And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 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.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. ~Luke 22:14-23 (CEB)
“I have always been intrigued with Luke’s choice of words as he describes the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the eve before his suffering and death (Luke 22:14-23). According to Luke, Jesus said that he ‘eagerly’ desired to share the meal with the disciples. Could it be that he needed to be with those closest to him as they affirmed God’s presence and plan for him and the disciples? To spend quality time with those we love is a wonderful gift of healing and strength to all of us, and Jesus deserved this holy fellowship for comfort and strength.
Of did Jesus want to say something more to the disciples? He did declare again that it was his last meal until the kingdom of God would fully arrive. He did tell them that he was providing a new covenant for them and for the world. And perhaps most significantly, he told them by words and acts that his life and theirs were cradled and safely sheltered in God’s care.
Today Jesus invites you and me to come to the table. We are now invited to sit with Jesus, to listen to him speak to us, teach us, and bless us. In holy time and holy place he reminds us once again that his body is given for us and that his blood is poured out for us. What good news it is that the sacrifice of his life replaces the darkness of my life with the purity and light of his own.
Perhaps you are not able literally to be at the table with Jesus every day. But in your time of prayer as in your time of work and leisure you can remember that Jesus eagerly desires to be with you. And wherever you are, you may hear his words, ‘I have eagerly desired this time with you,’ and then accept his invitation to holy fellowship.” ~A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Rueben P Job
Dear Jesus, I thank You today that You desire to be with me. Despite my sins You have sought me out. You loved me knowing all I had done… and knowing all that I would still do. Help me to be in the holy time with You. May I give of myself completely as You have given me all of You. Amen.