Forgiven, We Set the Table
Scripture Reading — Matthew 26:17-30
“Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” — Matthew 26:27-28
Before Jesus died, God’s people sacrificed a lamb each year during the Feast of Passover to remind them that God brought them out of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12). Jesus timed his death to take place at the beginning of Passover—when God’s people were sacrificing their lambs. This would show that Jesus’ death is the once-for-all sacrifice of God to save his people from their slavery to sin. Now we remember Jesus’ sacrifice by celebrating the Lord’s Supper, instituted by Jesus the night before he died.
We call this communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”). It is a celebration, but it is also a confession that we need to be forgiven. Matthew highlights this point as Jesus says that his blood is “poured out . . . for the forgiveness of sins.”
Notice also that the disciples were the ones who prepared the meal. They gathered and prepared the food and set the table—as we also do for communion today.
Every time we take the bread and the cup, we remember together that we are sinners who needed Jesus to die for us. We had to set that table—we needed his sacrifice. But in the Lord’s Supper our guilt is met by the saving grace of God. And as we eat and drink, we are assured that God’s saving grace overcomes our guilt because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. Thank you for dying in my place so that I could be forgiven. Your love is unquestionable. Amen.