Summary: Jesus wanted to celebrate the Passover with His disciples but He also desired to establish another remembrance for them... a remembrance of what was about to take place! Let's take a look at that Last Supper in the upper room and just what it meant to Jes
Set the stage:
Jesus knew what was happening… Jesus knew what was about to occur, and Jesus wanted to spend one last night with the men He had trained and grown to love…
Read passage here Luke 22:14-20…
The Lord’s Supper has long been tied to the Passover meal as it is a remembrance of what God has done and how those of us who have been saved were delivered!
v.14 shares, “When the hour came…” this phrase could simply be Luke sharing that it was time for Jesus to share the Passover meal… OR this could be a deeper statement speaking to the ‘hour’ had come for Jesus to fulfill His mission… as this is the entrance into the Passion encounter for Jesus.
v. 15 – “I have eagerly desired…” speaks to Jesus’ sentiment that He had looked forward to this moment. I am sure that in the previous years they had shared a Passover meal… BUT… this one was going to be special!
Although Jesus knew about it, the disciples were NOT aware of what was about to happen, and Jesus understood that this would be His last opportunity to sit, eat and share with these men… before He was crucified.
Jesus had longed to teach them about the NEW COVENANT and this was going to be the night… He had looked forward to this moment because it was going to be a special night! Jesus was going to share with His followers about the conclusion of His earthly mission… even though we know they did not fully understand… what I mean by that is made even more evident in Jesus’ words at the end of v.15, when He said, “…before I suffer…”
I cannot imagine that the disciples fully understood what He was saying, but we do know that Jesus had angered the religious leaders, and we have to believe that His disciples had seen that anger, and presumed that they would come after Jesus in some way. So they may have thought about some form of punishment, but Crucifixion was NOT on their minds!
v.16 – “I will not eat it again…” This was NOT a statement by Jesus that He would abstain from the Passover meal, but it was a clear and pointed statement indicating that his death would prevent him from participating physically in this celebration in the future! This is because after His resurrection He ascends to heaven…
“Until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God…” This statement is fairly self-explanatory. This is a statement that concludes Jesus’ thought! He knew he would never eat of the meal on earth again, but he also knew that he would partake of this meal again… but it would be at the Supper Table of the Lamb in heaven! This shall happen when the Kingdom is fulfilled!”
v.17- “…after taking the cup…” If you are familiar with the Passover meal, you will understand that this is one of the early cups of drink prayed over for the Passover meal itself. This verse does not lend itself to being part of the Lords Supper process.
“Take this and divide it among you…” This implies that there was simply one cup and it was passed from person to person to partake of the cup…
v.18 – “I will not drink again…until the Kingdom of God comes…”
There is not a distinction between the drinking of the cup here and the eating of the meal in the previous verses. Jesus is once again sharing that this would be the last time He partakes of this meal in this world… but that in the fulfillment of the Kingdom, he will once again partake!
v.19 – “and He took the bread and gave thanks…” this is a picture of how we should receive EVERY meal… with thanks to God for provision! The Greek word used here for ‘thanks’ is the Greek word eucharistesas which is where we get our English word Eucharist.
v.19 – “this is My body…” Here Jesus is using the loaf of bread as an illustration and metaphor for His disciples… like the bread being broken so that they could receive sustenance… so too must His body be broken so that we could receive spiritual sustenance in the form of forgiveness of sin and salvation.
v.19 – “…given… FOR YOU” Here Jesus indicates that this sacrifice He was about to make… was a voluntary and willful sacrifice for the Kingdom. The term Jesus uses ‘this is…” is not meant to confuse believers! It does not refer to the physical loaf of bread, but to a picture of what He will suffer for those in that room!
v.19 – “…do this in remembrance of Me…” Here is where Protestants believe that Jesus lays out the Lord’s Supper as a symbolic remembrance… a symbolic ceremony of reverence! This is in contrast to the Catholic view that teaches that communion or the Eucharist is the actual purveyor of grace to the soul, and that can only be achieved through the institution of the church!