The King’s Feast
Devotion written by Beccy Clay
Read: Matthew 26:20-30
The Last Supper was a meal characterised by intimacy, friendship & betrayal. This meal celebrated the first Passover which recalled the deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt into freedom. As Jesus reclined with his closest friends, they would have remembered God’s intervention in the lives of their ancestors, and that God spared the lives of those who covered their doorways with the blood of a sacrificed lamb. They shared unleavened bread to remember the rapid flight from Egypt, lamb to remember the sacrifice and blood spilt, bitter herbs to remind the Jews of bitter times in Egypt, and wine which was drunk at four specific times in the meal.
Yet to me, this night, sharing this meal, seems to unite past, present and future, slicing History in half, as only Jesus can. Jesus took the bread and wine and gave it new meaning. Here we see human and divine come together in what was no ordinary Passover meal. God’s message of redemption, His grand plan of History to rescue people from slavery and bondage takes on a meaning that not even His closest disciples would have understood that night. ‘Take and eat; this is My body…Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ (vv26-28).
The Passover Lamb
On the eve of His death, Jesus shared how they will remember surely the most sorrowful and joyful moment in History. Jesus, the Lamb of the God, whose body was soon to be broken and whose blood was to be shed. For this was God’s redemption plan from the start: Jesus, the ultimate Passover Lamb. And God still specialises in rescuing the lost.
Perhaps only when we have experienced sorrow and loss can we begin to understand the sorrow Jesus felt that night, knowing the path He must walk, and the betrayal that was about to come. The premeditated betrayal by Judas gave a sting to the evening and was unexpected by the other disciples. Perhaps even this highlights why Jesus walked the path to the cross the following day. Judas, and all of us sinners like him, need God’s redemption plan. The joy and sorrow that must have overwhelmed Jesus that night took Him to the cross, our place of redemption. Heartache and hope intermingled. Past, present and future intertwined. ‘For the joy set before Him he endured the cross’ (Hebrews 12:2).
But this is not the ‘Last’ Supper. ‘I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom’ (v29). Even on the eve of darkness, Jesus offers hope, the promise of many suppers to come. There’s a feast being prepared in a house not so far from here. There’s a table laid with the best bread and wine for us to share with the Father. This ‘Last Supper’ brings the promise of supper for eternity; it’s the culmination of God’s redemption plan. Every time we eat the bread and wine here in remembrance we can catch a glimpse of the meal yet to come – the King’s Feast!
* * * * * * * * *
The body of our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
Torn for you: eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life,
Paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this Bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice,
As a sign of our bonds of peace
Around the table of the King.
The blood that cleanses every stain of sin,
Shed for you: drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in
To receive the life of God.
As we share in His suffering,
We proclaim: Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven
Around the table of the King.
Taken from ‘The Communion Song’ by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend (2006)
• Read Exodus 12 which is the story of the first Passover and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. What might it have felt like to experience that event?
• What comes to mind as you think about the future King’s Feast?
Communion (Third Day)
Family worship idea
Share bread and wine/juice together. Explain to each other what the bread and wine represent. Why not do this as part of a family mealtime?
Children’s activity idea
Today’s idea is a colour, cut-out and fold Lord’s Supper table. You can download it from: Bible Craft Club