There are 15 parts to the traditional Passover meal. After Judas left to betray Jesus, the Passover meal began with Jesus officiating. The remaining Apostles were very familiar with the order and presentation as they had observed it every year of their life. But this time, for the first time, the meal was presented differently. As the bread and wine were presented, Jesus gave new meaning to the elements. This must have struck all the Apostles as odd because Jesus hadn’t done this before and to break tradition was just not done. Thus it is recorded in Matthew 26:26-30,
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Four things would have been odd to the Apostles: 1) The explanation of the meal, 2) Jesus equated the breaking of the bread with HIS body being broken, 3) Jesus associated the cup was HIS blood being poured out for the forgiveness of sin. 4) They didn’t partake of the lamb. There might as well have been no lamb on the table… because the Passover Lamb was AT the table! Jesus was THE Passover Lamb of all Passover Lambs. And last, Jesus pointed to eternity in heaven when he would next observe this event.
I’m not sure the Apostles “got it” when the supper was taking place. I’m not sure they understood the significance while they were in the moment. They were probably massively confused and thus Jesus saying in John 13:7, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Likewise, most of the time… in the moment… we don’t understand what Jesus/God is doing. But we follow, believe, and obey because of faith in Christ.
As you observe the Lord’s Supper this season, remember Jesus’ payment for sin AND look forward to eternity with Christ in heaven.