On the night before his crucifixion Jesus instructed Peter & John to go to Jerusalem to the upper room to prepare for the Passover Feast. We now know this as the Last Supper. In the Passover Feast the Jewish people celebrated the birth of the Jewish nation after God had led them out of slavery in Egypt.
A few days before, on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a Donkey’s back. The crowds welcomed him by waving palm branches in the air and shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" The day after that Jesus clears out the temple and gets rid of all the corruption within the Temple. The disciples, I’m sure, had high hopes for what was to come.
But then things start to look a bit funny…
First Jesus starts the evening by washing the disciples’ feet – more the act of a servant than that of a mighty leader. Then it gets even stranger; He starts talking about his body being broken… Luke 22:19 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.” What?! The Victorious Messiah’s body will be broken?!!!
And then in Luke 22: 20 Jesus says: 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.
Hindsight is everything. We read those lines and we know the bread and wine are symbols, we know what happens afterwards and we can interpret it. But the disciples didn’t have hindsight. They were in the story as it unfolded. And what I didn’t know, but what I’m sure the disciples did know, is that that last sentence that Jesus says when he holds the cup of wine is the exact sentence a Jewish man would use to ask for a girl’s hand in marriage! I was bowled over in awe when I read this and it gave the story of the Last Supper new meaning!
“… when a man had decided whom he’d chosen to marry, his father would pour a cup of wine and pass it down to his son. The son would then turn to the young women he loved, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almight YHWH Himself, the young man would hold out the cup of wine to the woman and ask for her hand in marriage. He would ask with these words: “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.”
The Last Supper was a marriage covenant! Jesus was saying to the disciples: I choose you. I love you. Will you choose me? Will you enter into a covenant with me?
Fast forward 2000 and a bit years, when we experience this Holy week of Easter, Jesus is asking us again, just like he asked the disciples 2000 years ago: I choose you, I love you! Will you choose me back? All that I am will be yours.
Will you take the cup and drink it? Say yes to him, even in your broken and sinful state? For “who has ever loved you to death like this?”
Is it possible, “that the real cause of our trouble is failure to realize our union with Christ?” This Easter let’s renew and celebrate our union with Christ, in his death and resurrection.
Galatians 2:20: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
• Matthew 21:9
• Page 44, The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp (Zondervan, 2016)
• Page 45, The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp (Zondervan, 2016)
• Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Spiritual Depression: It’s causes and Cure (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), p. 74-75