The Last Supper

by Terry Tatum, Discipleship Pastor, Lynn Haven Methodist Church
Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

Greetings in the name of Jesus,

Some of my best memories in life are of times where I was hanging out with my family and friends. Just kicking back, having fun, and enjoying being with each other. There just isn’t anything like spending time with people you love. I’d like to share with you a passage from Matthew 26 and help you try to picture what happened on the night before Jesus’ death when he shared a meal with his closest friends over 2,000 years ago.

“So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.” (Matthew 26:19–20) “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.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26–29)

Several years ago, I started a practice of trying to picture what exactly was taking place when I was reading Bible stories. This made the Bible come alive for me. So, try to imagine a small town only a couple of square miles in size (Jerusalem), busting at the seams with tens of thousands of people, celebrating the holiest of days; it was a week-long celebration leading up to the day of the Passover and part of that celebration was a feast (Passover meal).

On Thursday night of that week Jesus and his closest friends have a Passover meal together. Scripture tells us, “When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.” Jesus was hanging out with His friends, it was a party, a celebration. Most of us know this as the Last Supper where Jesus instituted Holy Communion. We know that less than 24hrs. later Jesus would die on the cross to save us from our sins. But none of Jesus’ friends knew what was coming.

When most of us think of the Last Supper a somber feeling comes over us as we think of the body of Christ being broken for us and the blood of Christ being shed for us. That’s because we know the rest of the story. We have our Bibles and 2,000 years of church history to study to help us understand. The disciples didn’t have that. All they knew is that they were having a party with Jesus.

Today, as you go through your day knowing what will happen to Christ, I want you try to put yourself in the position of the disciples. Today isn’t a day to mourn the death of Christ. It’s a day to celebrate the life of Christ and how great God is. I encourage you to get with some friends, laugh, celebrate and be happy about all God has done for you. Recline at the table with Christ just like the disciples did. And most importantly, enjoy your time with Jesus.

The greatest event in human history is coming. But today don’t anticipate what tomorrow will bring. Today just be in love with Jesus and celebrate all He has done for you and all He continues to do.

Peace be with you!

Terry Tatum

Discipleship Pastor, Lynn Haven Methodist Church