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January 9, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ he said to them. ‘Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”—Mark 14:22–26 (NIV)
Did you know the Passover celebration is arguably the most significant season of the year for the Jewish people, both in Jesus’ day and today? It’s the celebration and remembrance of Israel’s exodus from Egypt when God rescued His people from Pharaoh’s hand.
Can you imagine what it must have been like in the upper room on that night? Imagine having Jesus lead the Passover Seder—no one could tell the story better than Jesus! Imagine hearing Jesus explain how each part of the feast told the story of God’s ultimate redemption and deliverance, which He was about to live out only a few short hours later.
Here’s something you may find interesting: The word used for feast is miqra, which also means “a rehearsal.” The other word is mo’ed, which means “an appointed time; a fixed time; an exact time.” What an amazing picture! “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son . . . to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5 ESV). Do you see that? The Passover was a rehearsal to be celebrated every year, until at the exact appointed time when the true fulfillment would come.
After 1,500 years of Passover celebrations, with the symbols of unleavened bread, wine, and a slain, unblemished lamb, the hour had come. No more rehearsals, for the Passover had become reality! The night known as the Last Supper saw Jesus and His disciples celebrate the last Passover feast. In that upper room, Jesus took the wine, which represented the blood of the Passover Lamb, and said, “This is my blood . . . which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28 ESV), the blood that would be spilled for our redemption! And He broke the unleavened bread, a symbol of sinlessness, and said, “This is my body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19 NLT), which is broken, beaten, and bore the gruesome debt of our sins. For more on the Passover Seder’s symbology, check out this article.
Then, after explaining all of this to them, He tells them He won’t drink again until He is in God’s kingdom. The Pulpit Commentary explains, “Our Lord here refers to the time of the regeneration of all things, when the heavenly kingdom shall appear in the fullness of its glory.” That day He’s referring to is the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).
I pray that every time we take communion, we remember what Jesus did to bring us into a new life of freedom in His eternal kingdom, and just as Jesus and His disciples sang songs and hymns afterward, we’d also look forward with praise and thanksgiving to the moment we get to enjoy the fruit of the vine with Jesus in His glorious kingdom!
Pause: Why did Jesus instruct us to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19 NIV)?
Practice: Communion can be done any time. If you feel led, this week, do communion on your own. All you need is bread, grape juice, and a heart of reflection and thanksgiving!
Pray: Jesus, thank You for being the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Thank You for giving Your life for me. Thank You for covering my sins with Your blood so I may be called child of God! And thank You for the hope of future glory, where I may partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb with You! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.