The Last Supper

Today's Bible reading: Luke 22:14-30

We arrive, then, at Maundy Thursday and Jesus’ Last Supper.  Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the institution of the Lord’s Supper on the evening before Jesus death … a time when Jewish families were gathered to celebrate the Passover meal.

The Passover meal meant the celebration of God’s mighty deliverance of Israel out of captivity in Egypt.  It was a meal of joy … looking back to salvation in the past … but also looking forward in eager anticipation to deliverance in the future.  This meal is different.  On the eve of His death - surrounded by fearful disciples - Jesus speaks openly of His future suffering … but in the same breath speaks of the coming of God’s Kingdom. This meal is a foretaste of a far greater celebration of victory then rescue from Egypt.

The decisive moment comes when Jesus hands out bread and wine with those famous words: “This is my body.  This is my blood.”  Jesus gives Himself to the disciples while at the same time giving them the meaning of His death.  His body is “Given for you” … His blood is the “blood of the new covenant shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”  In Jesus death, God is establishing the new covenant promised by the prophet Jeremiah.  The coming of the Kingdom means the death of the King.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all you have done for me.  May I show my gratitude in service to You and to Your people.  Amen.