Let Us Keep the Feast

Read: Matthew 26:26-29

Take, eat; this is my body. (v. 26)

As a child, I didn’t especially enjoy Communion celebrations. The service grew long, the liturgy went over my head, and children couldn’t participate. I was glad we only celebrated four times a year. As an adult, I have learned to rejoice with words from the Book of Common Prayer, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.” What changed for me? Understanding the words of Christ and the promise of God.

Today is Thursday of Holy Week. Jesus gathered with his disciples to observe the Passover feast. More than a thousand years earlier, Hebrew slaves ate a hastily prepared meal of roast lamb and bread cooked without yeast (Exodus 12). The lamb’s blood was smeared on the doorframe to spare the firstborn son from the plague of death. They ate in haste before fleeing Pharoah’s bondage. At every year’s Passover, Jews recited, “This year we eat it in the land of bondage: next year in the land of promise.” In Jeremiah 31:31, God promises, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.”

At the Passover with his disciples, Jesus inaugurated that new covenant when he blessed the bread, took the cup, and said “eat” and “drink” (Matt. 26:26-27). His broken body and shed blood that we see and taste in the bread and cup remind us of our deliverance from sin’s slavery and look forward to that day when we will feast with him in his Father’s kingdom (v. 29). Oh friends, let us keep the feast! —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, thank God for the new covenant.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Jesus Wins!