Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Friday, March 22, 2013

Next Day

The hour of sundown begins the day of Passover as Jesus gathers the disciples to celebrate the fulfillment of the coming kingdom of God. Jesus transforms the Passover meal with the announcement of his suffering and that he will not eat of Passover and "drink of the fruit of vine until the kingdom of God comes."

Jesus then brings the Passover to fulfillment in taking a loaf of bread, giving thanks, breaking it, and giving it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Jesus again takes the cup of wine and announces the promise: "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."

Jesus proclaims the fulfillment of a new covenant in his body and blood which ushers in the kingdom of God for all time. The covenantal promise of the prophet Jeremiah will be brought to fulfillment in Jesus' death and resurrection: "The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31). At the table with Jesus is the one of the twelve who will betray, leaving the disciples wondering, "Who would do this?"

In the breaking of the bread and pouring out of the cup, you come to us, Lord Jesus, and usher us into the kingdom of God in the new covenant of your body and blood. Amen.

Paul Berge
Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1963

Luke 22:14-23 (NRSV)

14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.

15 He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves;

18 "for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

21 "But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table.

22 "For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!"

23 Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.