The Last Supper / The Lord's Supper

April 8, 2022

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 which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

The Last Supper was more than Jesus’ last meal - it was a Passover meal as well. Jesus used the Last Supper to give the Passover new meaning, establish the New Covenant, introduce an ordinance for the church, and foretell Peter’s denial (Luke 22:34) and Judas Iscariot’s betrayal (Matthew 26:21–24).

The Last Supper fulfilled the Old Testament Passover. During the Last Supper, Jesus took two symbols associated with Passover - unleavened bread and wine - and gave them fresh meaning as a way to remember His sacrifice from our sin. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). These words echo His words after He fed the 5,000: I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst . . . I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world . . .Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed (John 6:35, 51, 54–55). Salvation comes through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice of His physical body on the cross.

Scripture teaches that Jesus’ death was embodied in the Passover sacrifice. Paul said, Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7). His bones were not broken (John 19:36; cf. Exodus 12:46) and His blood was poured out (John 19:34; cf. Exodus 12:21-22). In it Jesus fulfilled the Law, including all the feasts of the Lord (Matthew 5:17).

At the Last Supper, the Apostles were alone with Jesus (Luke 22:14). This suggests that this particular meal has specific meaning for the church, of which the Apostles became the foundation (Ephesians 2:20). While the Last Supper had implications for the Jews, the Lord’s Supper is one of two ordinances observed by the Christian church.

The Lord’s Supper fulfilled the Old Covenant and established the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33). It proclaimed a turning point in God’s plan for the world. In God’s grace, the New Covenant applies to all who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; everyone who has faith in Christ will be saved (Ephesians 2:12–14). Christ’s death atones for the sins of His people. His blood saves us from slavery to sin and redeems us from death. Today, the Lord’s Supper reminds us of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for sin, and in knowing that, through our faith in receiving Him, we will live with Him forever in His coming Kingdom (Luke 22:18; Revelation 3:20). Amen.


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