Author Posts

May 15, 2018 at 11:17 pm

Why did Jesus offer himself as “food
and drink” to his disciples? Jesus chose the time
of Passover to fulfill what he had announced
earlier at Capernaum – giving his disciples his
body and his blood (John 6:51-58). Jesus’
passing over to his Father by his death and
resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in
the Last Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist
or Lord’s Supper, which fulfills the Jewish
Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the
church in the glory of God’s kingdom.
This is the most significant meal of Jesus and
the most important occasion of his breaking of
bread. In this meal Jesus identifies the bread as
his body and the cup as his blood. When the Lord
Jesus commands his disciples to eat his flesh
and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life
into the very center of our being (John 6:53).
That life which he offers is the very life of God
himself. Jesus’ death on the cross, his gift of his
body and blood in the Supper, and his promise to
dine again with his disciples when the kingdom of
God comes in all its fulness are inseparably
Jesus instructed his disciples to “do this in
remembrance of me”. These words establish
every Lord’s Supper or Eucharist as a
“remembrance” of Jesus’ atoning death, his
resurrection, and his promise to return again.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the
cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he
comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Our celebration of
the Lord’s Supper anticipates the final day when
the Lord Jesus will feast anew with his disciples
in the heavenly marriage feast of the Lamb and
his Bride. Do you know the joy of the drinking
Christ’s cup and tasting the bread of his Table in
Mark ties the last supper meal with Jesus’ death
and the coming of God’s kingdom. Jesus
transforms the Passover of the Old Covenant into
the meal of the “new covenant in my blood”.
In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered
in a thanksgiving sacrifice as a sign of grateful
acknowledgment to the Creator as the giver and
sustainer of life. Melchizedek, who was both a
priest and king (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1-4),
offered a sacrifice of bread and wine. His offering
prefigured the offering made by Jesus, our high
priest and king (Hebrews 7:26; 9:11; 10:12). The
remembrance of the manna in the wilderness
recalled to the people of Israel that they live – not
by earthly bread alone – but by the bread of the
Word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).
The unleavened bread at Passover and the
miraculous manna in the desert are the pledge of
God’s faithfulness to his promises. The “cup of
blessing” at the end of the Jewish passover meal
points to the messianic expectation of the
rebuilding of Jerusalem. Jesus gave a new and
definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread
and the cup when he instituted the “Lord’s
Supper” or “Eucharist”. He speaks of the
presence of his body and blood in this new meal.
When at the Last Supper Jesus described his
blood “poured out for many for the forgiveness of
sins” (Matthew 26:28), he was explaining his
coming crucifixion as a sacrifice for sins. His
death on the cross fulfilled the sacrifice of the
paschal lamb. That is why John the Baptist
called him the “Lamb of God who takes away the
sins of the world.” Jesus made himself an offering
and sacrifice, a gift that was truly pleasing to the
Father. He “offered himself without blemish to
God” (Hebrews 9:14) and “gave himself as a
sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). This meal was
a memorial of his death and resurrection.
When we receive from the Lord’s table we unite
ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers
in his body and blood. Ignatius of Antioch
(35-107 A.D.) calls it the “one bread that
provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote
for death, and the food that makes us live for
ever in Jesus Christ” ( Ad Eph. 20,2 ). This
supernatural food is healing for both body and
soul and strength for our journey heavenward.
When you approach the Table of the Lord, what
do you expect to receive? Healing, pardon,
comfort, and rest for your soul? The Lord has
much more for us, more than we can ask or
imagine. The principal fruit of receiving the
Eucharist is an intimate union with Christ. As
bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the
Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables
us to break with disordered attachments to
creatures and to be more firmly rooted in the love
of Christ. Do you hunger for the “bread of life”?
“Lord Jesus, you nourish and sustain us with
your very own presence and life. You are the
“Bread of Life” and the “Cup of Salvation”. May I
always hunger for you and be satisfied in you
Psalm 116:12-18
12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his
bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on
the name of the LORD,
14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the
presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death
of his saints.
16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant,
the son of your handmaid. You have loosed my
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the
presence of all his people