Markby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus was crucified on the day after Passover, sacrificing himself as the Passover Lamb to save the world (1 Corinthians 5:7). This meal that Jesus had with His disciples was richly woven around the Passover Feast of the Jews, and was one that Jesus had ″eagerly desired″ (Luke 22:15; the Greek word expresses very strong desire) to eat with His disciples. Hence the arrangements for it had an air of secrecy, lest Judas act prematurely and prevent the meal from taking place. Jesus sent His trusted disciples Peter and John (Luke 22:8) to make preparations. That prior arrangements had probably been made was indicated by the unusual sight of a man carrying a water jar (normally a task for women, v. 13), who showed them the large upper room reserved for the meal (v. 15). Today we continue to celebrate this meal as the Lord's Supper, remembering our Lord's sacrifice for us with deep gratitude.
At the meal, Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him (v. 18). It was most treacherous to betray a friend after having a meal with him. Dismayed, each disciple asked Jesus, ″Surely you don't mean me?″ (v. 19). We too must look inward to examine ourselves. Jesus referred to Judas without naming him, offering him a chance to repent. Jesus would be crucified to fulfil God's plan, but Judas was responsible for his own terrible sin (v. 21).
Jesus then took, blessed, broke, and gave out the bread, and also the cup (vv. 22-23). He referred to them as ″my body″ and ″my blood″. They underline for us His sacrifice on the cross, and when we receive and eat and drink, we are expressing our trust in Him (1 Corinthians 11:26) and are sustained by His life in us (John 6:56). Like Jesus, we must also look up with faith and trust (Psalm 123:1), and like the disciples, we look around with brotherly love as we eat the meal as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:29).
Jesus then pointed to the future when He would drink with His disciples again (v. 25)-at the great wedding feast of the Lamb when He returns (Revelation 19:9). At the Lord's Table, we also look forward to this day with faith-filled anticipation.
Why has the church continuously celebrated the Lord's Supper? What is its significance and how should it be carried out?
Jesus ″eagerly desired″ to have the meal with His disciples. Consider how He wants to do the same with you (cf. Revelation 3:20). How would you respond to Him?