May 2 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-20
He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you.”
READ LUKE 22:14–23
In his book Restless Faith, theologian Richard Mouw talks about the importance of remembering the lessons of the past. He quotes sociologist Robert Bellah, who said that “healthy nations must be ‘communities of memory.’ ” Bellah extended that principle to other societal bonds such as families. Remembering is an important part of living in community.
The Scriptures teach the value of community memory as well. The Israelites were given the Passover feast to remind them of what God had done to rescue them from slavery in Egypt (see Exodus 12:1-30). Still today, Jewish people around the world revisit that rich community memory every spring.
Passover holds great meaning for followers of Christ too, for Passover has always pointed to the work of the Messiah on the cross. It was during Passover, the night before the cross, that Jesus established His own memorial table. Luke 22:19 records, “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’”
Every time we gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate Communion, we remember that Christ rescued us from slavery to sin and provided us with eternal life. May the rescuing love of Jesus remind us that His cross is worth remembering—together.
By Bill Crowder
REFLECT & PRAY
Thank You, Father, for the gift of Your Son. Thank You also that He has given us a tangible way to remember His sacrifice whenever we gather at the Table. Read For This He Came: Jesus’ Journey to the Cross.
Why is it valuable to take Communion with other believers in Jesus? How does the shared event remind you of Jesus’ sacrificial love?
Communion refers to our celebration of the Lord’s Supper commemorating the last Passover meal Jesus had with His disciples before He was crucified. At this meal He instituted and explained the new covenant He was making with His followers. The bread represents His body, and the wine represents His blood. In Luke 22:15 Jesus says, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Other translations render this phrase “earnestly desired” (NASB), “with desire I have desired” (KJV), and “fervent desire” (NKJV). The Greek word is epithumia and is sometimes translated “lust” (see James 1:14-15; 2 Peter 1:4; 2:10; 1 John 2:16-17). While the word lust is often used negatively, in this instance it refers to Jesus’ consuming desire for this meal and its result: instating the new covenant that would define the relationship between God and people. J.R. Hudberg