Note: Today’s devotional is a guest post from Kyle Bjerga.
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.” (Matthew 26:26-29)
At the time of the Passover, Jesus shared his final meal (what we call the Last Supper) with his disciples. Passover was meant to commemorate the exodus, the most important salvation event in the Old Testament. The exodus was Israel’s redemption story, and the Passover meal was a rehearsal of the good news of God’s deliverance. When the Jews celebrated, they remembered God’s faithfulness in the past, the present, and the future.
At that supper, Jesus invested an old tradition with profound new meaning. What had been a reminder of the covenant at Sinai, the time when God rescued his people out of Egypt and brought them into new life in the Promised Land, now becomes the sign of the new covenant. The old covenant had been sealed with the blood of bulls and lambs; this new covenant will be sealed with the blood of Christ himself, the very Lamb of God. A greater redemption story is taking place, one that the disciples still do not fully grasp. From this point on, the bread and the cup represent Jesus Christ and the new covenant established in his blood. Therefore, Jesus was giving the disciples—and us—the way to rehearse the truth of the good news that we celebrate this weekend: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On Friday, we should be receiving the Lord’s Supper together at our Good Friday service. However, Covid-19 has made this impossible. We grieve, because the people of God are supposed to share this meal together. If you think about it, the Lord’s Supper is where we, as a church family, get to rehearse and proclaim the gospel to each other. As we eat the bread and drink the cup, we are showing our participation in the new covenant.
The longer we are not able to meet, the more our hearts should yearn for the opportunity when we can gather around the Lord’s table. That yearning points to a deeper yearning within us, a longing for the day when we will share this meal with Jesus in his Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29) at the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).