Reflecting on the Four Accounts of the Lord’s Supper

The Same Powerful Story

            All four Gospels tell us great things about Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper during his last supper with the disciples. The four evangelists summarized the event differently and emphasized different aspects of the Supper for various reasons. This doesn’t mean there are contradictions. It does mean that we have four very nuanced accounts of the same events from very highly skilled narrators who were moved (inspired) by the Holy Spirit. The supposed contradictions between the four Gospels have all been explained by various authors.

The Same Powerful Message

            All four Gospels have a common message. All four offer “an enacted parable of Jesus’ sacrificial death.” All four display “the fulfillment of the Passover and new Exodus.” All confirm the inauguration of the New Covenant and “community formation.” The Lord’s Supper is also “an appetizer of the Eschatological Banquet.”  The Supper “looks back to the cross as the place of Jesus’ broken body and poured out blood; it looks around at the present with its emphasis on Communion with each other and the presence of the Lord with his people; and it looks forward to the day when this meal will be seen as a mere tidbit from the banquet buffet of the eschaton” (Schreiner, The Lord’s Supper). 

The Same Powerful Supper Today

            Today, Christians still gather to enjoy the Lord’s Supper. This is a most sacred time for us as we look back on the work of God in Christ. We are also able to focus on the blessings we have in the present. God’s people have always been pilgrims on the earth. The Supper helps us to remember God’s blessings in the present. However, we also look forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation. This is our expectation of perfect joy in and with Christ. The Supper helps us to see all these glories.

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