If you have not started, it is time to get ready for Passover! Some of us have observed Passover 20 – 30 – 40 or more years. Maybe we do not look as hard for “crumbs” as we once did. Jesus had His disciples get ready for Passover ahead of time.
Luke 22:8, 13 [Jesus] sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat... And they went, and found as He had said unto them: and they prepared the Passover.
We often mistakenly think only of the physical aspects of preparedness. We should see that spiritual preparedness is called for. Passover will be here soon. We are told that a spiritual examination of ourselves is the correct way to prepare for Passover.
1Corinthians 11:28 Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
As we prepare for Passover and Unleavened Bread, we put leavened bread and leavened products out of our homes as Israel of old did. As New Testament Christians, we apply the spiritual lesson by also putting sin out of our lives. We are told to examine ourselves. It is appropriate that we examine ourselves throughout the year, but especially, as Passover approaches. In the days of the apostle Paul, the brethren de-leavened their homes just as we do today.
1Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Though the Church brethren were meticulous in physically cleaning their homes, there was the recurring problem then – just as so often happens today – of not spiritually discerning the Lord's Body.
1Corinthians 11:29 He that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's Body.
Time is rapidly running out on the Church of God brethren. Many of us are becoming “old timers.” We are dropping like flies! The sad part is, we are teaching the younger members that it is okay not to gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad. And, for that we will be held accountable. Is everyone self-satisfied with only his own special group? There is no more important preparation for Passover than understanding what discerning the Lord's Body means. Discerning the Lord's Body means answering the question, “Who are God’s people,” and then acting accordingly! Could Paul be any clearer?
1Corinthians 12:25 There should be no division in the Body [of Christ]; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
It is not about who is in charge or has control. It is about being there for each other – as Jesus was! Discerning the Lord's Body is the correct way to get ready for Passover.
We must answer the question, what does Paul mean by the "Lord's Body?" Paul was speaking of the Church of God brethren! "The Body of Christ" is a common term meaning all the converted people of God. All the brethren who are in the Church of God are the "Body of Christ." Notice Paul’s dogged consistency. The urgency should be evident:
Ephesians 1:22-23 The Church, which is His Body.
Romans 12:4-5 We, being many, are One Body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
1Corinthians 12:27 You are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Corinthians 10:16-17 The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship of the Body of Christ? For we being many [brethren] are One Bread, and One Body.
Colossians 1:24 For [Christ's] Body's sake, which is the Church.
Colossians 3:15 You are all called into One Body; and be ye thankful.
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints …for the edifying of the Body of Christ.
It is abundantly clear from these Scriptures that in explaining the meaning of the Lord’s Body, Paul is referring to all the members of the Church of God. How do we then, examine ourselves with regard to the Body of Jesus Christ? It is a big job – isn't it? And it’s an important task at Passover time. Paul said that because of the ongoing division between members – described as, not discerning the Lord's Body, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." (1Corinthians 11:30) That is a nice way of saying we are dropping like flies before we are ready to stand before Jesus Christ to give an accounting of ourselves (Romans 14:10-12). Paul is speaking of Church brethren who are physically sick and prematurely dead. He is describing the spiritually destitute state of some members. Paul then calls for self-examination using the same word again:
1Corinthians 11:31 If we would discern ourselves, we should not be condemned.
Brethren, as we get ready for Passover let’s act accordingly toward all of God’s people.