Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Last Supper, Your First Invitation - Lenten Journey Day 38 Devotional - April 17, 2014

For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Today is Holy Thursday and the day set aside to observe the most famous meal ever eaten, The Last Supper. 

Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.” – Luke 22:15

This was no ordinary meal.  At this Passover supper, Jesus reveals to His disciples that this will be their last meal together before His crucifixion.  In just a few hours, Jesus would be sacrificed and he would become our Passover Lamb.  The disciples had our Lord and Savior in the midst of them.  In just a few hours the prophecies of generations would be fulfilled by the man sitting right in front of them.  I can’t even imagine what this moment must have been like.

We have seen pictures of it.  There are countless depictions of The Last Supper, but one common theme is that Christ takes center stage.  This would lead us to view him as the guest of honor.  However, that is not the role Jesus plays at this meal.

He washes their feet.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. – John 13:3-5

He used this time to continue to teach them.
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, "Do you understand what I was doing? – John 13:12

He encouraged them.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” – John 14:1

This was no Jesus Christ Superstar moment.  Jesus was not the Guest of Honor: He was the Host.

And He is still the Host today. 

With a servant’s heart He invites us to sit at the Father’s table.  We are His guest.  His body and His blood are our invitation.  This is why Communion is such a sacred and beautiful time.  We get to remember the One who invited us.

His body.

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me." – Luke 22:19

A life for a life.  As we take and eat during Communion, we eat the “Bread of Life” (John 6:35).  We remember His sacrifice.  We remember His body that was tortured, torn, and broken for us.

His blood.

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” – Matthew 26:27

The removal of sin.  His blood soaked garments making us clean.  His precious blood in exchange for our redemption.  His blood covering our multitude of sins.  We drink and remember our pardon.  We drink and remember our peace.    We drink and remember the eternal life that comes to us through His blood.

The Last Supper was not just for Jesus’ disciples, it was for us. 

It was an invitation to commune with our Passover, Jesus Christ. 

And I believe Jesus’ words to His disciples are the same ones He speaks to us, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you” (Luke 22:15).  You are Jesus’ guest of honor.  Can you believe that?

What a privilege to dine at the Master’s table! 

So as you accept Christ invitation and take in Communion this weekend, I hope you remember.  I hope you always remember with every Communion the honor that comes with this invitation; especially as you reflect upon how much that invitation cost Jesus.

Let’s pray:  Jesus, I remember You.  I remember Your sacrifice.  I honor You with the sacrament of Communion.  As I accept Your invitation and unite myself with You through this act of worship, may I always remember your sacrificed life and the forgiveness of my sins.  You are my daily bread.  You sanctify my soul.  I thank You that as I share in Your death and suffering, I am reminded to keep Your commandments and follow the examples You provided me through Your life as a servant, all the way to the cross.  Thank You for Your body and blood. Amen. Amen. Amen!

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