For about the last 5 months we have celebrated communion every single Sunday in response to the preaching of the God’s word. We are really enjoying recapturing the radical beauty of the family meal that Christians all over the world celebrate regularly together. Many call it “The Lord’s Supper,” though it is known by numerous names including “Communion,” “The Sacrament,” or “The Eucharist.” Regardless of the name you use or the nuances your Christian tradition holds dear concerning the Lord’s Supper, it is a mysterious and magnificent tradition which Christians have been celebrating in one form or another since the night Jesus was betrayed.
This Sunday at LifePoint we will be examining the passage in Mark’s gospel that details the birth of this meal. The whole text is Mark 14:12-26, but the point at which Jesus institutes his meal for the first time is found in verses 22-25.
And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
On this day where most Americans are remembering the heinous events that occurred 12 years ago today in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, the significance of the King’s Banquet rings true. There is something about what Jesus did 2000 years ago on the cross that is embedded deeply in our consciousness as human beings. Regardless of what religion or creed an individual espouses, there is something about the cross of Christ that is different.
There are four things that Jesus’ words reveal about the Lord’s Supper in this text.
1) It begins with thanksgiving to God for his provision of Christ’s body and blood.
2) It continues as we recognize that Jesus’ alone is the source of our salvation-that faith in him is the key to connection with God.
3) It emphasizes the blood of Jesus that formed a new covenant in his blood.
4) It culminates with the hope of his return, looking forward to the final King’s banquet that we will celebrate together as his people.
The King is preparing a banquet, and Jesus is our invitation. His body was broken and his blood was spilled to secure our invitation to the King’s Banquet. Jesus went to the cross so that all who put their faith in him would have a seat at the table.