Mark 14:22–24 After predicting Judas’s betrayal (vv. 18–21), Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper during his final meal with his disciples, a Passover meal. As they are eating, Jesus picks up a loaf of bread, thanks God for it, gives it to his disciples, and says, “Take; this is my body” (v. 22). Jesus implies that they are to eat the bread, signifying feeding on him for spiritual strength, just as we eat bread for physical strength. He also picks up the cup, gives thanks, and gives it to them to drink. Though they do not understand then, they later come to understand that even as they partake of the wine, so they “partake” of Christ spiritually in the Lord’s Supper, which signifies union with him. Jesus identifies the cup as his “blood of the covenant” (v. 24). Thus Mark, like Matthew (Matt. 26:27), refers to the new covenant without using the word “new,” which Luke and Paul do use (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25). The cup stands for Jesus’ blood, his sacrificial death, which ratifies the new covenant the OT prophets predicted (Jer. 31:31–34). Jesus speaks of his substitutionary death when he says his blood will be poured out “for many” (Mark 14:24). He dies in the place of all who will trust him as Lord and Savior.
Theology for Life—Jesus’ words at the Last Supper strengthen our assurance as we partake of the Lord’s Supper in faith.
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