Luke 22: 7 – 23 The Last Supper – Part 1
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.’
‘Where do you want us to prepare for it?’ they asked.
He replied, ‘As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks asks: where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.’
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.’
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
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.’
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. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!’ They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
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How would we feel, I wonder, if we knew we were very soon to be crucified? Terrified, I should imagine. And yet look at these words of Jesus, just hours before his suffering begins.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’
He ‘eagerly desired’ to eat this Passover despite knowing what was inevitably following.
His words tell us that this is a very important occasion. He knows that soon he will be put to death, and his twelve chosen disciples will have to continue his ministry without him. In accordance with his Father’s will, Jesus gives his disciples a ritual to remind them of what he has done, and the high price he has paid. He gives them bread and wine, telling them that these represent his body and his blood; the disciples must eat and drink them in remembrance of him.
We follow their example in the service of Mass, or the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. For many of us it is the act of worship in which we feel closest to God, as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice.
Jesus also says, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,’ and by doing so he establishes a new covenant to replace the old covenant made between God and Abraham. No longer do we need to be Jewish to worship God; Jesus has given everybody, Jew and Gentile, a way to approach and worship God.
Thank you, Jesus, for what you did for me.
Thank you that Jesus blessed us with the Eucharist in remembrance of him. Please help us always to remember the high price he paid for each one of us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen