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March 19th: The Last Supper



Scripture: Mark 14:12-26


The Last Supper

Mark 14:12-25 recounts one of the most poignant moments in Christian history—the Last Supper. In these verses, we witness Jesus sharing a final meal with His disciples before His crucifixion. Yet, within this seemingly ordinary act of dining, lies profound significance for believers throughout history.  In fact, it being seemingly ordinary, helps make it more profound because we are a people who eat.  But there is also the specialness of it.  Yes, we eat our ordinary meals.  There are also all of our special kinds of meals such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners, summer BBQs, or other feasts. Getting together for food and stories holds a special significance in our lives.

 

The passage begins with Jesus instructing His disciples to prepare for the Passover feast—a tradition deeply rooted in Jewish history, commemorating the Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt. However, this Passover would mark the transition from the old covenant to the new, signifying the imminent sacrifice of Christ Himself.  In the midst of the meal Jesus changed the words from looking back to the Exodus to looking ahead toward the New Covenant and Kingdom of God.

 

As Jesus and His disciples reclined at the table, He took the bread, blessed it, and broke it, giving it to them, saying, "Take; this is my body." He then took the cup, gave thanks, and offered it to them, saying, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many."

 

In these simple yet profound actions, Jesus instituted the sacrament of communion, a sacred practice observed by Christians worldwide. The bread symbolizes His body, broken for our sins, while the wine represents His blood, shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Thus, the Last Supper becomes a potent symbol of sacrifice and redemption.

 

In understanding the significance of the Last Supper, we are reminded of the depth of Christ's love for humanity. Despite knowing the pain and suffering that awaited Him, Jesus willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. His body broken, His blood shed—such is the extent of His selflessness and compassion.

 

Moreover, the Last Supper underscores the concept of covenant—a solemn agreement between God and His people. Through His sacrifice, Jesus inaugurated a New Covenant, one not based on the blood of sacrificial animals, but on His own precious blood. This covenant offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe in Him.

 

As we partake in communion, we are invited to reflect on the magnitude of Christ's sacrifice and the grace extended to us through His death and resurrection. It is a solemn yet joyous occasion, where we remember not only the pain and suffering Jesus endured but also the hope and salvation He secured for us.

 

Furthermore, the Last Supper serves as a model of Christian fellowship and unity. Jesus shared this meal with His disciples, demonstrating the importance of community and mutual love among believers. In partaking of the bread and wine together, we are united not only with Christ but also with one another, bound by our shared faith and devotion.

 

The Last Supper is profound because it is significant in the act of Communion and all the things and more that have already been said about it.  But it is also profound because we are a people that like to eat.  Anytime that bread is shared think of the sacrifice of Jesus.  Anytime that drink is shared remember our sins being washed away.  There is a children’s book by Eric Carle called “Pancakes, Pancakes.”  It recounts a young boy who wants pancakes for breakfast.  However, the family doesn’t have the ingredients to make them.  So, his mother sends him to the field to get the wheat for flour.  Then the mill to grind the flour, then to the cow for milk and butter.  Eventually they work to build the fire.  In some ways this is what we need.  Instead of going through the motions to take communion or to enjoy our meal, we need to remember the people, the sacrifices, and the God that has made it all possible.

 

In conclusion, the Last Supper holds profound significance for Christians, serving as a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, covenant, fellowship, and unity. As we reflect on this sacred event, may we be reminded of the depth of Christ's love for us, and the eternal hope found in His death and resurrection. Let us approach the communion table with reverence and gratitude, partaking in remembrance of Him until He comes again.


Questions:

1.        What can you do to increase your appreciation of communion?

2.        What can you do to appreciate the symbol of communion on a daily basis?

3.        What is your favorite part about partaking in Holy Communion?

 

Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for reminding us through your daily bread of your love for us.  Thank you to Jesus for teaching us of your love.  Thank you for your sacrifice, for your forgiveness, and your never-failing love. Amen.

 

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