Week 9 Devo – THURSDAY

A Proclamation of Jesus’ Continuing Ministry

Predictions are fascinating, and when they come true, they’re compelling. Sports history remembers the guarantees by Babe Ruth, Joe Namath and Muhammad Ali well. Skeptics wonder if Jesus knew what He was doing. And the truth is, yes, Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. He predicted His victory, too.

As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” —Matthew 26:26–29

What predictions do you notice in this passage?

How does it point forward to Jesus’ victory?

When Christians partake in the Lord’s Supper to remember and proclaim Jesus’ death until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:26), they also reflect on His Resurrection and proclaim that He lives.

Few of Jesus’ words are as familiar as those He spoke at the Last Supper. According to the apostle Paul, Jesus added, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24–25). Jesus took the two Old Testament covenants from Sinai and Jeremiah and merged them in His death and Resurrection. Take a look.

“This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.” —Exodus 24:8

“Look, the days are coming” – this is the Lord’s declaration – ”when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” —Jeremiah 31:31

This covenant would be different because Jesus would be the sacrifice. Atonement would not be through the blood of bulls and goats but through Jesus’ blood. Jesus’ words at the Last Supper laid the groundwork for His disciples when they discovered His empty tomb. They could look back and understand that Jesus’ death was not a disruption but a message to proclaim about the kingdom of God. The words Jesus gave at the Last Supper – what we sometimes call the Words of Institution – redefined and re-empowered their mission and proclamation of a Messiah who would save them.

Jesus’ death and Resurrection defeated our ultimate enemies: sin and death. Jesus’ words provide the context for understanding the significance of the Resurrection. All of Jesus’ teachings leading up to His death and Resurrection prepared His disciples (and us) to fully appreciate His ministry’s point and scope. With Jesus’ passion predictions, the disciples would have been clearer about the point of His ministry. His teaching about His death and Resurrection frame those events as the consummation of God’s redeeming work for all humanity. Those words in the Upper Room placed the final brick on a foundation Jesus had been laying for His disciples during His three years with them. And the conclusion pointed them to a ministry that would continue in eternity (Matthew 26:29).

The risen Jesus told His disciples to go out and make disciples of all peoples. The commission was not limited to Israel: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus’ predictions were not just for those first disciples – they are a proclamation to the entire world that Jesus is the one true Savior of all. It would be a redeeming, restorative, redemptive ministry that would affect the whole planet and, in the end, reverse and cure the negative consequences of humankind’s sin and fall.

How does partaking in the Lord’s Supper allow us to proclaim what Jesus predicted?