for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.Matthew 26:28(NASB)
Christ's life and ministry had been journeying towards the appointed time when He would become Israel's final Passover sacrifice. Every year since their escape from Egypt, Jews and Jewish proselytes celebrated the Passover, which looked back to their salvation from Egyptian slavery and forward to the promised Messiah Whom John the Baptist identified as Jesus, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.
Passover took place the day before the celebrated Feast of Unleavened Bread, when yeast and any leavened food was removed from Jewish homes, representing the purging of sin from their individual lives. It was on this day that the Lord Jesus directed two of His disciples to go and prepare the Upper Room for the Passover meal.
Earlier that week, Jesus had told his disciples that the feast of the Passover was near - when the Son of man would be betrayed and crucified. The two disciples did as Jesus had directed them and hastened to prepare the Upper Room for the annual feast.
Jesus had already told them He was eager to eat this Passover meal with them - before He suffered. Little did they know the significance of that particular Passover, when Jesus rose from supper, laid aside His garments, girded Himself with a towel, and began to wash His disciple's feet.
Every previous Passover meal pointed to this very feast day. And now, kneeling before these men was the true Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. They were to become the privileged participants of the first Lord's Supper, which has been celebrated as a memorial of Christ's sacrificial death throughout the Church age.
It was amidst all this uncertainty, bewilderment, confusion, and anguish, that the Lord Jesus took bread in His hands. He gave thanks, broke it, and said to them, "This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."
In the same way after supper, He also took the cup and said, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, for forgiveness of sins." It was the cup of redemption He lifted in His hand and gave to His disciples. "THIS is the New Covenant in My blood," He told them.
This was the New Covenant about which Jeremiah the prophet spoke. This was the New Covenant that God promised to make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
This was the better Covenant discussed in Hebrews, which has been established on better promises. This is the New Covenant about which Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians when he explained that Christians are ministers of a New Covenant - not a covenant of the letter, but of the Spirit.
It was as they were eating the Passover in the Upper Room that Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples and said, "Take and eat it; this is My body." Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, "Drink from this, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant." This is to represent My blood, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.
"Do this in remembrance of Me," He instructed. Do this often in remembrance of ME, "for as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."
Jesus was the eternal Son of God Who has become the perfect Son of Man, for this is the blood of the covenant - Christ's blood which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the blood of the covenant which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Thank You for Your promise of a New and eternal Covenant, a covenant of the Spirit rather than one based on the letter of the Law. Thank You that Jesus came to cut the New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and that He gave His Church the Last Supper as a reminder of His sacrificial offering for the sin of the world. Thank You that Jesus came as the final Passover Lamb, Who takes away the sin of the world, and that He is returning as the resurrected Lord, Who sits on the throne. I praise Your holy name for Your plans and purposes which have been revealed to all who will believe. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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