Understanding the Bible 30: Jesus’s Last Supper and the Sacrament of Communion

The most distinctive act of early Christian worship was participation in sacrament of Communion.  Sermons, scripture readings, the singing of hymns and psalms were indeed a part of the church’s worship, but much of this was done – originally – in the synagogues on the Sabbath.  Christians would gather again on Sunday – in celebration of the resurrection – and come to the table to receive the bread and cup as the first disciples had at Jesus’s last supper.

In this short, Good Friday homily, we look at the last supper  and see in it Jesus’s conscious act of welcoming sinners.  Those for whom his body is broken, and blood shed are not saints!  They are fallen humans – all of whom will either betray, abandon or deny him before the night is over.  Yet it is for them that Jesus’s offers himself, and to his table that he welcomes them.

In those times when we wonder if we are still welcome to come into Jesus’s presence, we can remember that each time we come to the table, we accept the grace of the God who came not for the healthy, but the sick…


This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), April 18, 2014 (Good Friday). To learn more about Canvas, click here!


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