifice has been sacrificed, even Christ; it is his sacrifice that has delivered us from sin, and God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. Therefore … the last remnant of evil must be cleared out of our lives. If you let an evil influence into the church it can corrupt the whole society, as the leaven permeates the whole lump of dough” (W. Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p51).
Every Easter as well as every celebration of the sacrament of Holy Communion, (mass or eucharist) is a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us. It is also a call to Christian holiness, an offer of forgiveness for sin, and a proclamation of Christ’s risen power and presence in our lives. Only his grace is sufficient to keep us from further sin.
Lord, let me ever rejoice in your grace and mercy.