“Take this and divide this among yourselves. (Luke 22: 17)
Luke, the physician, the author of this record of Jesus’ last meal does not waste much time getting into the meat of the significance of this meal: “I want to share this last meal with you before I suffer.” After blessing the cup, he says, “Take this, and divide this among yourselves.” Jesus did not drink this cup because his time to drink the cup of suffering was still to come. Jesus would drink the cup when the kingdom was fully realized.
Note the words, “take this, and divide this among yourselves” is quickly tied into who these table guests were. Jesus says to them that sitting among them is one who will betray them. Jesus invites all to his table even traitors to the Kingdom. Jesus’s parable about being careful not to tear out the weeds when trying to take care of the wheat (Matthew 13: 24-30) reminds us that God is the final arbiter of who is truly worthy of eating and drinking with him in the Kingdom. As Paul Minear reminds us, “ To eat with him (Jesus) was to become vulnerable to divine judgment and divine grace” (p. 181).
As you come to the table of Jesus you may feel full of shame and guilt: Jesus invitation is for you, “Take this.”
Ron Friesen © 2015