Holy Week – Wednesday March 31 – THE LAST SUPPER
Wednesday March 31 – THE LAST SUPPER
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
– Matthew 26: 26-30 (NIV)
Something I miss so much during the pandemic has been going out for dinner.
Sharing a meal is a big thing. In Biblical times, it was one of the most intimate experiences one could have. If you were invited to someone’s table, it was a sign of honour. Someone cared enough to have you in their inner circle.
Today entire families don’t eat at the table anymore. When our family was younger we would all sit at the table and find out about how everyone’s day was and connect. Nowadays with one child off to University and the other in High School and working two part time jobs, having a meal together all at the same time becomes a real challenge. Some of my most favourite times with my family is when we can go out for dinner together. I think the Clause family is at it’s best when we hang out together over a wonderful meal.
On this night in Holy Week, I am sure the disciples were ready for what would have been another meal with the Master. But this time, the tone seemed a bit more serious.
Jesus talked about eating His body and drinking His blood. Even by 21st Century standards that seemed a little dark and almost bordering on gothic! I am sure the disciples had no idea that Jesus was about to become the sacrificial lamb on which the fate of the world rested. But, on this night, Jesus shared the first communion time with his friends. He prepared them for this incredible selfless act: dying on a cross in order that our sins would be forgiven completely. Jesus knew that once He had died and rose again that it would be difficult for His friends to cope and to do the work they were called to do. He knew they would be tortured and treated cruelly because they called Jesus the Messiah. Sharing this meal was another way the disciples could be comforted by His loss, and empowered to share the Gospel with their world. It was yet another gift Jesus gave them which allowed them to connect with one another.
To this day, sharing the Lord’s Supper is a critical part of a gathering for the 21st Century church. It also helps us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, as well as being encouraged by community at the same time.
Something I miss so much during the pandemic has been sharing the Lord’s Supper with you all. Not virtually, but in the same room.
We have done our best online but it is just not the same. It is hard to sense the spiritual energy in the room, yet for now it is all we have until we can assemble together again. I want to thank you all for hanging in there and being patient. It has been hard on all of us, and yet I am grateful for the ways we have connected in lieu of our in-person gatherings.
Jesus reminds us in the Lord’s Supper of the great gift He has given us, by offering His body and blood as the Final Sacrifice for sins. Never again do we have to kill an animal for our sins, because the True Paschal Lamb known as Jesus paid it all for us.
All we need to do is accept His gift with thankfulness and carry our own cross for our journey.
I would love to suggest that although we will celebrate communion this Easter Sunday (as it works out to be the first Sunday of the month), I would love to encourage you to do this with your family when you break bread this weekend. Take time to remember what Jesus has done for us, and celebrate with those living with you to do the same. I know this year looks different again for all of us, but even if you are living alone, recite the words from Matthew 26 as you eat and drink. For the Clauses we won’t all be together this year, and we won’t be seeing my extended families for another Easter and it hurts. However, I know that we will all be blessed by making decisions that think of others before our needs and wants and that help to rid us of this awful virus.
I love that when the meal was ending they sang a hymn and then made their way to the Mount of Olives. There was joy in that time together, in that calm before the storm. It is good for us to model this behaviour whenever we are faced with challenging circumstances ahead of us: break bread and celebrate with joy!
May you find joy as you remember the Last Supper, and may you celebrate as best you can this weekend. I am looking forward to sharing the Lord’s Supper with you all online this Sunday. Have an amazing Wednesday and look forward to seeing you tomorrow night on Zoom for our Maundy Thursday gathering!