"When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." (Luke 22:14-20 NIV).
What a powerful picture this portion of scripture draws for us! What seemed to be a traditional Passover meal shared by friends became a farewell supper for Jesus and the conversation was serious and symbolic. Yet, the disciples could not understand the true meaning of this time together until much later.
There is nothing more special than gathering around a table with family or friends. The time is precious. There are no interruptions and talk can be shared easily, often filled with stories from the past and lots of laughter to go along with it. It is a time to share important family news with everyone at the table. For a few minutes the group gets to be on the same page in life. We are reminded of how good it is to be together and we wonder why we don't do it more often.
Jesus had a sense of urgency as he made plans for this meal. Time was running out. His anguish had already begun as He wrestled with the knowledge of what was to come. He had a lot to say to His friends before he left them. He needed to prepare them for what was going to occur. His heart was breaking for His friends, but He had to remain strong.
The bread and the cup become so significant in Jesus' hands. Transformed from daily sustenance into life-giving salvation, the bread and the cup of wine remind us of all that Jesus did for us on the cross. Our debt for sin has been paid, once and for all time.
This week as you reflect on the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, may you take the opportunity to break bread and share a cup in remembrance of our one and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Be reminded that Jesus did it all for you.