The Last Supper
Open Your Bible
Luke 22:1-2, Luke 22:7-30
Text: Luke 22:1-2, 7-30
It’s become a running joke in my family that my mother always gets skipped at communion. In our church we stand up, pew by pew, and file to the front to kneel at the communion rail. I don’t know how or why it happens, but almost always, the bread and cup are distributed to the person on my mom’s left, then almost immediately, to the person on her right. She’s left with the choice to either leave empty-handed or disruptively wave her arms, demanding the bread and cup.
Most of the time, she sits quietly, questioning what she did wrong. Is it the way I held my hands? Was I supposed to say a certain prayer? Did I not make enough eye contact?
It’s just a fluke, of course, that the service plates somehow pass her by, but it makes for some pretty amazing lunch conversation.
Isn’t it interesting how Jesus chose our faulty human hands to distribute a reminder of the perfection found in Him? And yet, the coordination of the Last Supper was anything but flawed.
I love it when Jesus sends Peter and John to arrange the meal and they ask, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” I wonder if they expect to help Jesus brainstorm a place to hold the supper, or even anticipate offering to open their own homes. Little do they understand that this night has been set into motion from the beginning of time. The disciples think they’re the hosts, when they’re really the guests.
From the man carrying the pitcher of water, to the guest room already set aside for the event—every detail was perfectly planned. But my favorite phrase in the whole passage is, “and they left and found everything just as He had told them.” Just yesterday, I opened my pantry to an entire bag of rotten avocados, so the concept of finding everything just as I expected is rather foreign to me.
The flawless coming together of the Last Supper isn’t a coincidence or even just a final miracle on Jesus’ last day. Look closely and you’ll see Jesus building the framework for countless times in the days ahead when the disciples would find things just as He had told them. Like the disciples, we hold this track record of our Lord’s faithful fulfillment of His promises close to our hearts, so when the time comes, like the hymn writer says, we’ll remember — although “The Father turns His face away,” “The wounds which mar the chosen one bring many sons to glory.”
Jesus knew we would struggle to grasp the weight of His sacrifice and the fullness of His forgiveness.
He knew we’d be tempted to load that weight on our backs in an effort to re-do the work He’s already completed.
He knew, even then, we’d forget the depth of our need for Him and trick ourselves into believing our faulty hands are clean.
So, He spent the final hours before His arrest reminding us to remember by instituting a meal of remembrance—by instructing us to use the simple elements of bread and wine to remind us of His body and blood.
Another name for communion is the Holy Eucharist, which I love, because it comes from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving.”
And so, we remember His body broken. And we beg not to forget His blood spilled. And we give thanks, because “He who has promised us is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Friends, we’ve been through some tough passages during the Lenten season, and revisiting the Crucifixion will be no different. Let’s fix our eyes on the framework of faithfulness Christ has laid before us. Approach in your hearts the table of thanksgiving established by our Savior, and find everything just as He told us.
“Bread of the world, in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul, in mercy shed,
By whom the words of life were spoken,
And in whose death our sins are dead:
Look on the heart by sorrow broken,
Look on the tears by sinners shed;
And by Thy feast to us the token
That by Thy grace our souls are fed.”
Kaitlin Wernet is a Carolina girl who now plants her feet in Tennessee as the Community Coordinator for She Reads Truth. Each day, she excitedly celebrates grace with her SRT sisters while attempting to tame her curly hair and avoid parallel parking.