When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”
Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”
Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”
He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
Luke 22: 14-16 MSG
This moment has been remembered, celebrated, and shared for thousands of years. During this Holy Week perhaps we experience it a little differently or feel the significance of the Last Supper more deeply.
As Jesus gathered his disciples around him, one of the first things he shared was how he had been looking forward to eating this meal with them. At first glance, you get a sense of camaraderie and celebration of their time together. However, Jesus immediately follows that statement with the flip side of the coin stating he will soon enter into his time of suffering. This will be his last meal with his disciples. To really take any possibility of celebration out of the equation, Jesus also announces that one of His disciples will betray Him.
With all of this mixed news, why was it that Jesus was looking forward to eating that last meal with his disciples? This was the last (although significant) time Jesus’ instructed his disciples. He shared a new commandment with them to love one another as he had loved them. And, He offered the ordinance of communion and the New Covenant – his body broken for the forgiveness of our sins.
During this Holy Week may we take some time to reflect on this meal that Jesus looked forward to sharing with His disciples. In our world of divisiveness, conflict, and turmoil, it is important to remember how this simple yet momentous sharing of bread and cup unites us. This meaningful and beautiful ritual is a unifying act of our faith, our unifying ask for the forgiveness of our sins, our unifying remembrance of Jesus, our unifying commandment to love one another as Jesus has loved us, and our unifying aroundJesus’ sacrifice and the New Covenant.
We are indeed united in Christ. May we seek to live in unity so that as mature disciples of Christ, we might have a positive transformational impact on this world.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Psalm 133:1 NIV