I was reading about the Last Supper in Luke in preparation for Easter when something leaped off the page and into my heart. But first, here is the scene in Luke 22:14 – 17:
“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.’
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.’”
I always focused on the promise within this dramatic scene with Jesus and his disciples. That is, that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior will have death pass over them because they have the blood of Christ covering their life. It’s a similar image to the scene in the Bible when death struck the Egyptians but passed over the children of God because they had wiped the blood of a sacrificial lamb around the doorframe of their homes. It’s the promise of eternal life after this life. Jesus is telling his disciples—and us today—that he will not eat the Passover meal until we are all there with him.
Think about it. It sounds like Jesus is fasting. If so, that’s a long fast . . . more than two thousand years and counting. Yes I know Jesus is God and is not constrained by time and physical needs like food and drink. I get it. But what happens when we fast, even for a short time? We get very hungry and look forward to our next meal. The next meal tastes exceedingly delicious. I think of it this way: Jesus is looking forward to his next meal with you and me. It’s not the food and drink he longs for. It’s us. He’s looking forward to joining us at the table in the Kingdom of Heaven.
About ten years ago I purchased a thirty dollar ballpoint pen with a fancy ergonomic grip. I still have that pen. Most people lose pens all the time. They lose them so often they don’t even notice. That’s because most pens are cheap. The writer doesn’t care if he or she misplaces a cheap pen. They don’t even notice when a borrower walks away with their cheap pen. But when you shell out thirty bucks for a fancy writing implement, you cherish it. I know where my pen is at all times (yes, it is a little obsessive compulsive). I do not let borrowers walk away with my pen.
As Easter approaches, I like to read all the Gospel accounts of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The suffering and sacrifice of Christ is a poignant reminder of how much God cherishes his people. He paid a high price for us. He always knows where we are. We are in the palm of his hand. He won’t lose us. He won’t let someone else walk away with us without a fight. We are not cheap. We are precious to God.