Broken Bread, Broken Trust
Lord, Your mercy is amazing: higher than the heavens, wider than my wanderings, deeper than my sins. How great You are.
Read Matthew 26:17-30
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
On his final night of freedom, Jesus wanted to be with his disciples. He seeks our company again today. Be still and allow him to draw near.
Jesus’ time was near. The process towards the cross pressed on relentlessly. Humans may scheme, but, even through their scheming and betrayal, God’s purposes, already predicted in Scripture, will be fulfilled. The disciples need to know that one of their number will betray Jesus. In this passage the tragedy of betrayal is interwoven with the theme of fulfillment, of Jesus’ “time” and of the Father’s kingdom, which he would establish.
Together with his disciples Jesus celebrated the Passover, recalling Israel’s redemption from Egypt and the establishment of the old covenant. As he did so, he reinterpreted the meal and reapplied it to the new covenant, which he would establish through his death. The new redemption would come through his body on the cross. Through his death sins would be forgiven, not just those of the deserters and deniers around the table, but those of “many” (28), even though Judas had put himself out of reach. This forgiveness was not something to draw on, one sin at a time, when needed, but the foundation of a new, permanent and secure relationship with God through his Son. A new binding agreement would be established, sealed with the blood of Jesus. The New Testament’s primary teaching on the meaning of the cross was given after the event, when the apostles understood why it was necessary, but here, round a table, Jesus taught them the heart of it. Matthew’s readers can then follow the events which unfold, with a key to their meaning and purpose.
Each time Christians celebrate Holy Communion (by whatever name we know it), we receive again the assurance of God’s permanent commitment to us in Christ. Each time we are reminded of the price paid. Each time we come, although we are as capable of desertion and denial as those first disciples.
What does Communion mean to you? What impresses you most about Jesus at the Last Supper?
Father, I thank You for Your table, a reminder that Your body was broken that I be made whole, Your blood shed that I might be cleansed from my sins. I offer my heartfelt thanks.