Jesus began the Passover meal by telling His disciples He had longed to eat it with them. The Passover follows the ancient Seder (or order). On this night, Jesus revealed the Passover as a remembrance, not only of the delivery of God’s people from slavery in Egypt, but also of His delivery of those who believe in Him from sin, suffering, death and eternal death.
Following the rituals of the Passover meal, Jesus took the second of the three whole pieces of unleavened bread and broke it. The larger of the two portions was hidden for the end of the meal as it represents the full redemption, still future, to be brought about by the Messiah. Jesus then took the smaller part, blessed it and broke it apart to share with His disciples and said “Take this and eat it, for it is My body,” soon to be broken for us.
Progressing through the Passover script, Jesus came to the sharing of the third cup of wine, the Cup of Redemption. As He passed the cup to the disciples, Jesus said “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Jesus thereby established the New Covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah (31:31-34). This new covenant, long hidden in the Passover Seder, was now revealed by Jesus as the provision for the forgiveness of sins and soon would be sealed by Jesus’ poured-out blood. Establishing this covenant by His death was the very reason Jesus came to earth, to make a way for sin to be forgiven and for humanity to have a restored relationship with the Father in heaven.
After drinking the fourth and final cup of the Passover, Jesus said “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.” Then Jesus will be recognized as the Messiah and full redemption will be realized. After this they sang one of the Hallel hymns (Psalms 115-118; 136) and departed.
For us, the Lord’s Supper means we are forgiven of all sin. Jesus’ shed blood promises this to all who believe in Him.
Luke and later Paul tell us Jesus said when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are to do it in remembrance of Jesus’ suffering in His body and spilling of His blood at death. In celebration of the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim Jesus’ death until He returns.
- Do you fully believe that Jesus has forgiven every one of your sins?
- How do you prepare to receive the Lord’s Supper?
by Tim Tesch