As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.” After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Matthew 26:26-30
This is the last Passover Jesus has with his disciples, and through this, he transforms the Passover into the first Lord’s Supper. He is preparing his disciples for what is to come after his death. Jesus has finished his ministry – there is no more teaching the crowds and performing miracles, no more discussions with the religious people in the synagogues, and no more parables. He had recently spoken of the end times and the signs of times to come. As Jesus nears the end of his life, his words began to take on a more serious tone.
I took a glance back through the book of Matthew and noticed that the first part of the book is almost completely covered in red-letters showing Jesus’ words and sermons, but now as I look ahead to the remaining few chapters in Matthew I noticeably see that Jesus’ words become less. His remaining spoken words are to his disciples and to God. This last Passover becomes symbolic, not because of its ending but because of new beginnings. Jesus turns this last Passover into the first Lord’s Supper, and He shows the disciples how to celebrate a new covenant and the blood that is to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus reveals his purpose – the forgiveness of sins.
I once heard Bishop T.D. Jakes ask someone, “How valuable is it to you to be forgiven?”
The person replied with tears in his eyes, “It is everything.”