And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it. . . . In the same way, after the supper he took the cup. (Luke 22:19–20)

IT WAS A TABLE marked by betrayal, denial, and love. On His last night with His disciples, Jesus shared with them the Passover meal—rich with echoes of both past and future redemption. This was the culmination of His teaching. The last lesson before the cross.

Breaking the bread, He told them it represented His body that would be broken to make them whole. And holding the cup (symbolically, the very cup He later prayed would pass from Him), He said it was His blood, poured out for their salvation.

As those sacred elements made their way around the table that night, they passed through the hands of Peter, who would deny his friend moments later. They touched the lips of Judas, who would betray Jesus with a kiss. They gave strength to disciples who would soon reveal their frailty.

But that is exactly who this meal is for. It is for the cowards. It is for the traitors. It is for the backstabbers and backsliders. It is tangible grace, a taste of the unflinching love of the Redeemer for the redeemable.

This meal is often called the Eucharist, which comes from the word for gratefulness. Each time we share in this meal in remembrance of Jesus, may we be overwhelmed by gratitude for His mercy toward us. May our lives be a great thanksgiving and our actions a holy Eucharist.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Matt LeRoy is co-pastor of Love Chapel Hill, an eclectic church plant in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is married and has twin boys.