A MEAL WITH FRIENDS
Jesus, I come into Your presence now. Be with me.
Read Luke 22:1–23
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
22 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The Last Supper
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “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.”
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.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
a Luke 22:20 Some manuscripts do not have given for you … poured out for you.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of the last time you took Communion. What did it mean to you?
Sharing a meal with friends is one of life’s simple pleasures: a time to talk, reflect, and relax. So it was for Jesus (15) as the room is prepared and the disciples gather. But this is a meal with a difference as Jesus begins to unveil the significance of what they are doing together.
Passover was the festival that celebrated Israel’s freedom from slavery as a lamb was sacrificed at the appointed time. Soon Jesus himself is to become the Passover Lamb. His death on the cross will set people free once and for all from the bondage of sin and death. Freedom indeed! Jesus speaks of the coming kingdom, when the redeemed will celebrate at the great “wedding supper” (Revelation 19:9), and of the “new covenant” (Jeremiah 31:31) in which the sacrifice of the cross will replace all human efforts to atone.
How much of this did the disciples take in that night? Maybe not a lot. There was tension in the air, and the threat of betrayal. Jesus takes the loaf of bread and the cup of wine: “Peter, Andrew, James… this is my body given for you.” And still he speaks, “Sarah, Jenny, David, Richard (add your own name!), this is my body given for you.” Take, and eat, and be thankful. He died for you.
When was the last time you took communion? Make it a point to take communion with your church family or even with your own family in your home. Make it truly a time of remembrance.
Jesus, I remember You. I am overwhelmed by Your loving sacrifice. Be King of my heart today.
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