Today David continued his series of Luke’s gospel.
He started by asking the question many of us have been asking :
What have we most missed in the past 16 months?
There will be many answers but will any one of us name Communion, The Lord’s Supper, The Lord’s Table as the thing we’ve missed the most in church life?
Some striking facts were given:
During this past 16 months we would have had communion 65 times as a church.
As it turns out, we’ve only had communion together 6 times.
Have we felt the loss?
If so, why? If not, why not?
In turning to Luke 22, we looked at an event in time, a moment in history, that acted as a catalyst in the institution of a ritual and rhythm, that became that the central act of gathered worship. But during this pandemic, it has been missing, it has disappeared from our corporate services.
More big, valid questions
Is this simple fellowship meal one of the greatest casualties of Covid ?
Has this impacted our personal walk with God?
Is the absence of regular shared communion, a recognisable and felt vacuum in our Christian life?
Has its absence affected our personal growth and discipleship?
Passover was a really big deal but Jesus was about to take things to a whole new level.
A CRITICAL MOMENT IN SALVATION HISTORY
A brand new exodus was imminent
Another mass deliverance was about to take place in less than 24 hours
A unique sacrificial lamb was about to shed its blood – only this time, it would be a once and for all sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins
Jesus knew all of this. So He made plans to gather His disciples together, in that great city, to celebrate Passover, like never before.
As the host He shared His heart with these captivating and arresting words knowing this was going to be His last meal with His closest friends and followers:
But then He says something that must have grabbed their attention:
This provides immense hope, and reminds us to reflect back to Good Friday and look forward to whenever this meal finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God at the wedding feast of the lamb.
Jesus has said ‘before I suffer’, but now, in this upper room, with the reality of suffering looming large, Jesus reminds them what is about to happen and then He says and does certain things that in graphic detail explain exactly what is going to occur.
His body will be broken.
His blood will be poured out.
Jesus didn’t give them a theory. He gave them an act to perform. He gave them a meal to share
The simple actions and words.
Jesus gives thanks, and then He breaks the bread and He hands it to His disciples, and says these breath-taking ,electrifying words
And then Jesus takes the cup and He says;
Again, the reality of sacrifice and death is at the fore.
In the context of Passover, Jesus is revealing that He is going to be that sacrificial lamb.
He is the lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world.
His blood will flow for the forgiveness of sins. The sacrifice of Jesus was a once and for all sacrifice . His blood poured out for us , for our forgiveness, our redemption, our release, our freedom.
But note Jesus said this cup is the NEW COVENANT in His blood. This was foretold in Jeremiah 31 31-34
4 characteristics of this new covenant as outlined in the Jeremiah passage;
- God is known
That’s the new covenant in His blood.
We must never forget it, lose sight of it, nor fail to give thanks for it, and that is why we must celebrate it until He comes.