Posts Tagged 'Communion'

Holy Week Thoughts: Thursday’s Last Supper

Mark 14:12-26

Have you ever had the experience of getting lost on a trip? A few years ago, I was coming back from family visit in a different city, and I wasn’t yet familiar with the highway layout. What should have been a simple switch from one highway to another ended up being traveling in a convoluted journey through three different cities. I’m grateful that my family slept through it all! I find it helpful to remember that in the midst of change, God knows what He’s doing.

In Mark 14:12-16, Jesus gives His disciples instructions about the Supper. Notice that He’s prepared for the Passover (the text says the room was “furnished and ready”). The disciples are just preparing the food: Jesus has taken care of the details. He still does; we don’t need to worry, because God works in the background!

As the meal begins, verses 17-21 tell us that Jesus knows what’s coming. Christ shifts the focus from retelling the story of the Exodus to a more personal matter of betrayal. Each disciple asks: “Is it me?” because they can’t understand how anyone would betray Him. Jesus knows our weaknesses; we don’t need to be afraid to be honest with Him.

The scene we see in verses 22-26 portrays Jesus giving the disciples a new ritual in the midst of an old one. Passover is full of very specific rituals of meaning to the Jew, but notice that very little of the Seder ritual is mentioned.

The bread is the “Afikomen”, the broken matzo bread used in the Seder, but Jesus says a NEW thing: “This is My Body.” Jesus gives a new meaning and explanation of why the matzo is broken. Likewise, what Christ does with the cup is similar. There are four cups in the Seder meal; the cup that Jesus reinterprets is called “the cup of Redemption”. Passover tradition teaches that God will redeem Israel, and Jesus shows how when He says, “this is My Blood of the covenant.”

The disciples thought they’d be navigating familiar territory during the Seder. But Jesus changes the map somewhat, taking us all in new directions on this journey of faith: God speaks to us with the old and the new.

Lord, as we join with Christ on this Lenten journey, we may have expectations that You will do what You have always done in our lives. This may well be the case: but it’s not necessary that You lead us without change. We hear the words of Scripture: “See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19). Lead and guide us as You do Your will in Your way. Amen.

Learning from Luke: Talk At The Table

Learning from Luke: Talk At The Table Sermon Audio Here

Luke 22:14-23
During a Passover Seder, the youngest child asks an opening question: Why is this night different from all the other nights? Today, we’ll ask much the same thing: why is this meal different from all other meals? In other words, what’s really going on when we celebrate the Last Supper?

Living the Meaning of the Last Supper

Time to Remember
Luke 22:14-16

  • v14 Passover meal context: a time of remembrance of God’s deliverance (anything more is probably stretching it)
  • v15 Jesus’ desire is to be with His friends
  • v16 the meaning of the Supper: Jesus desires fellowship with us through remembering God’s deliverance

Take On the Relationship
Luke 22:17-20

  • v17/18 Share with thanksgiving what you’ve been given
  • v19 ponder as you remember; what does this mean?
  • v20 recognize the new way: new covenant, new way of doing things (cf. Isaiah 42:8-10)
  • New Life Lived by Relationship, not Rules

Resign or Restore
Luke 22:21-23

  • v21 before we abuse Judas, think of Peter: we’ve betrayed Him, too; the difference? Peter sought restoration; Judas gave himself up to his sin
  • v22 Jesus is the Sacrifice for ALL; if we deny this sacrifice for us, we are stuck in our woe

v23: A good question even today: am I seeking restoration from God, or resignation to sin?

Bread From Heaven: Feeding on the Food from God

Bread From Heaven: Feeding on the Food from God Sermon Audio Here


John 6:24-35

Hunger is not our only motive to eat; sometimes, it’s not even our primary reason to eat!

As We Prepare to Receive, Ask:

What’s Our Motive for the Meal?
John 6:24-27

  • v24/25 it might take effort to find Jesus
  • v26 our motives for finding Jesus might be off
  • v27 focus on receiving from Christ, not earning His favor

Are We Missing the Meal?
John 6:28-31

  • v28/29 we often miss God’s simple call: believe!
  • v30/31 we want to believe on OUR TERMS

Have We Made Room for the Meal?
John 6:32-35

  • v32 we must remember: GOD’S TERMS matter
  • v33/35 JESUS Himself is our manna

When the Israelites gathered Manna during their desert travels, it was more than just a meal; it reminded them daily upon their dependence on God. And that’s how we are to journey with Christ: depending on Him daily.


Pastor Ed Backell

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