The Invitation - Day 30

Luke 22: 14-22

“When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

Then, they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men Lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.”

I’ve spent many an hour reflecting on the scenes of this night, from the last supper described above to the foot washing that the apostle John tells us about in His book, to Jesus’ desire to spend more time with his disciples on the night before one of the most horrific circumstances anyone who has ever lived or ever will live had to endure.

I’ve seen this as the calm before the storm in the scheme of things.  Jesus and his closest friends enjoyed the Passover meal and what would become known as the Last Supper.

First, the emblems of the bread and the wine.

When you and I partner with Jesus, as is his design for us, we eat the bread with him for at least two reasons.  One, by eating the bread, we receive the gift he gave us of his broken body for our healing and reconciliation.  Two, by eating the bread, we also are committing to allow our body to be broken, as he was, for the world's healing.

The same is true for the wine.  The wine represents his blood poured out for us to offer forgiveness and reconciliation to all.  When we drink the wine, we accept his gift for us and all of humanity and commit to partner with him so that our blood will be spilled for the world's healing.

What does this mean?  Is this literal? Figurative?  What if it’s both?

Jesus calls us to be willing to lay down our lives for Him, for His children. In my work over the last 3.5 years planting a church in Portland, you better believe there have been times when my blood was spilled, and my body was broken - metaphorically and literally.  But all for Jesus and because of all that He’s done for me.

The other aspect of this night that I love is that while the disciples argue about which one of them was the greatest (Luke 22: 24), Jesus stands up quietly, walks over to the corner of the room, pours water into a basin, wraps a towel around his waist, and he shows the disciples what the kingdom is all about (John 13: 1-17).  Why?  Because in the kingdom of God, it’s not about greatness but service. It’s not about accolades; it’s about love.  Everything that Jesus does, all that He is and says, comes from love.

Questions to Consider:

  1. It may seem like a simple question, but take some time to think about it and answer honestly: do you believe that Jesus unconditionally loves you?  Why or why not?
  2. Jesus calls us to allow our blood to be spilled and our bodies to be broken for the world's healing, but he doesn’t expect us to do it alone.  He did it first and partners with us as we do it for him.  What does his partnering with you mean to you?  What do you think it looks like?
  3. PRAYING TOGETHER - Do you have a servant’s heart?  Are you trying to climb to the top of your organization, or are you seeking ways to serve?  Ask God to reveal your heart's condition and teach you how to live and love like Jesus.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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