14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
This is such a well-known piece of Scripture, especially for anyone who grew up in a main stream church with a specific order of service for communion. And sometimes, familiarity means we tend to skip over things! So it has been good to take a close look at this passage.
I am struck by verse 20, where Jesus talks about His blood being “poured out” for us. The Greek word used here is ekcheō, which gives a sense of “gushing out” or “running greedily out”. No stingy, little drip feed here! Instead, a gushing forth of the blood of Christ for us.
This new covenant is ratified by the blood of Jesus. Normally, when we sign a legal agreement, there is usually no sense of “gushing” associated with it. Instead, agreements are neat, formal things, with careful signatures. But this covenant with Jesus speaks of abundance, it speaks of a lavishness, it speaks of a pouring forth of the love of God.
“Lord, when we come to celebrate communion, may I remember that my relationship with you is a result of your blood, and therefore your love, gushing out towards me. “
Written by Ps. Jen Irving