It was the eve of the crucifixion – the pivotal event in the course of human history. Jesus’ entire life had led to the upcoming moments. He knew the pain and hardship before Him, and as He gathered His early followers around Him, He made this pronouncement:
“I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you” (Luke 22:15).
And I wonder – if we actually heard Jesus say this sentence; if we observed the tonal qualities of His voice and saw the focus in His vision, where would His emphasis have been?
Maybe it was on the word, this: “I have earnestly desired to eat THIS meal – this particular one, though we have eaten many before – but this meal especially, with you.”
That would make sense. This was the Passover meal, the yearly commemoration of God’s redemptive work on behalf of His people. There were the bitter herbs, reminding them of their hardship in slavery. There was the unleavened bread, reminding them of the haste in which they fled their bondage into freedom. There was the cup of redemption, reminding them of how God had bought them back from their captors.
And now, this meal, one in which people for centuries had been reminded of God’s work in the past, would take on a new dimension. For this meal would become the means of remembrance for future generations of the fact that God has redeemed us, too, from slavery. That though we were bitter prisoners to sin and death, we have clung to Jesus and escaped into glorious freedom.
No wonder He wanted to eat THIS meal.
But maybe, must maybe, the emphasis in Jesus’ words was on you: “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with YOU – my friends. The ones I love and am giving myself up for. I could have eaten with anyone, but I want to eat, on the eve of my death, with you.”
That would make sense. Jesus wanted to spend His final time with His brothers because, and this is so simple and yet mind-blowingly profound – He loved them. He wanted to eat with them.
It’s so mind-blowingly simple and yet heart-meltingly good. The Lord’s Supper is one of those things, perhaps, that loses its significance over time for some of us. But feed your soul with this before you feed your body:
You are a friend of Jesus. He fervently desires to eat this with you.
Now take the bread and the cup… and remember.