The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of July 16 - 22, 2017, is Luke 22:14-23. In this passage, Jesus and His disciples are celebrating Passover. Jesus, knowing that it is His last and what is to come, introduces a new tradition.
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them,“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said,“Take this, and divide it among yourselves.For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. (Luke 22:14-23, ESV)
Compare this passage with Leviticus 16. Leviticus 16 describes the Day of Atonement, the day when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and offer a sacrifice for all the sins of Israel. Jesus knew that His death was coming, the final Day of Atonement. With His death no more sacrifices would be needed. Jesus gave us a new tradition by which to remember His sacrifice. Many refer to it as Communion. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider the importance of the Day of Atonement for the Israelites. Consider the importance of Communion today. Why is it necessary to understand the importance of both traditions? How does this knowledge affect your relationship with Christ?