It’s almost universal that important moments and significant occasions are marked by sharing a meal. We incorporate meals into our three main holidays here in the U.S. – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Superbowl Sunday. There’s just something inherent in us as humans that we commemorate things by sharing a common sustenance.
That’s probably why God incorporated meals into the great festivals prescribed in the Law of Moses. They served as a reminder of Israel’s heritage and calling, but also as a means of binding groups of people together. Meals communicate something.
This Sunday we’ll be reading about the most famous meal of the New Testament, and surely the most significant. We’ll be reading Mark 14:12-26 as we continue our study of Mark’s gospel.
Mark locates this meal at the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which would make this a Passover Meal. Jesus goes about re-purposing some of the integral elements of this most important Jewish observance. If liberation is central to the theme of Passover, and Jesus ties his upcoming death to the Passover, what is that communicating to us about his mission and the mission of the Good News? What sort of liberation do you believe he had in mind?
Why do you think Jesus didn’t “out” Judas at the table? Why do you suppose he prompted all of his disciples to inquire if they were the one?
Jesus took the Afikomen bread and the Cup of Redemption and gave them new designations for us, saying they now represent his body and his blood. Clearly he’s pointing to role which the Passover Lamb typified – he would be our sacrifice. In v24 he states what that sacrifice will accomplish. What do you understand a covenant to be? How does that inform you about Christ’s mission, and our mission as Good News people?
It should be an interesting and comforting study – hope to see you there!