The last day of school opens the first day of something different. A last event begins the preparation for the next. The last is not an end but a time of transition.
“And he took bread,
and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying,
This is my body which is given for you:
this do in remembrance of me.
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying,
This cup is the new testament in my blood,
which is shed for you.”
Matthew’s gospel adds,
“which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The Lord’s last supper with his disciples became the first meal of the new covenant. The last gave them much to remember. The first would, with understanding, establish God’s promises of forgiveness and new life in Christ. It revealed what was hidden in the last supper.
This is my body which is given for you…
- “But he was wounded for our transgressions,
- he was bruised for our iniquities;
- the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
- and with his stripes we are healed…Isaiah 53:5
- And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him …
- blindfolded him… struck him on the face…Luke 22:63-64;
- When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing…Then released he Barabbas… and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified…
- the soldiers … took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
- And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand …
- they spit upon him,
- and took the reed, and smote him on the head…
- and led him away to crucify him… from Matthew 27.
When we participate in the new covenant meal we are identifying ourselves with Christ. We are joining him in the fellowship of his suffering.
- “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
- The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
- For we being many are one bread, and one body:
- for we are all partakers of that one bread… 1 Corinthians 10:16-17;
- That I may know him,
- and the power of his resurrection,
- and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death … Philippians 3:10;
- Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,
- that the body of sin might be destroyed,
- that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Romans 6:6-7
Jesus’s broken body provided our entrance into the holy of holies when the veil of the temple was torn in two, and his life blood sprinkled the mercy seat of God making us acceptable.
“For this is my blood of the new testament,
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission…
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry,
by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant,
which was established upon better promises…8:6;
Neither by the blood of goats and calves,
but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place,
having obtained eternal redemption for us…9:12;
THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD,
I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS,
AND IN THEIR MINDS WILL I WRITE THEM:
AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.”
Hebrews 9:22; 8:6; 9:12; 10:16-17
which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28
- “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…Colossians 1:14;
- Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
- But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…1 Peter 1:18,19;
- And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.
- Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood … Revelation 1:5
Many will share the cup of blessing and the bread through this Easter season as an outward confession of the new covenant purchased through the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It’s our confession of accepting his suffering and death as our own – until he comes. Maybe this will be our last covenant meal on this side of eternity for He has promised, “FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME, AND WILL NOT TARRY.” Hebrews 10:37
May you celebrate this resurrection Sunday looking for Jesus not in the empty tomb but in the Eastern sky. When that happens we will have another first to look to – our first covenant meal with Jesus our King at the marriage supper of the Lamb. May we celebrate Resurrection Sunday with our risen Lord, “the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27