- Jun 2023
Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his beloved twelve apostles at the end of his three-year ministry. At this Last Supper, he initiated the ordinance of the sacrament. All three of the synoptic Gospels bear record of this event, which occurred on the evening of the first day of unleavened bread.
1) is this the first instance in history when Jesus administered the sacrament to the Twelve?
2) if so, why did He choose to do so only towards the end of his earthly life?
3) it's fascinating to ruminate how the passover and the sacrament coincided on this particular occasion. typically, we do not associate the sacrament with meals (of course this is not to reduce the whole event of passover to simply gathering and eating)
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
it's interesting that the accounts of matthew and mark do not include the specific mention of the remembrance aspect in relation to the ordinance they describe. luke and mark are both not part of the original 12 apostles, but the remembrance part of this ordinance is such a crucial detail.
The Book of Mormon clarifies the real purpose and significance of partaking of the bread and wine. Although among the Nephites Jesus first gave the sacrament to the Twelve and then to the multitude, the only instructions he gave concerning the ordinance were regarding the multitude: “And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name. And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you. And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you” (3 Ne. 18:5–7).
i feel that the essence of the sacrament ordinance lies in its profound reminder to center our attention on jesus christ and his atonement, along with the multitude of good things associated with it.
considering that only luke included the explicit mention of the remembrance aspect during the last supper, i wonder if our understanding of this element derives solely from that fragmentary piece of information absent in other accounts. does this imply that the apostles failed to grasp the significance of what they had just done which would actually evolve into an ordained ritual?