Friday, December 3, 2010

The Last Supper

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1 Corinthians 11 -
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

I was reading last night as I was trying to find sleep, and I turned to one of the more famous instances in the New Testament. When Jesus was breaking bread at the last supper, and passing it out to his disciples. I began to meditate on what it meant and exactly how we were to think of it. Of course I realize this is the basis for Communion, and I find that a beautiful thing. However, my mind begin to mull over other things as well.

When we look at this many of us just see it as institution of Communion, but there was so much history behind the event that we often overlook. The Last Supper was actually passover, and as such they were eating the unleavened bread that the Israelites had to quickly make when fleeing from Egypt. They were celebrating their liberation from Egypt! They were now free. Yet they were also slaves of another sort, slaves to the law. The law was our way of being like God. He showed us right and wrong in 10 simple commandments. Yet, as the Bible tells us, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have trouble with our flesh and often sin against God. We are slaves to sin.

So how does one rectify this? Jesus did that for us. You see when the angel passed over the Israelites in Egypt it knew the people not to touch, based on the blood of a spotless lamb, whose bones had not been broken, painted on the door frames of the home. The angel of the Lord did not pass judgment on the people who were covered by that innocent lambs blood. Jesus then went to the cross to provide for us that same covering. Now when the we are standing before God in judgement, he passes over us because we are covered with the blood of the Lamb (those of us who choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour).

Thus the Last Supper becomes a celebration of a Christian Passover. We know that the body and blood was shed for us, that the meal we are partaking of is a celebration of our liberation. Liberation from what? From the Law! We are no longer slaves to sin, God has freed us from that. We are now beings of the spirit, that live based on what is good and right! Does that mean that we can break the 10 commandments? No. The 10 commandments are still God's judgment, and we are to live as close as we can to them, not because we have to, but because we love Him and want to be holy and sanctified before him. We however have a savior who will carry that weight of addiction, that weight of lustfulness, that weight of gluttony. He will help us to overcome the flesh, because we definitely aren't doing such a great job on our own.

Then it struck me. There was another message in Jesus' offering. He said as often as you do this, do this in memory of me. Many of us take that to mean that communion is done in his memory, and every time we do communion it should be done with great honor and reverence to God for his gift. I agree. However, we should also see that Jesus wants us to be ready to give our body and our blood for our brothers and sisters, not of our own accord but in memory of him, for God's glory. You and I should love one another enough that if it were possible, we would go to the cross for each other. That we would spill our blood to save one another. That we would live as a living reminder to all others, not of ourself, but of Jesus. Walking in active Communion with God at all times, not just once a week or however often you may celebrate this sacrament.

That opens my eyes to a reality, that I may not be able to live up to that standard. That I may not have the courage to step in front of a gunman to protect someone else, that I do not even know. That I may not have the nerve to dive on a bomb, to protect a crowded subway from it's detonation. It is then that I realize the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. The sacrifice where he went to the death of a sinner, of a thief, for people he didn't even know. People who weren't even born yet. It is then that I realize that I need the blood of passover more than ever.

I pray that each of you are richly blessed, and that God will look on you with favor.

In Christ,