14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the 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 say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14–16
We all have events in our lives we look forward to, or dread. As kids, Christmas, as young adults, marriage, any of us, surgery, or the day of parting, when we will leave loved ones to go to college, live in another city, or go off to war. When the day and hour finally comes, we tend to want to make a speech, such as, “I’ve been looking forward to this day all my life,” or “I’ve been dreading this day would come.” A little (or a lot) of these two human emotions were engaged when Jesus finally arrived in the Upper Room to share his final Passover meal with his men. If the disciples had understood the gravity and extent of what was about to occur, they would have lost their appetite.
Those of us who have been in the faith for years, or grown up in church, or who have come out of the Catholic faith, have multiple times partaken (this is an archaic word almost always used on the occasion of the Lord’s Supper) of the ordinance of communion. From tiny wafers to fragments of crackers to bread extracted by the minister from a loaf of bread, all have been utilized to represent Jesus’ body. Same goes for reasonable or unreasonable facsimiles of the wine as substitute for his blood, from grape juice to California’s finest, delivered in tiny plastic cups to gold chalices.
Being easily distracted, it’s difficult for me to transcend my setting into a mindset worthy to partake. I imagine, however, in that Upper Room, the apprehension—sense of dread—was palpable. It’s in times like these the most spiritual must preside, and who more qualified then the Passover Lamb himself. An unblemished lamb was closen for the meal. If it knew the fate awaiting him he’d be petrified. In this case, Jesus knew what was about to happen, but looked forward again to enjoying the same meal and drinking of the seder’s “fourth cup” (still pending we’re taught) with the same men, less Judas Iscariot who betrayed him, in his Kingdom.
When we take communion we look back to his sacrifice, but perhaps we should fold in a measure of forward thinking as Jesus did, to the day of reunion.