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“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.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…’” (Matthew 26:26-28)
We are all guilty of sinning against God and desperately need his forgiveness in order to be reconciled to him. Thankfully, Jesus took the punishment for our sins on the cross, making it possible for us to be forgiven. (See “Message“.)
“In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace [unmerited favor] that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
The forgiveness that God extends us when we confess and turn away from our sins is incredibly immense and absolutely complete. In fact, it doesn’t matter how many sins we’ve committed or how horrific they are, God promises to forgive all of them. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9) and, “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
This drawing is about Jesus extending his forgiveness not only to his disciples at the Last Supper but also to everyone who looks to him and asks for forgiveness.
Jesus said, “‘…the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:14-17)
Though the Last Supper is a very popular scene in the Christian art world, this particular image came out of a dream God gave me:
I dreamt that a young man armed with an automatic gun went around and open fired on a crowd, killing about 20 people or so.
Afterwards, he was on his knees before God, asking God to forgive him for what he had done. There were many of us Christians surrounding him, praying for him and also asking God to forgive him. As we prayed, the merciful, loving presence of God filled the room. All of us Christians were brought to our knees because of his strong presence and his immense grace, mercy and love. We were all overwhelmed by the fact that God could actually even forgive this mass murderer.
What made that young man’s forgiveness possible (and forgiveness possible for ALL of us) was Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus, though he was sinless, bore the punishment for our sins by his death on the cross. Jesus gave his life to ransom us from the penalty that we justly deserve for our sins–death and an eternity in hell.
As this young man asked God for forgiveness and placed his faith in Jesus to ransom him from his sin, God completely forgave him.
As I was on my knees enveloped in the merciful presence of God, I looked up and saw this picture of the Last Supper (my drawing is a copy of it).
Jesus had his arms extended out towards his disciples and towards all of us, as if he was saying, “My gift of forgiveness is free. It doesn’t matter what you have done. I still love you and want you to be forgiven and saved from your sins and hell. Trust that I have died in your place, paying the punishment for your sins, and you will be saved.”
Compositionally, the architecture of the room forms a cross behind Jesus. Jesus’ hands are upraised as if he is hanging on this cross. His death on the cross is the payment for our sins. Jesus is gesturing with his hands to us, encouraging us to freely receive his gift of forgiveness. He is also showing us the way that this was made possible. The bread and wine in front of him commemorate his body and blood, broken and poured out for us for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 22:14-20).
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:6-11)