October 20, Saturday

Kremikovtsi Monastery fresco (15th century) depicting the Last Supper celebrated by Jesus and his disciples. The early Christians too would have celebrated this meal to commemorate Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection.

As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat, this is my body.

Matthew 26:26.

The Lord Jesus knew that the terrible sufferings of the cross were imminent. Beforehand, however, He celebrated the feast of the Passover with His disciples. Soon He would give His holy life voluntarily into death as the spotless Lamb of God. Looking ahead towards those who would believe in His redeeming work at Calvary, Jesus instituted the Christian feast of the Lord’s Supper subsequent to the Jewish Passover. He broke the bread and divided it among His disciples with the words, “Take, eat, this is my body.”

When He then gave them the cup of wine, He told the disciples, “Drink from it, all of you. for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The Lord’s Supper thus points to the atoning death of the Lord Jesus, which brought all who believe on Him the forgiveness of their sins.

What do believing Christians have in mind, when they celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Jesus Himself expressed His wish: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The Lord’s Supper is thus a special occasion to think of Him and particular facts that the Bible teaches concerning Him: the incarnation of the Son of God, His holy life to glorify God and for the benefit of mankind, His unspeakably deep sufferings on the cross to atone for sins and the glorious results of His atoning work for all believers. This Supper is celebrated by believers in the expectation of His return (cf: 1 Corinthians 11:26).

Image: By Edal Anton Lefterov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15129262