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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | Sharing His Presence

Farewell dinners are bittersweet occasions in that they are usually a joyful celebration and reflection of the years spent together with the one leaving, but they are also emotionally challenging in that the one being honored is going away and those that remain will not be able to enjoy this person’s personal physical presence once they depart.

In our passage Jesus has such a farewell dinner. What is usually called the “Last Supper” was part of a Passover celebration (v. 17). During the meal Jesus breaks the bread (v. 26), representing His body which was to be sacrificed on the cross, and pours out a cup of wine (v. 27), symbolizing His blood to be shed. He then shares these elements with His disciples, inviting them to partake in this ritual meal as object lessons of His sacrifice, His love, His presence. The whole meal provided a remembrance of His presence among them, but at this point Jesus states that He will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until they are all physically reunited again in the Father’s kingdom (v. 29).

When we participate in communion, not only is the Lord the original host of this ordinance, but He also directs our attention to a future time of observance when we will all be together with Him and He will once again partake of the fruit of the vine in celebration of our physical unification with Him in the “Father’s kingdom” (v. 29).

The Last Supper serves as a powerful symbol of God’s love and presence. Jesus, on the eve of His crucifixion, chooses to dine with His disciples, sharing with them not only the Passover meal but ultimately Himself. In His words and actions, He reveals God’s intimate, sacrificial love for humanity and the reality of the Lord’s presence in our midst.

Go Deeper

What do the elements of the Lord’s Supper represent? What does it mean when we participate in a communion service?

Pray with Us: Jesus, You gave us another sign of Your presence with us when You instituted communion during the “Last Supper.” Thank You for this powerful reminder that every time we participate in communion You are “God with us,” our Immanuel.

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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