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21st December, ‘23 St. John’s Smiths Falls. Rev. B.A. Burrows. 

Title: Moving Forward! 

Text: Mark 14:22b,” Take, this is my body.” V. 24b “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many. NRSV. 


When we read about about Jesus in the New Testament, he seems to be moving forward! He is ahead of the traditional leaders of the Jewish faith.He wants to set a new standard for  believing in God . Yet he knows the Hebrew Scriptures, he attends the Synagogue services. visits the Temple, and keeps the religious festivals. 

  1. Forward from Bondage! 

   Jesus tells  Peter and John to make preparations for the Passover. This traditional celebration signifies the freedom of 

the Jews from slavery in Egypt. It is still kept today by God’s chosen people and it is noteworthy for Christians to remember that such release from bondage is the foundation for the Holy Communion service. It is Jesus who moved the message closer to God’s plan for all people. We move forward and are free from sin by what Jesus has done for us on the cross! 

  1. The Bread of Life! 

   Verse 22b,”Take, this is my body.” Jesus takes the unleavened bread and offers it to the disciples. As I read this, I had this thought. Jesus is not so much feeding the twelve with bread but commanding them to take from his hand the broken pieces of bread. It is up to each disciple to take what Jesus is offering. So for us, we are called to take what Jesus gives. What does he give? Is it just bread? Jesus  also says ,”This is my body.” This is indeed symbolic language but I couldn’t help thinking of the body of the babe born in Bethlehem, the boy who was found in the Temple talking with the teachers. This is the body which made people well, the same body nailed to the cross. Jesus was indeed moving God’s message forward with his own body. 

  1. The cup of salvation! 

Jesus said," This is my blood of the covenant which is poured ot for many.” It is easy to think of the red wine to be likened to blood. Blood is often referred to in the Scriptures as life. Jesus in his ministry brought life to the people by his healing power. Remember the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years who touched Jesus’ garment and was healed. In John’s Gospel, chapter six,verse 54,Jesus commenting on the feeding iof the five thousand, said these significant words,”Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life and I will raise them up on the last day.” Obviously Jesus’ words are not to be taken literally, but rather point forward.They point forward to his death on the cross. Such words as ‘blood’ and ‘life’ also point to the ancient practice of sacrifice in the Temple. The disciples would later link his words to the cross as they tried to make sense of his death. For them, he would  die for the sins of the whole world. 

 Another thought came to me as I read about the last Supper. Jesus said, “Take”, but he also said, “Drink - all of you. The cup was to be shared with the disciples in fellowship with one another. 


   Let us then each take what Christ offers us and let us move forward in fellowship with the life giving power which comes from God. Perhaps some of us hesitate to take the step to move us forward into God’s presence! When Jesus himself was thirsty, he came to a well in Samaria and asked a woman for a drink. He spoke to her about “life giving water”. Astonished by his words, she said, “You have no bucket and the well is deep!” Many of us are like that when we try to move forward to new life in Christ. We have no bucket and the well is deep! But Jesus offers us himself, his body, his blood.  So, “Take, Drink and Believe!