The disciples’ experience in the upper room the evening before Jesus’ death was a lot like our lives as believers. Gloom hung heavy over the group—Jesus calmly predicted his betrayal by one of them and abandonment by all of them. He predicted his own suffering and death. He foresaw how hard their own ministries would be in the future.
And yet. And yet in the middle of those necessary but hard words came shining promises, outpourings of mercy, and pure gospel. He instituted a holy supper that would sustain their faith and strengthen it throughout their lives: “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’” (Matthew 26:26-28).
That meal bound them to the blood of the Lamb, and that blood connected them forever to their forgiving God, to his power and guidance and protection and inspiration. That meal would sustain them until the Great Feast of heaven: “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 26:29).
Every time you go to Communion, you get a little experience of how good heaven will be.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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