Lenten Reader | Day 35

Body & Blood

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

- Luke 22:14-20
One of my favorite leadership concepts is succession planning - the idea of planning and preparing those you lead for a day when you are not around. Many leaders don’t think of this until it’s already too late. They look around and wonder who will replace them as the head of their company or business, only to find they haven’t prepared anyone to rise to the challenge.

What we see in Luke 22:14-20 is Jesus beginning the final stages of his succession plan. Jesus chose a group of men of varying backgrounds, education, and experience. He’s spent years instructing them - sometimes in the middle of their unwillingness to learn - and now his hours are numbered, and he knows they will need to carry the Gospel forth.

He knew that an intimate setting, such as dinner, would be the perfect place to give them a ritual and practice to keep them focused and remind them of the things he’d taught.

That’s why he says he “eagerly desired” to bring them the body and blood - two elements that would foreshadow the manner of his violent death.

Think about this: Jesus was about to become the Passover lamb, slain to save all people from their sins. Our relational Jesus knew sitting down to dinner was a perfect time to instruct them one last time - by giving them the information about the new covenant and giving them a meal to eat full of remembrance and reminder. He tells them to eat and do this after I am gone to keep hope alive and remember what I’ve taught, then one day we will eat together in a new covenant that brings himself, his disciples, and all those saved by the body and blood together.

That’s what we’re a part of - a new Covenant - and Jesus anxiously anticipating a day when he will partake of the meal with all of the people who have new life because of him.

-Mike Throne