Good Friday, the Last Supper and the Last Things (29 Mar 2013)

Good Friday is good news for it points back to the cruel and painful death of Jesus Christ. Death is vanquished. The certificate of debt of sins have been “nailed it to the cross” (Col 2:14). conquered by Christ By Jesus’ death as the Lamb of God, all who believe in His righteous work on the Cross will receive God’s forgiveness, salvation and the free gift of eternal life.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
Today on 29 Mar, we celebrate Good Friday. The book of Daniel prophesied that “the Anointed one will be cut off” (Dan 9:26). The Anointed One is the Christ (Messiah). Good Friday is related to the sacrifice of the paschal lambs in the annual Jewish Passover.

The Jewish Passover meal (called Seder) has four cups of wine, roasted lamb, bread and bitter herbs and others. The synoptic gospels and gospel of John are not conclusive on whether the Last Supper has the full menu of the Seder. What is certain is that the four Gospels point to Jesus as the Christian’s Passover lamb. Moreover, Jesus said, “I have longingly desired to eat this Passover with you before my suffering; however, I tell you that I shall not eat of it, until it can be administered in the Kingdom of God.'” (Luke 22:15-16, The Holy Bible in Modern English).
“Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7).
On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He instituted His Last Supper with His disciples. He focused on the significance of the bread and the wine. It then became the Church’s regular observance. “As often as you meet” can mean regularly, monthly and weekly, certainly more than once a year. The Apostle Paul continued the Lord’s practice of focusing on the significance of the bread and the cup (1 Cor 11:23-26).
Good Friday and the Last Supper point to the past, present and future (Last Things):
(a) Past: CHRIST was CRUCIFIED. We remember the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But we must not get stuck in the past or merely wait for Christ’s soon coming and do nothing. Christ is called the “first fruits” (1 Cor 15:23) and the life-giving Spirit (1Co 15:45). So given the new lives in-Christ, we have God’s resources to help us grow in faith while we are on earth (Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17).

(b) Present: CHRIST is RISEN. We receive God’s grace and forgiveness to serve the living God because Jesus is risen from the dead (1 Jn 1:9; Hebrews 9:14). Each time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we are reminded of God’s covenant with His church. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24). We are to bear witness for Christ’s death and power to save “until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26).

(c) Future: CHRIST will COME QUICKLY. We proclaim Christ’s death and anticipate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the Last Days (Rev 19:9). “I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25; cf. Matt 26:29; Luke 22:16, 18).

Elder Yoong Yuen Soo