One Meal, One Body
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He
broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this
is My body” (v.22).
Have you ever wondered why Jesus taught His
followers to eat His “body” and drink His
“blood” during the Lord’s Supper? The Jews
misunderstood the idea (John 6:52), and the early
Christians were even accused of “cannibalism.” Couldn’t
Jesus have described this special meal with less
controversy? Not really.
Jesus’ original meal with His disciples took place
on the evening prior to the celebration of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread (Mark 14:12). This Passover meal
involved eating bread without yeast and sacrificing a
lamb in memory of the time God liberated the Israelites
from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12:1). The yeast-free bread—
used by the Israelites during their escape—is also a
symbol of sinlessness according to some commentators,
and the blood of the lamb was a symbol of salvation
(12:12-13). As Jesus offered His disciples bread and called
it His “body” (Mark 14:22), He was describing Himself as
the sinless One who would save them from judgment.
Then after drinking the wine, Jesus said, “This is My
blood which confirms the covenant between God and
His people” (Mark 14:23). Prior to releasing the
Israelites from Egypt, God had commanded each family
to sacrifice a lamb (Exodus 12:3). The blood from the
lamb, placed on their doorposts, was a “sign” to God
that He should pass over the house—sparing them from
His judgment. Then they ate the meat after it was roasted over a fire (vv.8-9).
A sacrifice brought God and humanity together. A shared meal brought
people together. In the most extraordinary act in history, Jesus became both
Passover sacrifice and fellowship meal.
By observing the Lord’s Supper today, we participate in God’s redeemed
How seriously do you engage with the Lord’s Supper? Are you ever
prone to ignore its social significance?