52 Weeks at the Table – Week 44
There is an unusual quote from Jesus that Luke alone shares in introducing his retelling of the Last Supper story: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” When something is said to be fulfilled in scripture, that means that it was regarded as prophetic. Jesus saw the Passover as prophetic of His sacrifice as the Lamb of God, to save the obedient from death.
His emphasis on the fulfillment of the Passover in this meal prompts Luke to include another detail not shared by the other gospel writers: Jesus took the cup twice: first to repeat that He would not drink of it again until God’s kingdom had come; after the meal, to declare it to be – not the old covenant – but the new covenant in His own blood. Jesus predicted His betrayal, pronounced a woe on the betrayer, and urged the remaining disciples to lead humbly. And when He singled out Peter as the object of His prayer, Luke shares yet another unique detail: The conversation led to Jesus urging them to buy things to carry money and clothing – and a sword. Perhaps one of the two swords present belonged to Peter. But the warning should have been clear: that like the Israelites after the Passover meal in Egypt, the disciples should be prepared to leave in haste.
A Prayer Over the Bread
God of deliverance from the pursuit of evil and the angel of death … we give You honor and glory and thanks. For Your Son, the Lamb of God, looked forward eagerly to supplying deliverance from His very body. We remember His willingness in this bread, not eaten in so much haste that its meaning escapes us. We too look forward to the wedding supper of the Lamb, and celebrate that anticipation as He shares this foretaste with us in this humble, earthly outpost of Your kingdom. We do so in His memory, His name, His purpose: Amen.
A Prayer Over the Cup
Holy One of Israel, of all peoples and all time … we honor Your wisdom with all that is within us. Through the giving of Your Son’s blood, You have sought to reconcile all of Your children to Yourself. We seek to escape evil and death, and it is the only Way we have. Bless this moment we remember it and remember Him in the sharing of this cup we pray: Amen.