A Significant Remembrance (Lent 38-2019)

All signs pointed to the end of His earthly ministry.  So, serving others was top of Jesus’ mind as He did the unthinkable and washed His disciples’ feet in preparation to observe the Passover.  They didn’t quite know how to react to that.  In one sense, honored, even loved, but also vastly uncomfortable, even shocked, that Jesus would do this.  For Jesus, it was the important context to this Passover and what would transpire over the next three days. 

Indeed, Jesus felt all the weight of the remembrance and the solemn sacrifice of the Passover lamb.  Jesus’ disciples, too, felt that this Passover was meaningful in a way totally apart from any prior year’s Passover.  They couldn’t identify why, but it just felt different.  Strangely different even from last year’s when they were newer to the discipleship scene and it wasn’t just the foot-washing that made it unusual.

Jesus put words to this atmosphere saying, Luke 22:15, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

The disciples looked at Him gravely.  There He goes again, talking about suffering.  What does He mean He will not eat it again until the kingdom of God?  What does that mean?  He just got through telling us that it’s not going to happen yet.  No kingdom of God is going to arrive with overthrow.  Jesus won’t be observing the Passover until a much later, undetermined date.  Why does He talk like this?  It confuses me, each man thought.  But no one said a word.  To them, it was a private shame and a conflict of faith not to understand.

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 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.” 20 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.

Think about it:

  • The disciples didn’t have the benefit of what we know on this side of the Cross.  To them, in the flow of events, how might they have understood the new covenant in [His] blood? 
  • In  Matthew 26:21-22, Scripture says, “And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?””  How was betrayal something they could all understand?
  • Each man asked about whether it was himself.  In what way does that reveal each man must have harbored doubts in some way at some time, perhaps even now? 

Lord Jesus, thank You for the new covenant in Your blood, understood more fully on this side of Your supreme sacrifice.  We thank You, Father, for the Passover for the Jews of Moses’ day and for the forgiveness offered by the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Thank You for loving us first and loving us better and eternally.  We praise You for the gift of salvation for everyone who believes, repents, and follows You.  Thank You that salvation is not up to us, but You have done all that is required.  May we each have wisdom to see the gift You offer and to accept it with humble gratitude.  We will not truly understand until we see You face-to-face, but until then hold us fast, keep us strong, and give us perseverance to the very end.  Amen.

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 18, 2019

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