Passover 2015 begins in two days, at sundown this Friday. It always feels powerfully appropriate when Passover and the events of Holy Week occur at the same time.
The details and importance of the Seder, the Passover meal, have changed very little for Jews in the 2,000 years between Jesus’ time and now. From its ritual questions and answers to its traditional food and drink, it focuses on the central event in Jewish history, the deliverance of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt through God’s active intervention on their behalf.
Wine and unleavened bread are both important elements in the Seder meal, and had been for hundreds of years before the time of Jesus. As he promised in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus did not repudiate Jewish Law, including the Seder traditions. He carefully honored them during the final Passover celebration of his mortal life. And he added to them a different dimension. He moved the emphasis from group obedience to individual responsibility. He used the pure power of his unconditional love to demonstrate a new level of spiritual awareness within each of us.
Thus the Seder meal takes on a new dimension of communion. “Take and eat,” Jesus said of the bread, “for this is my body.” “Drink,” he said of the wine, “for this is my blood.” Charles Fillmore explains that the bread symbolizes substance, a body of spiritual ideas. The wine is life, the circulation of divine ideas that will purify our mind and heart and renew our strength. “Through the appropriation and assimilation of the substance and life in our own consciousness,” Fillmore writes, “we blend our minds with God Mind, and there is a harmonizing of every fiber of our body with the Christ body, which is life and light.”
Today the pure life and substance of Truth are constantly renewing and rebuilding my body, which is a holy temple, and regenerating my mind, which is a creative channel from which creative ideas flow constantly.