#30. Remembering Jesus at the Table

As we get to the end of this chapter on the meals of Jesus, we find him celebrating Passover with his disciples.  This final meal of Jesus is perhaps the meal with which we are most familiar (Luke 22:7-38). Here we have Jewish pilgrims streaming into Jerusalem for Passover, a feast calling them to remember their salvation from their slavery in Egypt, and how God’s curse on the firstborn of the land passed them over when they sprinkled the blood of the sacrificed Passover lamb on their doorposts. In this regard, it is a memorial meal.

For Jesus, who repeatedly told his disciples the hour was not yet come during their three-year ministry, the hour has, finally, arrived. And Jesus explains to them how eagerly he has looked forward to this meal. He wants to celebrate together with his disciples one last time before he must suffer the pain, humiliation, and abandonment of the cross.

And so, they prepare and eat a Passover meal[1], in which Jesus instructs the disciples to remember him when they eat the bread and drink the wine at their meals. What will they remember?

  • They will remember the times Jesus healed people suffering from leprosy, bleeding, demonic possession, and paralysis.
  • They will remember his teachings to become servants working tirelessly on behalf of the hungry, poor, and vulnerable.
  • They will remember their own terror the night of a storm at sea, and the authority with which Jesus swiftly stilled the waters.
  • They will recall the many meals they shared with him, and the way he confronted sin and self-righteousness with repeated calls to repentance and humility.
  • They will remember that he told them about how these things (most specifically his life, death and resurrection) had to happen to fulfill Scripture.
  • They will remember this last meal with him, and that Jesus, as Lamb of God, was sacrificed to atone for their sin and reconcile them to the Father.
  • They will remember the pain of their denial and unbelief, and the wonder-filled joy that came when, just before returning to God, Jesus “opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).
  • And, they will do this remembering together over a shared meal. “Jesus wanted his disciples and everyone who came after him to remember what they had together… what it meant to be together. How the things he wanted them to do could not be done alone.”[2]

When is the last time you sat at a meal with loved ones and guests and spent some intentional time remembering the Person and work of Jesus Christ?

~Julie A.P. Walton, Ph.D.

Note: It is my prayer that you are able to savor these meal stories, and that, in time, you will begin to feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to make your meals count.  Praying over the “remember” bullet points above is a good starting point.  And, as always, if you like what you read, please go to the LIKE and SHARE buttons inside the blog and CLICK!!

[1] Because of differences between the Gospel narratives, it is not certain that this meal took place on the Thursday night of Passover week, as is often assumed. I prefer to treat the Last Supper as a formal Passover meal.

[2] Nora Gallagher, The Sacred Meal (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 24.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s