The Last Supper finds its power in Jesus on the cross
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.
When I (Maddie) was little, I was told by parents, siblings and various other older people I knew that high school would be difficult. At the ripe old age of 10, I had no real grasp of the gravity of that statement, or how true it would turn out to be! While I heard and processed the words, and my little brain pondered them, I didn’t really understand, simply because I was yet to attend high school. It was only when I was actually there that the words meant something, because I began to feel the need to say them to someone else.
Sometimes words or stories don’t hold any meaning until the listener has experienced an event or circumstance for themselves. This was very much true for the disciples at the last supper! Jesus, facing his own death, uses the bread and wine to symbolise his suffering on the cross and its meaning. All the while, the disciples were most likely wrapped up in confusion, trying to understand this morbid take on a traditional celebration. It was only after Jesus’ death that his words during that meal made sense to his followers, because they had witnessed his broken body and spilled blood. This was not the first time Jesus foreshadowed his death, and it wasn’t the first time the twelve hadn’t understood. Earlier in Luke in chapter 9 (verses 21 & 45), Jesus predicted his death, resurrection and the disciples lives without him. Both times, their eyes were closed to the true meaning. Yet this only strengthens the power of Jesus’ immense sacrifice, that while sinners were still blind to his true purpose, he faced death (and indeed the weight of humanity’s sin) alone. This strength, and Jesus’ words at the last supper, only hold their power for us today because he had already paid the price on the cross. We continue to eat bread and drink wine (or juice) because our lives have been changed by the grace and mercy poured out at the cross, just as the disciples’ lives were changed 2000 years ago.
Head: Reflect—have you had a “disciple” moment, where you didn’t understand what God was saying?
Heart: Consider how Jesus’ words have changed the way you lived your life. If he was yet to make his sacrifice, would you be living differently?
Hands: If you love Jesus but are yet to take the Lord’s supper at church, consider doing so!
Thank you for sending Jesus, your only son, to pay the ultimate price for my sin. Help me to delve deep into your precious word and let your path for me become clear. Amen.
A song to listen to:
Maddie Pryde & Geoff Pryde
Living Church – Creek Road 🙂