Not Really the Last Supper

The scene has been immortalized. That classic rendering of Jesus and His disciples reclining at the table partaking of that final Passover before He would be taken and crucified. Every time we as believers remember Jesus in the Lord’s Supper, we think back to that night when He told His disciples to take the bread and drink the cup and “Do this in remembrance of Me.” We often refer to it as “The Last Supper.” But this morning I’m reminded this morning that it really isn’t.

And when the hour came, He reclined at table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”    (Luke 22:14-18 ESV)

The world was about to change . . . literally. Not only for the disciples but for all mankind.

For the disciples the need to annually sacrifice a lamb without blemish was about to cease. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was soon to be offered as the final once-for-all sacrifice for the iniquities of mankind. The shedding of blood by the Son of God for the forgiveness of sin would remove the need for any other sin offering.

What’s more, the commandment to remember the exodus from Egypt, along with the mighty acts of God and the deliverance from the bondage of slavery, was to be supplanted by an invitation to participate in a new exodus. A deliverance entered into by faith in God’s mighty work upon the cross. An exodus participated in by looking to God’s Son lifted up and receiving the forgiveness offered through His finished work. Thus being delivered from darkness and death and freed from the slavery of sin.

No more need for the Passover. And so Jesus says, “I will not eat . . . I will not drink . . .” But what’s grabbed this morning is the word “until.”

I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God . . . I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Whether Jesus is referring to a new Passover in a future millennial kingdom which looks back to His finished work on the cross and the freedom it secured for countless souls (Ezek 45:21) or, whether it looks forward to the consummating feast when Christ’s Bride is presented to Him in all her glory at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9), Jesus seems to be indicating there will be time when the kingdom of God comes and He again breaks bread and drinks with His disciples.

So, in a sense, it wasn’t really the Last Supper. Perhaps I’d be better to consider it the “Looking Forward Supper.” The feast that reminds me of a future celebration when the kingdom is come. The meal that, in our remembrance of it, proclaims the Lord’s death “until He comes” (1Cor. 11:26).

There’s that word again . . . until. It’s the “Until Supper.”

Until He comes . . . until He eats and drinks again in the kingdom of God . . . until faith gives way to sight.

Even so, Lord Jesus come.

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