Christian Fellowship a Passover Feast
1 Corinthians 5:7
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened…

The sentence, "Even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us," appears to be suddenly inserted in the paragraph, without any immediately evident connection with it. Such connection we seek to discover, and then we would press home that particular duty which the apostle is so earnestly urging upon the Corinthian Church. Exactly rendered, St. Paul's words are, "For also Christ our Passover is slain." There is no word for "even;" the words "for us" are not found in some of the best manuscripts; and the order of the words is very carefully arranged, so as to throw the stress of the sentence on the term "is slain." The apostle has some point to impress by this fact, "Christ is slain:" he is not "about to be slain," or "being slain;" it is an accomplished, completed, historical fact, "he is slain;" "he has been slain." From a reference in one of the later chapters, we find that St. Paul wrote this Epistle to the Corinthians just about the time of the Passover; his mind was occupied with the associations of this feast, and so, in a very natural way, he took his illustration from it. Reverting to the original appointment of the Passover, we observe that the Lord designed to come in one last and overwhelming judgment on the rebellious Egyptians. God's people dwelt in the very midst of them, but no Divine judgments hung over them. Still, it was necessary that, by some sign, the Israelites' houses should be distinguished from others. The observance of an appointed sign would prove the obedience of Israel, and clearly mark the judgment as Divine. The point in the matter to which St. Paul now directs attention is, however, this - the slaying of the lamb was the beginning of the Feast of the Passover, or of Unleavened Bread, if the lamb was killed, the feast time had plainly begun (see Exodus 12:18), and no leaven ought to be found in their habitations. This is the thing on which the apostle fixes for the enforcement of his counsel. It is as if he had said, "This is the time of the Christian feast of the unleavened. 'Christ our Passover is sacrificed;' the purity time has therefore come. Our feast is not indeed for seven days only, but for our whole life. We too are under the most solemn responsibilities; pledged to lives of holiness; bound to cleanse out every relic of the old leaven of sin and self will, urged by every persuasion to 'perfect holiness in the fear of God;' and set upon 'possessing our vessels in sanctification and honour.'" We must be practically what we are theoretically, a new and regenerated society. Dwelling on the Christian suggestions of the text, we notice -

I. THE SLAYING OF THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER LAMB. Limit the thought on this to the one thing that is prominently in the apostle's mind. The word "Passover" is used by him for that seal which marked the Israelites off from the Egyptians, so that the destroying angel might pass over their houses. The blood of the lamb, sprinkled on the lintel and posts, was the sign that marked them as the Lord's obedient people, the objects of his grace, experiencing then a preservation which was to be followed by a glorious deliverance. This feature of the old Passover may be pressed on the Christian Church. The apostle says, "You too are marked off as God's; for you the Passover Lamb has been slain; on you the blood has been sprinkled; for you the great deliverance has been wrought; you are actually now sealed over, as a Christian Church, unto God, by the blood of the everlasting covenant."

II. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THOSE SPRINKLED WITH THE PASSOVER BLOOD. As sealed over to God, Israel was bound to realize what was involved in their side of the covenant into which they had entered. On God's side, the covenant pledged fatherly interest, unceasing care, gracious provision for all need, and the fulfilment of certain defined promises. On man's side, it pledged obedience, service, and above all else, separation from the world, and purity. God impressed his claim to this purity by instituting the seven days of unleavened feast immediately on the sealing of the covenant, enjoining that what they did symbolically for seven days they were in moral and spiritual manner to do all their days. St. Paul applies this to the Corinthian Christians, who had, as it were, entered fully into covenant with God, seeing that Christ, their Passover, had been slain. They too should remember to what moral life and conduct they were pledged. They must realize a spiritual separation from evil; holiness becometh the people of God. Press that each of us should seek to realize the responsibilities of our Christian standing. This is the time when, in home, and family, and society, and business, and the Church, we have to remember that we are "called unto holiness." Christ is sacrificed, and this is the time of "feast of the unleavened." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

WEB: Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place.

Christ Our Passover
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