FEW EVENTS IN JESUS’ life are remembered more frequently than the meal he shared with his closest disciples on the night when he was arrested. That meal is known by such names as the Last Supper, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist (thanksgiving), or communion.
That last evening, however, posed concerns other than food. Jesus realized that his death was imminent, and perhaps no act more appropriately represented his life and death than a meal. Gathered in the Upper Room with disciples, Jesus took a loaf of bread, ” and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in rememberance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in rememberance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). Jesus took the ordinary food of his day and asked his followers to remember him as they ate. The one who ate with tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes; the one who miraculously multiplied bread and fish in feeding the multitudes; the one who proclaimed the heavenly banquet in the future was the one who broke the bread, took the cup, and said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
It should also be recalled that Jesus linked this solemn meal with his signature act of humility when he washed the feet of his disciples ( John 13:1-20). Thus we are to remember not only the meal that symbolized his death, burial, and resurrection but also the character of the one we are to emulate in our daily walk with God. During this meal he promised the coming of the Holy Spirit and the assurance of eternal life with God; he talked about suffering for the faith and true joy in him; and he prayed to his heavenly Father. And throughout his act of humility and his words of comfort, Jesus expressed his deep love for all he would soon die to save.