from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Four times scripture narrates Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper. Please read them all as listed above. As Jesus did this, what was He wanting us to understand? What did He want us to never forget?
- He Himself is our deliverance, so He redefined how we celebrate our deliverance. The unleavened bread had symbolized the pressured situation in which the Passover deliverance happened. They didn’t have time for the bread to rise. That bread, broken and distributed for their strengthening, was now His own body, broken for them. The wine, with which they celebrated together, was now His own blood, His very life poured out for them.
- Jesus was acting out the truth He had spoken in John 6: “I am the bread God has sent you from heaven. Eat my flesh and drink my blood, and you will receive eternal life” (see John 6:48-58).
- The Lord’s Supper symbolized a new covenant. The old covenant demanded our obedience, an obedience we were too weak to give. The new covenant tells us that Christ has bought our redemption and has fulfilled the law. We must simply trust and feast on Him.
- Remember God’s past deliverance, and it will help you anticipate its completion. You are part of the entire sweep of God’s marvelous work of salvation.
- Some truths are too important to commit to words alone. In the Lord’s Supper we remember with all our senses. We see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.
The scene is made more poignant by remembering its highly personal nature. Jesus was there with His closest friends, with whom He had lived day and night for three years. In Luke’s account, Jesus expresses His frame of mind this way: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15, NASB).
John says this: Jesus knowing that His hour had come…having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end [or “to the uttermost”] (John 13:1, NASB).
Jesus had tried to communicate what was about to happen, and they couldn’t grasp it. So He acted it out for them. That first communion was not a formal ceremony. It was friend to friend and face to face.