And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Mark 14:22–24)
My wife and I were recently eating dinner at a restaurant that was playing music videos on several of their large televisions. I am not sure what the song was, but I recognized that the artist was Justin Timberlake. He was walking at night through what appeared to be a dark alley. What caught my eye in the video was that, instead of casting a shadow of darkness, he was casting a shadow of light. Regardless of the artist or even the song, it was a pretty cool image.
Yesterday, we took a look at the Passover story from Exodus. It is a foreshadow of a sacrifice to come; a foreshadow of the perfect Passover lamb. In today’s text, Jesus is sharing the Passover with his disciples, and over the foreshadow of the Passover, Jesus places another shadow, another foreshadowing of the cross to come. However, this shadow doesn’t make the initial shadow darker, it is a shadow that sheds light.
The perfect Passover lamb is here; he is about to be sacrificed. In some ways, it is the same shadow, but now with more light!
This past Sunday, many of us had the privilege of participating in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the practice that commemorates the Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples on the eve of his sacrifice. Regardless of your tradition’s view of the nature of Christ’s presence, this meal continues to serve as a shadow that sheds light on the nature of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Through participating in it, our lives are changed. We remember that Christ died for us, that through his brokenness we are healed, that through his shed blood we are reconciled to the Father.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of the Lord’s Supper so we can actively participate in the remembering of your mighty act of redemption, our exodus from sin and death into a new Kingdom of righteousness and life! In the name of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.