I recently came across a list of 11 of the world’s most expensive foods. Here’s just a few that are found on the list:
- Ayam Cemani Chicken – $2,500 a chicken or $199 a chick. This Indonesian breed of chicken, which is highly coveted for being beautiful, exotic and obviously hard-to-get, is all black from its feathers and organs to its muscles and meat.
- Bluefin Tuna – $3,500 a pound. Bluefin tuna, which is known for its tender pink and red meat and is used in sushi and sashimi.
- To’ak Chocolate – $260 an ounce. A former Wall Street investment banker living in Ecuador created To’ak chocolate, which is 81 percent pure cocoa.
- Saffron – $2,000 to $10,000 a pound. Saffron threads come from the stamens of a crocus, a flower which requires high maintenance. Each flower blooms for one week a year and produces only about three stamens, which must be picked by hand, hence the hefty price.
- White Truffle – From $3,000 a pound to as much as $23,750 a pound
- Yubari Melon – $7,500 a melon. The melons, which are considered a status symbol in Japan, are often presented as gifts.
- Japanese Wagyu Beef – $300 to $1,300 a pound. The caviar of beef is consistently marbled, low-cholesterol highly tender meat.
If put all these foods on the same menu, they would comprise a very expensive meal. The cost would offend our sensibilities. But there is an even more expensive meal—the Lord’s Supper. It cost God the life of his Son. Jesus had to take the wrath of God that we deserved. Whenever we receive the Lord’s Supper, we would do well to remember that it came at a great price.
According to Grant Osborne in his commentary on The Gospel of Mark in the Teach the Text Commentary series, the Passover meal had eight stages:
- The blessing of the wine is followed by the first cup.
- The bread, herbs, stewed fruit, and lamb are brought in.
- The son (or in this case, one of the disciples) asks why this night is important, and the father tells the exodus story and praises God’s redemption via the first part of the Hallel (Psalms 113-114).
- The second cup of wine is drunk.
- The unleavened bread is blessed, broken, distributed, and eaten with the herbs and fruit as the father explains the meaning of the bread.
- The meal proper is eaten.
- At the end of the meal the father blesses a third cup of wine and the family sings the second part of the Hallel (Psalms 115-118).
- A final cup of wine concludes the celebration.
It was during the fifth and seventh parts of the meal that Jesus took the bread and the cup and added a whole new meaning to each one (Mark 14:22-26).
The bread represents life (22). When we partake of the bread, we announce to the world that we participate in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16). We demonstrate that we depend on God for our daily needs (Matthew 6:11). We also acknowledge that Jesus satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts (John 6:35).
The cup represents salvation (23). When we partake of the cup, we recognize that Jesus’ death on the cross made atonement for our sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Where the Old Testament sacrifices were required every year, Jesus died once for all. He is the full and final sacrifice for sin. When we drink of the cup, we declare, “Yes, I really am forgiven!”
The bread and the cup are a mystery, not magic. When Jesus made the statements, “This is my body … this is my blood,” he was using metaphors, or word pictures. The bread was still bread; the wine was still wine. It did not magically transform into something different. In addition, eating the bread and drinking the cup are not a magic ritual that guarantees our salvation. We are not saved from our sins by participating in a religious ceremony, but by trusting Jesus Christ as our savior.
The bread and the cup look forward to the resurrection (25). This meal was truly the “Last Supper.” Jesus looked forward to the day when he would celebrate it anew with us in his kingdom.
It was probably near midnight when Jesus and the eleven disciples left the upper room and the city. They crossed the Kidron Valley to the western slopes of the Mount of Olives where Gethsemane was located.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Baptist Church on March 6, 2016. As it turned out, it was an introduction to our celebration of the Lord’s Supper that morning. The message is part of a series in the Gospel of Mark. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.