We come to the last week of this lengthy series on missional Jesus, which was begun for one reason: because I wanted to sort out for my own thinking what a full sweep of the Gospels would reveal if we kept asking “What was missional Jesus’ mission?” (Our next series will be on Colossians and I will be reading this commentary: Colossians Remixed.). Missional thinking at times finds what it is looking for because it doesn’t look at the full sweep. Which is perhaps no more obvious than in our text for today:
Rarely, at least in my reading, is the eucharist (Matthew 26:26-29) found in the “missional” conversation. It should be.
1. Missional Jesus, the Jesus who did and said all these other missional things, at his last supper with his followers instructed his missional followers to unite themselves around a meal. A special meal.
2. Missional Jesus said that when the “ingested” this meal — of bread and wine — they were ingesting him at some level.
3. Missional Jesus reveals that the meal he leaves for his followers is a dynamic, physical, embodied participation in who he is and what he has done.
4. Missional Jesus makes his death the center of his missional work.
5. Missional Jesus’ death is new covenant thinking, forgiveness-shaped, and kingdom-anticipating.
Which is to say, missional theology is atonement theology.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”