26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take and eat. This is my body.” 27 He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven. 29 I tell you, I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 Then, after singing songs of praise, they went to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew, mainly following Mark’s account in Mark 14:22-26, put few details in his account of the Last Supper. But anyone who knew the Jewish faith would have known that the last hallel (hymn of praise) Hebrews sang at Passover was Psalm 118. Hebrews 7:1-2 saw Jesus' action prefigured in the brief story in Genesis 14:14-20. In that story, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought bread and wine to Abraham, and received a tithe from him.
- Psalm 118:6 said, “The Lord is for me—I won’t be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Verse 17 said, “I won’t die—no, I will live and declare what the Lord has done.” How do you think those words strengthened Jesus as he sang them in the Upper Room just hours before his crucifixion? How do those words speak to any fears you carry in your heart? How did Jesus' use the fruit of the vine to symbolize all the joy and newness he will share with his people in a world made new? Have you made the heart commitment that you choose to be there to share the kingdom “wine” with Jesus?
Lord Jesus, I’m grateful for the chances I have to take part in the communion service now. But how much more I will treasure it when I get to take it with you in your Father’s kingdom. Amen.
Don’t let giving thanks end with just one November day. Encourage your family to give thanks daily to God for your many blessings. Read Psalm 100. Create a gratitude collage. Gather a piece of colored poster board, some magazines, a few markers and some glue or tape. Invite everyone to draw pictures and write words representing what they are thankful for on the poster board. Add some cut-outs from magazines, too. Consider leaving some blank spaces so family members can add onto it through the week. Write a verse or two of Psalm 100 on the poster board. Each day take time to give thanks to God for all your blessings and celebrate every moment!
Hank is a student in rezlife Student Ministries at Resurrection Leawood.