Lesson 1: Holy Week

Lesson #1             Holy Week 2

Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another.

– from the United Methodist “Service of Word and Table 1

Devotion: Read Luke 22:7-23. Jesus sits down for a Passover meal with his followers and transforms it into Holy Communion. A meal grounded in the Exodus story of the Jewish Bible becomes the New Covenant celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus’ words tie the meaning of the broken loaf and shared cup to his body and blood. Considering the Church is described as the Body of Christ, redeemed by his blood, what does this meal and Jesus’ sacrifice teach us about the Church’s calling? What does it mean for the Church to be broken and shared? How do worship experiences prepare us to be a sacrifice? How does the Church sacrifice itself for others? What is your response to those who believe Christians should have Holy Communion weekly? What are the positives and negatives of such a practice?

Personal Worship Option: Read a portion of the Great Thanksgiving prayer expressing the Church’s longings: by your Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet... Continue in prayer, expressing your goals and longings.

Dig A Little Deeper:

22:7 The death of the Passover lamb foreshadows Jesus’ death on the cross.

22:8 The description of securing a room is reminiscent of finding a colt for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Lk 19:29-34). We are left to question again if this is a sign of prophetic power or Jesus made preparations beforehand.

22:10 Women carry water in this culture, so a man performing the task will stand out even in the Passover crowd.

22:12 “Furnished” means having a table and floor cushions, the furniture necessary for a Passover meal. The disciples’ preparation includes the purchase of a lamb killed at the Temple, wine, and other meal accessories.

22:16 Jesus says he will no longer eat this meal until God’s reign is fulfilled at the end of time. Scholars disagree if Jesus joins the disciples in eating the Passover or not. The bread and wine look ahead to his death and the fulfillment of the “kindom.” When the Church shares a Communion meal, we anticipate eating and drinking it with Christ at the end of time (Rev 19:9). When we share Communion, we take the first bites of the eternal banquet we will one day share with Jesus.

22:17 Compare this account with 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. The two times Jesus takes the cup (22:17, 20) refers to two of the three cups of wine that are shared at Passover in Jesus’ day.

22:21 Jesus predicts his betrayal. Even those who sit at Jesus’ table can fall away.

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