Mark 14:12-31 (NRSV) The Last Supper
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
When we think of the last supper, or the last meal Jesus ate with His disciples before His betrayal and arrest, our image of this meal is probably well depicted in the picture above by Leonardo Da Vinci. In this picture Da Vinci shows the disciples and Jesus enjoying each other as they share a meal together. We don’t often think of the disciples as a group of friends being together sharing a meal or performing any part of their ministry. And I believe this is how we as the church, in our collective life and ministry together, should embrace our remembrance of this meal: a group of good friends enjoying being together, sharing a meal.
As they all ate and drank together in fellowship with each other and with our Lord, Jesus gave the disciples instructions on how to eat and drink in the future: bread representing his body and wine representing his blood. Both body and blood would be prominently depicted as he hung on the cross. Today we follow those instructions when we as the community of believers celebrate the Lord’s Supper. It is here when we reflect upon Christ’s perfect sacrifice and know that through our faith in receiving Him as our Lord and Savior, we will be with Him forever.
Gracious God, Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
And upon these your gifts of bread and wine,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your spirit unite us with the living Christ
and with all who are baptized in his name,
that we may be one in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
Send us out to be the body of Christ in the world. Amen.*
*This prayer is from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1993.