By this time the disciples should have been well-prepared for the death of Jesus. Three times He had warned them of the soon-to-come events in Jerusalem, each time with the promise of His resurrection after three days (8:31; 9:31; 10:32–34). The disciples had just witnessed a woman pour out costly oil on Him, which He described as preparation for His “burial” (14:8). And, as they celebrated the Passover, He spoke of His body and of drinking again in the kingdom of God (14:25).
The disciples didn’t fully understand Jesus and continued eating. Jesus showed again that they did not recognize Him when He said there were potential betrayers and deserters among them. Misunderstanding the significance of His statements about the coming Crucifixion, Peter pledged loyalty to Jesus with great overconfidence. “Even if all fall away, I will not” (v. 29). Their misunderstanding would allow them to be weak in prayer rather than vigilant, and eventually would lead to their desertion.
Fully understanding the significance of the death of Jesus will take the remainder of our lives in both this world and the next. For all eternity we will rejoice at the significance of His great redemption of our souls by the sacrifice of His life. In this life, we have every day to meditate on His atoning work, the forgiveness that comes by the shedding of His blood, His fulfillment of the requirements of the Law’s judgment, and His taking God’s wrath on Himself in our place.
We should appreciate the meaning of Christ’s death more and more each day. Participation with fellow saints in the Lord’s Supper should be sweeter, our prayer life should become stronger, and our devotion to our Savior should increase.
Today’s Lord’s Supper celebrations emphasize the solemnity of the event. We come to this table in a serious manner. We take time to prepare ourselves. The Lord’s Supper, like Passover, is also a feast of celebration. We marvel at the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s death. Thank God with joy while taking communion!