The New Covenant
A continued study in our series on the Gospel of Matthew
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
Like last week, we have a similar story of betrayal, but one that is more like how most of us betray Jesus, by denying Him when it matter most. As soon as it looks like we may be marginalized within a group, we can tend to marginalize our relationship with Jesus. When we don’t share Him with others, we have marginalized Him to others. In this story, Jesus inaugurates the communion meal, which many in the early church took as a meal on a regular basis, not a wafer, once a month. It deeply symbolized what Jesus did for us on the cross, and in our setting has created a visual sermon for us to consistently remember His sacrifice for our sins. For some this has become rote and meaningless, but in reality we are very forgetful people, and according to Peter, the person who betrays Jesus here, our forgetfulness of this event is directly connected to our lack of spiritual depth (See 2 Peter 1:9). We can make many promises to God, as Peter does here, but unless our spiritual vitality is fueled by Christ, and not our own goals and desires, we too will forget, or minimize what Christ has done, and softly deny Him too.
- Why is communion important?
- What is communion?
- In what way is Peter no different than Judas?
- In what way is Peter different?
- In what way(s) do we deny Jesus? Why do we do this?