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 from 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 scene is immensely powerful. The last meal you will spend on earth. I would put a lot of serious thought to who would be there at my final meal. Family? Friends? Betrayer? What would I say? How could I encourage, challenge, build, love those there? Jesus spends His last meal with friends. He says He has eagerly desired to share the meal with them, yet one of them is a betrayer. Eager – this word seems to limit the emotion, the expectation, the sense of desire and longing I am pretty certain Jesus would have had to speak with, to be with, to love, encourage and prepare His friends for the last time. Of course He speaks to them, but perhaps more importantly He sets up a means for His friends, and those who become His friends in time to come, us, a practical means of remembering Him. So practical it is incorporated in a meal. Communion as we have come to experience it is truly important, special and powerful. Jesus didn’t just encourage, prepare and love His disciples at that last meal, He set them up for the future – He gave them a way to stop, reflect, reorient and this is just some of what communion can do, should do for us whenever we receive it!
So, next time you receive communion, come prepared, take the time to get off your chest burdens, confess your sins, receive grace and allow this special meal to be a true reminder of the magnificence of our Saviour!
Father we ask that You would encounter us with the Spirit of Jesus each and every time we receive communion. May we not take it for granted, however, may it be a means of Your grace in our lives that we would more truly follow our Master, Jesus!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta