Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said to him…
During the process of the betrayal, the "first day of unleavened bread" came round, and "the Master," with "his disciples" in "a large upper room furnished and ready," sat and together partook of the Passover. It was the last time. The long series of observances begun in Egypt had now come to an end. Before the next year should bring round the time of the Passover, it would be "fulfilled in the kingdom of God." A deeper and wider meaning would be given to it. Another Lamb would be slain, whose blood, sprinkled by faith, would cleanse the "conscience from dead works." New symbols would supplant the old, by means of which the Lord's death should be showed forth until his coming again. The simplicity of the newly appointed ordinance stands in marked contrast to all the elaborate rites of the earlier service, and to the scarcely less elaborate forms of the extreme schools of the Christian Church.
I. THE ELEMENTS. Taking up the common articles of their daily food, he made them symbolize himself. The "bread" his "body;" the "wine" his "blood." Anything more simple could not have been conceived, anything more ready-at-hand, more truly universal. At the same time, he glorified that food by making it to represent, to memorialize, himself - his body given and his blood shed, through which spiritual life and nourishment were secured for them. Thus materials and spirituals are united; and a portion of our daily food may be taken in remembrance of him who gives life to the world, and "feeds the strength of every saint."
II. THE REPRESENTATION. To the simple "This is my body" of St. Mark, St. Luke adds, "which is given for you" - given up unto death on your behalf. He who "gave himself" - his entire personality - for our sins, gave his body "unto death, yea, the death of the cross." This is the sacrifice offered "once for all," "when he offered up himself." The blood represents, he says, "my blood of the covenant;" or, in St. Luke's words, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you." It is "shed for many unto remission of sins." Both are to be taken with the impressive and tenderly touching words, "This do in remembrance of me."
III. THE COMMAND. "Take ye;" "Take, eat;" "Drink ye all of it;" "This do in remembrance of me;" "This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." With these words our Lord enjoins on his disciples the observance of this simple, central Christian rite; and they form the warrant for the observance of the Lord's Supper. Gathering together the several words of direct and indirect reference to this Christian service, we see how it is the center from which radiate many lines of relation to the entire circle of the Christian life.
1. It is an affectionate memorial service, bringing to remembrance the entire self-devotion of the Redeemer - "in remembrance of me." It calls up all that the one word me represents, with an especial allusion to the supreme act of self-immolation, "I lay down my life."
2. It is a covenant service. He who drinks of the cup places himself under the bonds of the new covenant, and receives at the same time the seal of the certain inheritance of all covenant blessings (see Hebrews 8:6-12).
3. It is a service of communion. It symbolizes our joint participation with the whole body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:14-17). It. declares the perfect oneness of the Church of Christ: "We, who are many are one bread, one body;" and it affirms our perfect community of interest: we "all eat the same spiritual meat;" we "all drink the same spiritual drink."
4. It is at once a service of lowly confession and humble faith, of exulting hope - "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come" - of brotherly love. It is to the believer the pledge of all blessing and help; while from him it is the pledge of all obedience. And the Eucharistic song speaks of the life, the fellowship, and the joy of heaven. - G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?