14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles took their places at the table. 15 He said to them, “I have really looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you. I wanted to do this before I suffer. 16 I tell you, I will not eat the Passover meal again until it is celebrated in God’s kingdom.” 17 After Jesus took the cup, he gave thanks. He said, “Take this cup and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you, I will not drink wine with you again until God’s kingdom comes.” 19 Then Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to them and said, “This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do this in memory of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup. He said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. It is poured out for you. 21 But someone here is going to hand me over to my enemies. His hand is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go to his death, just as God has already decided. But how terrible it will be for the one who hands him over!” 23 The apostles began to ask one another about this. They wondered which one of them would do it.
Jesus wanted his followers to understand what was about to happen to him, so he didn’t teach them a theory, He gave them a meal to share. It was the Passover meal. Jesus had come to do for the whole world what God did through Moses and Aaron and the Passover lambs in the first Exodus for Israel. Jesus would deliver his people, his death would enable his people to escape. Escape from the powers of evil.
Jesus had been looking forward to this meal. It was the moment when he would explain to his followers, in deeds and words, what he was about to do and how they could gain from it. Whenever we receive, indeed celebrate, communion we are drawn not simply to this story but to this reality. As we come together to obey Jesus’ command, to break bread and drink from the cup in His memory, we should find ourselves drawn into that salvation, that healing life that Jesus died to release to us. Powers may still rage, like Pharaoh and his army pursuing the Egyptians after Passover, but they have been defeated, and rescue is secure.
Father thanks so much for sending Your Son to die on my behalf, on our behalf. May we continually remember with overwhelming gratitude His sacrifice and live worthy of the life He has given to us!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta