1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (NRSV)
Verse 23For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, Verse 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Verse 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." Verse 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
My kids are fascinated by a certain type of movie scene: the reading of the last will and testament. The head of the household has died, and the quarrelsome heirs gather to hear what they’ve been bequeathed. I’ve assured my kids that in real life, this scene rarely occurs. But the apostle Paul has corrected me!
Paul says that every single time we eat the bread and drink the cup of Holy Communion, we are engaging in a reading of Christ’s last will and testament. The Greek word diatheke, translated in the NRSV as “covenant,” more properly means “testament”—as in a last will. A will doesn’t go into effect until the individual dies. When Christ died, his last will and testament went into effect. And the dramatic good news of the reading of that will is this: You are forgiven, you are loved, and you are free. And “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Jesus, keep me near the cross. Let me hear in the proclamation of your death the good news of your last will for me—life, and abundance thereof. Amen.