January 14, 2020 – Tuesday
Matthew 26:26-28 NIV
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 covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
It is in the verses above that Jesus establishes the Lord’s Supper or Communion while initiating the new covenant in His blood.
When you read what follows – Jesus’ arrest, His trial, His flogging, and His crucifixion one thing stands out. He went through it all alone. Why? It was because this aloneness was necessary to the fulfillment of God’s purpose, for in the very nature of things none other could have a part in the carrying through of the essential saving activity of God in Jesus (P.Pett). One man caused the downfall of mankind and one man, wholly and completely without sin, would redeem mankind.
Now let’s look the verses above and remember this occurred during the Passover meal where Jews had eaten unleavened bread for centuries recalling the day of when the angel of death had passed over their ancestors before they were released from slavery in Egypt. This was bread that had been broken traditionally every year for centuries, but this evening with Jesus everything changed. The disciples were expecting the traditional breaking of the bread acknowledging the past. Instead of referring to the past Jesus after giving thanks says, Take and eat; this is my body. We are not told, but there must have been some shock or surprise as something new was occurring. They did not know it yet, but it was a new beginning associated with His death. This was a time in history when incredible change was upon them and the earth.
If we move to the book of John and something Jesus had to say well before the last supper at Passover we will have a better understanding of what He was doing….
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Then we have Jesus next statement in our verses for today after He took the cup of wine and gave thanks for it. He then offered to His disciples saying Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. When He mentioned forgiveness of sins, do you think they recalled what the angel had said to Joseph about Mary She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). In the original Passover, the blood of the lamb was placed on the door frame so the angel of death would not take the life of the firstborn in that home. Here the firstborn of God the Father was offering His blood so that those who would partake of it would have forgiveness of their sins and avoid the eternal death of eternal separation from God.
After establishing this new covenant they sang a hymn, left the upper room, and went to the Mount of Olives for Jesus to be arrested and fulfill His destiny. Even the hymn spoke of His destiny – Psalm 118 KJV
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Why is communion important? Because it was there that Jesus told us everything was changing.