A new supper

Jesus had celebrated the Passover with his disciples twice before. They were probably accustomed to the way he did it, the ritual he used. They knew what to expect.   

The ritual came from Exodus 12: the roasted lamb, the blood on the doorposts, the unleavened bread. Observant families generally drank the same wine and sang the same psalms at the meal from year to year.

It must have stunned the disciples when Jesus departed from the ritual. 

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’”

Imagine the solemnity as they tried to understand why he had said different words.

“Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”

At that point they must have realized that Jesus planned for them to celebrate the Passover again. They began to understand that there was a new ritual.

When they did it again, in remembrance of him, there was a part of the Passover meal that was not there.

There was no lamb.

Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed, and he has taken away the sins of the world. So we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, a new covenant meal without the lamb, since the Passover meal has been fulfilled.

By Rev. Paul Prange