(Quick note these articles were adapted from the weekly article I write for my church's bulletin.)
The Meals of Jesus
Passover Supper with the Disciples Part Two
Matthew 26.1 - .30
Mark 14.12 - .26
Luke 22.1 - .38
John 13 – 17
1 Corinthians 10.14-.22
I Corinthians 11.17 - .34
Yesterday we explored what we traditionally call the Last Supper. Jesus takes elements from the Passover Meal and makes them new. He takes the symbol unleavened bread and makes it represent his body broken for us. He takes the wine and changes it to represent his blood poured out for us to seal the new covenant. As I mentioned then this is a meal that we still eat today. Instead of calling it the Last Supper, we call it Eucharist, or Communion or the LORD's Supper. You are either about to participate in this meal or you already have depending on when you read the Family Life on Sunday. The big question is why did Jesus want us to keep eating this meal? Here are three of the reasons I see for his desire for us to eat it.
One reason is remembrance. On the night Jesus was betrayed he began the meal and we are to eat it to remember his life, crucifixion and resurrection (Luke 22.19 & 1 Corinthians 11.24-.25). He tell us to eat the bread and drink the vine to remember because we are forgetful. We forget things all the time. Where we put our keys, what our anniversary date is and even what our phone number is. We need a reminder so we have daytimes and palm pilots to help us remember. Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper to remind us what he did for us and what we need to do for him because of it. Every time we eat Communion together we proclaim the LORD' s death and his returning (1 Corinthians 11.26).
Another reason is anticipation. The night the meal started Jesus tells those present that he had anticipated eating the Passover meal that night with them and that he will not eat it again until the Kingdom of God comes (Matthew 26.29, Mark 14.25 and Luke 22.14-.16). He wants to eat it again not just with the small group gathered that night but with all of his people. We are also anticipating eating it with him in what some call the great Messianic Banquet. Some day off in the future we will all sit down with our LORD and he will break the bread and hand it to us. He will pass the cup and we will drink it with him a new in the Father's Kingdom.
The next reason is participation. When we eat the bread and drink from the cup we participate in the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10.14-.17). In eating the bread we participate in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord's body. When we drink from the cup we participate in the blood that was poured out for us. In addition to participating in the LORD's life we also become one as a community. From the one loaf we all become on body and that body is the church (1 Corinthians 10.17). When we eat the bread and drink from the cup we remember the life death and resurrection of our LORD. When we eat and drink, we are anticipating and proclaiming the coming of our LORD. When we eat and drink we are participating in the life, death and resurrection of our LORD.
This article and the last one about the LORD's Supper are incomplete explorations
of this meal. These are my reflections and thoughts compressed into a one page format. So if I missed something important it is because I don't have the space in this format.