And when the hour came, he (Jesus) reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.
I’m going to make a few observations on the scripture verses above. I’m not going to tell you what to think, or how you should feel, I’m just going to share observations I’ve made, and encourage you to do the same as we approach the time we commit to recognize and honor the great sacrifice made.
- Jesus was eager to spend time with his disciples before the suffering began. To share with them a sacred meal, to have fellowship, to share that it was the last time he would do so until he was joined in his kingdom, an emphasis on his love, his devotion, the level of sacrifice? A powerful testament to his human nature, his God nature, or both?
- He broke the bread, giving thanks, as he was reported to do at each gathering for food, again reminding the disciples of what he had taught about his sacrifice, and not only asking but commanding, that it be a symbol of remembering that sacrifice. An understanding of the human need for symbolism as a way to remember?
- When he poured the wine, he told the men around him that it was poured out for them. That the blood that would flow, like the wine he had poured, was a covenant between God and man. I have to wonder, did they grasp the wonder of that covenant as they listened?
- Jesus announced that the betrayer sat among them, but he did not publicly say who it was. The disciples began questioning each other about who it could be. Were they angry, curious, bewildered? Can so great a sin be so well hidden even to the ones closest to you?
Continue reading and you’ll find the disciples began to dispute who would be the greatest among them. The human pride, desire, selfishness so often reflected in these men who equally left all they had to follow Jesus. A complex mixture of all that is good, all that is strong, all that is weak and sliding toward sin? And in the end, they’ll each have their place in God’s kingdom as their reward.
Powerful verses shared in Lukes amazing ability to bring life and detail to the story. A story of the Christ who earnestly desired to spend his last hours with the men who had walked beside him for three years.
I have to believe He earnestly desires to spend time with each and every one of us.
Next blog: where do I go from here?