The New Table

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!

3 thoughts on “The New Table

  1. So many thoughts to share: I love how Jesus is communicating with His desciples about His plan of redemption: The New Covenant. Reminds me of a Prologue, the beginning of a new story. A new chapter is about to take place, a story of Grace, unmerrited favor for us. Jesus, our perfect, unblemished Passover Lamb, will be sacrificed for us to forgive us from our sins and reconcile us to Him to be part of His family again. A new story of a PERSONAL relationship with our Savior.

  2. I am reading this after just absolutely loosing it with my kids who have been bickering for what seems like hours. Finally after several attempts at putting them to bed, I got right down on their level and screamed at them loud enough to wake the whole neighbor hood. It seems to be a daily ritual unfortunately. So, the thought of Jesus wanting to hang out with me and liking me, just as I am, seems well, too good to be true. Thankfully, that is the whole point of this “new table” described in these verses. I don’t have to be a perfect mom or a perfect christian or a perfect anything to be accepted and loved. I can take my failures to Him and find rest, comfort and strength to try it again tomorrow. He is patient with me. My heart is overwhelmed by such a love, it is curious and inviting. I want to understand it and embrace it more and more. I’ve often wondered how to train my children to WANT to do what is right and good, to be kind and loving, not just because I say so but from their hearts to truly desire to follow God’s ways. I think once they get a glimpse of this love of His, who poured out His blood for us while we were and still are sinners, this unconditional love is what will inspire that desire in them and us!

  3. Reading in Jeremiah and Johoiachin has been on my mind for a couple of days. I’m not sure if his was the shortest reign as King of Judah, but he only lasted 3 months and 10 days according to 2 Chronicles. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. King Nebuchadnezzer sent and brought him to Babylon leaving his uncle, Zedekiah to be King. He was 18 years old at the time of his exile.
    I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be 37 years bound in prison. Duma’s Count of Monte Cristo and Dickens’s Father of the Marshalsea in Little Dorrit portray two perspectives, although fiction, fiction often reflects reality, as in Dicken’s case, whose father actually was jailed for debt for a season. What would be the hardest? Who truly knows save those who have been. But I dare say that isolation from all you love and know, from communication and sharing a meal with a loved one, a friend, a stranger, anyone would be devastating.
    I love the last verses of Jeremiah…in the 37th year of his exile, the year Evil-Merodach (AKA Amel-Marduk, I add this because I don’t think his given name does him justice) became King of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin and freed him from prison…..on the 25th day of the 12th month. Now, I know nothing about the Hebrew or Babylonian calendars, but what a pre-Christmas Christmas gift! It says he spoke kindly to him, honored him, and best of all, for the rest of his life, he ate regularly at the king’s table. What an amazing picture of redemption and love!!

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