Jesus the Messiah: The Last Supper
Most Sundays, as we stroll back to our car after worship, my daughter will ask, “Mom would you enjoy a hot drink?” It is her way of expressing how much she enjoys stopping at her favorite store after church. This Sunday a female held the door open for us. The ladies entered first, but when I got to the door I asked her to enter before me stating, “my grandmother would roll over in her grave if I didn’t hold the door for you.” Call them habits, life lessons or traditions, some are worthy of repetition while others are expendable.
In today’s sermon at the Voorhees campus, Pastor Jeff taught about the traditions involving the Seder meal (See Luke 22:14-20). Traditions like the symbolism of the four cups of wine representing God’s four promises; also keeping one cup filled and untouched at an empty place representing the future. Exact, annual repetition guaranteed the passing from generation to generation.
At His last supper, Jesus changed one tradition. Some changes are not immediately understood. His followers did not grasp the depth of what he was saying as He shared bread and wine as a remembrance of His Body and Blood. Some changes come with trepidation. Historically we know that some of the populace accepted that Jesus was the Messiah, while others did not.
As a parent I always hoped that any of our traditions worthy of remembrance would be continued while the petty ones would evolve away. Jesus left us with many teachings. Every lesson was worthy of remembrance. That is why His words and teachings have lasted over 2000 years.
No tradition can survive if it is not shared. That is why the elder took the time as part of the traditional meal to answer the question, “Why is this night different?” It is every Christian’s responsibility to talk about and practice the teachings of Christ. By sharing God’s lessons, generations will know that Christ kept his promises to lead, free, redeem and make us His people.
On Easter Sunday we will see hundreds of extra families and children in church. We make it a point to invite folks on that special day. It’s equally as important to invite folks every day of the year. My grandmother didn’t ask me to be a gentleman only when convenient or on special days. Manners were meant to be daily, lifelong practices. Traditions follow the same mandate.
Invite folks for Easter, then keep inviting them. With their first experience the visitor will see a lovely, holiday service. When they attend often, those visitors will internalize the teachings of God. Then and only then will the traditions be carried on.