Saturday April 18, 2020
In Remembrance of Me
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
When you think about what you remember the most about where you’re from and growing up, I bet some of the first things you’ll recall are experiences you had and things you did with your family or friends. Lindsey Kay vividly remembers her older brother and sister seeing if she would fit in their family’s freezer. Haha. It was one of those refrigerator/freezer combos where the freezer was smaller and above the fridge section. For the record, she had many beautiful memories with her family too. We were both raised by parents who believed in spending quality time together. That is what I remember most. More than all of the lessons and verbal instructions and speeches. I remember the experiences we shared and the things we did together.
Praise God some of the disciples wrote down the words of Jesus we needed to hear. They wrote down the words they often failed to hear. Even when they heard the words of Jesus they usually failed to understand. Jesus has already predicted his death multiple times. He’s prepared his disciples for what must come next. The disciples are used to Jesus teaching lessons and giving speeches. And it appears he is about to give one last and tremendous speech for them at the Passover meal.
Jesus knows now is the time. Now is the time for him to return to the Father. Now is the time and he knows what he must do and where he is going. Now is the time because it’s Passover, when Israel remembers and celebrates the blood of the lamb they wiped onto the doorposts of their dwelling places in Egypt so the Spirit of God passed them by and saved their children’s lives from the 10th plague. Jesus knows now he is going to be the sacrificial lamb once for all. For the Jews and Gentiles who would look upon the Messiah and believe he is the one spoken of by the Prophets, they will have a great inheritance in the family of God. Passover will never be the same again. The miracle of Israel’s liberation from the land of Egypt was a foretaste of our soul’s liberation from the power of sin and death. Now is the time!
Jesus doesn’t say much. No big speech. I believe that’s, in part, because he knows how our memory works. He made us after all. Here in Jesus’ final hours with his followers before he is arrested, he gives us two actions to remember him. The bread and wine that we eat and drink to remember his body broken and his blood shed for God’s glory and for the forgiveness of our sins. From the Gospel of John, we also know he washes the disciples’ feet. What love is and its power is more fully remembered and understood when it is experienced. It’s why Jesus does as much showing as he does telling. He leaves us with communion and foot washing and, in the next chapter, the cross, to show us what love looks like so we’ll have faith and never forget. He shows us how things are done where he comes from! This is how it’s done in his Father’s house. These demonstrations weren’t chores the Son had to check off the list of things to do. Because of the communal life that is the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus had to show us what the love of God looks like because it’s intrinsic to the very nature and heart of who God is. If we want a part with God, if we want to go and live in God’s house, this is what we do too. This is what love looks like. Love is the source of power.
As we continue to shelter in place, what are some of the things you’re spending your time doing? What are memories you already have from quality time spent with family and loved ones? What is God teaching you about himself through this season? How might these actions of Jesus shape what we do as we continue to socially distance?
Prayer for Today
[Use the Lord’s Prayer as a framework and add personal praises, questions, confessions, etc.] Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. There is no other name above yours. Your name is holy. At the sound of your name, all creation sings for joy of the mighty works of your hands. You are worthy of all honor and praise. We rejoice that you have made known to us who you are through sending your Son. Lord, we pray that your kingdom comes and your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. We long for justice to roll down the mountains and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. We are your people who declare your favor upon this day you have given us. Move us by your Spirit. Conform us to your character. Give us our daily bread today. Lord, we depend on you for all that we need. You are everything we need, yet we often chase after idols. We run after the wind and take for granted your great gifts. Forgive us, oh God. Have mercy on us. Free us for joyful obedience as we forgive our brothers and sisters who have sinned against us. Lead us away from evil and the schemes of the enemy. Deliver us into your presence Lord. We long to be in your presence where goodness and mercy are our covering. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
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