Holy Week Devotion 2019 – Day 5
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Matthew 26:17-29 (ESV)
The Passover with the Disciples
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Reflection by Jessica Henry, Event Coordinator
Jesus’ ministry on earth lasted about 3 years, and in those 3 years, think about the amount of meals He would have shared with His disciples. We share countless meals with our inner circle of people. Imagine you are having your last meal with your friends before you go away for a long time. What would you tell them? I would want to tell each of my friends that I love them. Jesus gives his friends a symbol of His love for them that they can use to remember him by: the Lord’s Supper.
This is a very personal moment between Jesus and His disciples. Jesus’ death on the cross would be for all humankind, and Jesus acknowledges this when He says His blood is “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. However, at the Last Supper Jesus wants each disciple to know that this is for them.
The passage says that the Last Supper took place on Passover, which is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the Israelites liberation by God from slavery in Egypt. They were remembering what God had done for their people when he freed them from slavery. Jesus gave them something new to remember and a new way to remember it by: his death on the cross remembered by communion.
When we take communion, we are reminded of Jesus’ love for us and that he sacrificed for us in a very physical way. There’s no need to feel sad about this because He did it willingly, and He would have done it for just one of us. If it were just you standing at the foot of the cross, He still would have gone through with it. Wow, how powerful that is to think about!
Live today like Jesus died on the cross for you — because he did!
“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6 (NLT)
- Why doesn’t Jesus come right out and say which disciple will betray him?
- What is your personal experience with/feelings about communion?
- What parts of your life do you desire to be made new?
- Pray that our guests wouldn’t forget how great Jesus’ love for them is.
- Ask God to help you remember what Jesus did on the cross and what that means for you as you go about your day today.
- Invite God to fill you with his love and to breathe new life into you.
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