In John’s Gospel, Chapters 13–17 we read of Jesus’ time with His disciples on the night before He died.  Surely He will be dealing with priorities here because He alone knows what this night will bring. He promises them, and all who will believe on Him, peace, joy, a future home, a present presence of the Holy Spirit. He asks of them just three things: that they ‘wash one another’s feet’ (a life of service) I; that they love one another and that they obey His words. He then offers them the broken bread saying “ this is My body …” Whenever we partake of the communion bread we are identifying ourselves as ‘the Body of Christ’.  See John 6:56.  He then took the cup saying, “this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood”. He has made a (new)covenant with us in which He offers us great blessings and asks of us three things – to serve, to love, and to obey. He signed His “ last will and testament” in blood on across the next day; He invites us to signify our agreement to the covenant ‘as oft as we drink this cup’. When we drink this cup unworthily we drink condemnation to ourselves. This is because we are promising to do things while we are not practicing the same.

 

The New Covenant in My blood

 

I take this bread of eucharist that speaks of the body broken

Knowing that it is to be far more than just a token

For through your death upon that tree, my death I no more dread I see the life you’ve given me within this piece of bread.

 

It tells me of a union – with others born anew 

All members of your Body now – in oneness Lord with you

All fitly framed together - a witness of your love

Until as bride upon the throne we reign with you above

 

It tells me also that the work of Calvary’s cross is done

And all its blessings now are mine purchased by the Son

By faith, I can appropriate – forgiveness, life, and health

By grace I’m saved  - through faith - and that not of myself

 

“O Lord, please give to me the faith that makes these riches mine

That I might walk in holiness empowered by life divine

That I might know the healer’s hand when weakness halts this frame

And walk in strength and wholeness bringing glory to your name”

 

The night we first received this bread a cup was also given,

A cup of wine that spoke of blood that flowed from body riven 

It was the cup of the covenant in things that you had taught

of lifestyle, you demand of us, and blessings you have bought

 

You spoke of peace beyond our ken and joy that we could know

The Spirit to abide in us and lead us here below

While you’d go to prepare for us a mansion in the air

And return one day to take us home forever with you there  

 

In return three things you asked of us when these blessings we had heard

“You must serve one another, love one another, and obey my word

Now take this cup and drink it up to show that you agree

To this covenant, I offer you and to all who’ll follow me.”

 

“Lord, I take this cup with gratitude that I should be so blessed

To know these promises are for me since your name I first confessed

I agree to all the covenant, to the things that I must do

To serve your people, love them all, and always obey you.”

 

 

 

 

Gareth Evans

Dec 2003

                                                 

i)

 John 13:14

ii)

 John 13:34

iii)

 John 14:15

iv)

 1 Corinthians 11:27-30