12. THE LAST SUPPER (THE FULLNESS OF TIME)

The night before He died, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal as His last with His Apostles before His death. Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28). He then instructed them to do this in remembrance of [Him] (Luke 22:19).

In this meal with His closest friends before He dies, Jesus establishes a new covenant. One that would fulfill all of the previous covenants made between God and the Israelites, and invite all nations into this covenant. In the past, God made covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David that He would provide for His people if they remained faithful to Him. These covenants (except Adam) were ratified with the blood of an animal sacrifice. Each covenant was broken by human sinfulness. Yet, God remained faithful to His people and continuously offered them mercy and redemption. When Jesus proclaimed the bread and wine as His Body and Blood at the Last Supper, He was instituting a New Covenant. This covenant would be ratified by Jesus’ blood and would not be broken because of Jesus’ obedience to the will of the Father. Jesus offers His perfect participation in the New Covenant to those who receive Him.

In establishing His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus is also signaling to His followers that His death at the hands of the Jews and Romans was not an execution, but a willing sacrifice. Jesus proves that His death was not only intentional and necessary, but a sign of the New Covenant. Rather than being known as crucified criminal by His followers after His death, Jesus is seen as both high priest and victim. They taught that His bloody sacrifice ratified the new

covenant that He established. Consequently, the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is the cornerstone of Christian worship because all who partake in the remembrance of the Last Supper enter into the New and Eternal Covenant in His Body and Blood which opens the door to eternal life with the Father.

Originally published in Prime Soil Magazine | Vol. 1 No. 2

Originally presented at The 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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