There is nothing quite like getting together with friends over a meal, is there? Somehow, the process of sharing food and sharing conversation blend together in a way that seems to enlarge life. Sharing meals is a big part of the Biblical narrative. In the gospel of Luke, there are more accounts of Jesus having meals than in any other record (something like ten in all).
In our passage this Sunday, we’ll be looking at Luke 22:1-23, where Jesus shares the Passover meal with his disciples.
The first few verses provide the backdrop for our story…the wicked scheming that occurs behind the scenes on the eve of Israel’s celebration of national salvation. You get the feeling of chess pieces being moved on a board, as this cosmic conflict unfolds between God and “satanas” – the enemy.
When I get to v15, it really strikes me. Jesus expresses such a strong desire to share a meal with his disciples. It’s the strongest word he can use, and he literally says “I have desired with desire…”. When you imagine your relationship with Jesus, do you ever think of him longing to be around you? How do you react internally to the idea that Jesus wants to hang out with you — that Jesus likes you?
During the observance of the Passover Seder, Jesus took two elements and refashioned them into what amounts to a new table – we could say, a new way in which God and man relate and have relationship. He used the afikoman bread and the cup of redemption as new symbols of how salvation occurs. Did he point to anything else as the means of salvation? How do you think Christ feels about any attempt we make to set something else on his table – like our efforts or our good works?
This new table is a table of grace set by a God who invites us because he wants us. He wants us – as we are, not as we should be. What sort of response does that inspire in your own heart?
Share your thoughts about this passage, I’d love to read them. See you Sunday!