17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Reinvents Passover
Although we don’t really know when the Advent or Christmas was, we do know that Easter took place during the Passover week. Jesus took the elements of Passover and made them new. The blood of the Passover lamb which saved Israel from the angel of death was a sign of the blood of Jesus which would save the world from sin. Jesus also took the bread and made it a symbol of his body. I have attended a few Passover Seders performed by Messianic Jews. These are people who claim Jewish heritage and who celebrate Jesus’ Jewish heritage whilst following Jesus as Messiah or Christ. The rich symbolism of the Passover meal and its fulfilment in Jesus is a wonderful thing to behold.
Our small group had a Seder two years ago, but this past year we were in China collecting our new daughter. She is a gift from God and a symbol to us of new life. However, salvation from sin and a new life for God are only possible in Jesus. A disciple takes the body and blood of Jesus and remembers what Jesus did in allowing himself to be crucified for us.
Secondly, the intentionality of Jesus is apparent at the Last Supper. He knew who would betray him and yet he kept it quiet so as to not avoid his mission. Imagine if he had outed Judas in front of the others. Jesus boldly accepted his fate and moved with purpose toward it.
- What did Jesus tell his disciples would happen?
- What did Jesus tell his disciples about the Passover bread and wine?
- Why do you think the author told us they sang a hymn?
- How often do you remember Jesus death by drinking wine and eating bread?
- How do you sing regularly – how does it alter a person’s emotional state?