"Proclaiming the Lord's Death Until He Comes"
During the Advent season, we take time to carefully think about the First and Second Coming of Jesus Christ into the world. The Lord’s Supper is one ordinance we observe in the Baptist tradition that also has this twofold emphasis. In 1 Corinthians 11:26, Paul taught this understanding of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper when he wrote, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes” (ESV). The Lord’s Supper helps us look back to Jesus’ death and forward to His Second Coming.
In Luke 22:7–23, we read Luke’s record of Jesus instituting this most meaningful meal with His disciples. One of the things I find so powerful in these verses is how Jesus showed that He is the fulfillment toward which the Passover meal once pointed. Where the Passover meal reminded God’s people of the salvation they experienced when God passed over the homes of those who had put the death of a firstborn lamb over their doors, the Lord’s Supper reminded God’s people of the salvation they experienced through the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Rather than being a priest who would offer sacrifices necessary to celebrate the Passover, Jesus is our Great High Priest who shed His own blood so that we might experience God’s salvation.
Luke 22:7-23 (ESV):
The Passover with the Disciples
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” 9 They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10 He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.