Eat Jesus’ Flesh and Drink His Blood? (Pt 5)

Daily Devotion | Day 339

“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:28-29, NKJV).

The night of the Last Supper (Passover) was special meant a lot to Jesus. He had been looking forward to this particular night with intense expectation. Here is how Luke put it, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15-16). In today’s presentation, we will pay attention to something Jesus said at this supper. It will help us better understand what it means to eat Jesus’s flesh and drink His blood.

When some think of what happened at the Last Supper, they assume that the Apostles alone ate the bread and drunk from the cup. That would mean Jesus was a spectator at the Last Supper. But that is not the case. After Jesus gave the cup to His disciples, He added, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). The bread Jesus gave them, as well as the drink, were all part of the Passover meal. This was a moment of fellowship. Jesus and the Apostles all partook of the same meal. Jesus was no spectator. We know this from what He said: “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on . . .” By “this fruit of the vine,” Jesus was referring to the fruit of the vine He had just given to the Apostles.

This means Jesus drunk the same fruit of the vine which He gave the Apostles. He added that He would not drink of it again until He drunk it new with them at a later time, in the Father’s kingdom. This explains why He instructed the disciples to celebrate this supper in His remembrance. He would no longer be physically present to sit and dine with them (feasting together and drinking the fruit of the vine). He wanted them, in the meantime, to keep His memory (as well as their fellowship with Him) alive by regularly breaking bread and drinking the cup at the Lord’s supper. As often as they did this, they would be proclaiming the Lord’s death until He returned.

Furthermore, Jesus had indicated that there would be yet another supper, a fulfillment, where He and His disciples would drink again the fruit of the vine which they had together enjoyed at the Last Supper. That would happen when He appeared a second time to gather His bride (the Church) to be with Him forever.

The Book of Revelation gives us a hint of what to expect: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb [Jesus] has come, and His wife [the Church] has made herself ready. . . Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (19:7, 9). This marriage supper of the Lamb is what Jesus was speaking of when He said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” This tells us that the new covenant is a marriage covenant between Jesus and His wife, the Church. And this covenant is established in His blood.

Jesus had no problem drinking the same fruit of the vine He gave the Apostles because He knew that His blood was not in the cup. His blood would be shed on the Cross, not in the cup. When He gave them bread (His body) and drink (His blood), Jesus was indicating something more profound. He was indicating that He would soon offer Himself (body and blood) as a husband offers himself to his wife with the aim of becoming one flesh. Therefore, when we eat the Lord’s Supper, we remember Jesus as a Loving Husband who gave His life for His wife, the Church. At the same time, we long for the ultimate  Lord’s Supper celebration in heaven: the marriage supper of the Lamb.

If we suppose for a moment that at the marriage supper of the Lamb, we would be served the meat and blood of Jesus, we are in for a rude awakening. That did not happen at the Last Supper, and it will not happen at the main event in heaven. May the Holy Spirit increase our understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice. Amen.

In our subsequent presentations, we will turn our attention to what John chapter 6 says about eating the Bread of Life. Stay blessed. Amen.

For further studyMatthew 22:1-14