The Last Supper
Open Your Bible
Mark 14:12-72, John 16:16-24, Psalm 41:7-13
I am always astounded that this is how Jesus chose to spend His final hours—with His friends, around a table, sharing a meal. No pomp and circumstance. Just a simple guest room and this ragtag group of followers that had become family. This was, of course, a meal most of them had partaken in every year. They would have known well the familiar cadence of the Passover. The lamb slain. The prayers spoken and songs sung. The food and wine. Each and every movement calling them to remember their rescue. They joined with generations of their ancestors who were called to regularly remember the exodus event—God lifting His people out of slavery and leading them to freedom. This was a familiar meal.
But this time, it was different. The tone shifted as the cross loomed large. It was no longer any other Passover. The familiar liturgy, as rich as it was, had never meant this much. As Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, it was no longer just bread to remember the exodus, but His own body. Taking the wine and giving thanks, it was no longer just wine, but His own blood poured out.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” —Mark 14:24
Just as the blood of an unblemished lamb sealed the covenant promises of God to His people, even more would the blood of Jesus—soon to be spilled on the cross—seal this new covenant.
This is the blood that would change everything.
Week after week, year after year, generation after generation had offered sacrifices in the tabernacle and temple. The blood of animals was poured out as an atonement, a covering and payment for sin. Here, in this upper room with His disciples, Jesus declared that His blood was going to be enough. They wouldn’t fully understand it then. Not even in the days to come. But He had been preparing them for His death. He knew how heavy with sorrow they would be—how distraught they would be at His departure. But soon their sorrow would turn to joy (John 16:20) and they would tell the world of the sacrifice, resurrection, and new life found in Jesus.
This meal of remembrance, now memorialized in the Lord’s Supper (or Communion or the Eucharist, depending on your tradition), calls to mind the even greater rescue from our bondage to sin and the eternal liberation we find only in Christ.
What a kindness that we have this tangible rhythm of remembrance to recall the body and blood that changed everything for us. For all who have trusted in Christ, and come to the table, we remember and recount His sufficient sacrifice, His death that brought us life.