It may seem a deviation from the theme to present the message of the Last Supper, but Luke’s version uses words of inclusion, so important to the idea of growing a church.
How does Jesus greet his disciples? In this “Communion” story, what is the first thing Jesus offers? Verses 19-20 may seem more familiar to you. What two things does Jesus offer?
It is clear from verse 15 that Jesus and his followers are taking part in a Passover meal. The Passover meal is an ancient Hebrew tradition dating back to the Exodus, commemorating God’s deliverance from slavery. The meal has many rituals, including four glasses of wine, each with its own meaning.
The four cups are the cup of Sanctification, the cup of Deliverance, the cup of Redemption, and the cup of Acceptance. The second and third cups frame the time when the meal is eaten.
Based on verse 20 we can determine that the cup in verse 17 is probably the cup of Deliverance. What strikes me is Jesus’ comment that he has “eagerly desired” to share this meal with the disciples. After that he shares with them the cup of Deliverance, a cup that represents and reminds us of suffering. Jesus was showing them that he would share in their suffering.
But his message is also for us. Each of us must partake of a cup of suffering in our lives. The good news is that we are not alone. Jesus eagerly joins with us in our suffering and helps us through it.
We are to imitate Christ. We are to share in the suffering of others, to be there with them in the difficult times, to help them make it through to the next step – redemption.
Our view of others, whether in the church or out of the church, should be the attitude of Christ. His disciples were not left on their own. He would be with them. We need to have that attitude of inclusion, of invitation, of sharing – suffering and salvation – for those who should come be part of our worship.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Do you eagerly desire to share in another’s struggles? How can you gain that attitude?