thelast24 Week 1, The Last Supper, Matthew 26:17-30

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Week 1, The Last Supper

This Easter we want to go through Jesus’ last 24 hours.  So we are taking four weeks to talk about The Last Supper, The Garden, The Courtyard and The Tomb.  I will be a powerful way to get to Jesus’ better.

Today is the Last Supper.  Please open your Bibles to Matthew 26:17.

Before we start I want to look at a very powerful painting of the Lord’s Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.  While it was mis-understood by Hollywood, Mr. Da Vinci did a wonderful job of highlighting many elements of Jesus last24.

This first picture is the Original Painting by Da Vinci at Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery in Milan, Italy.  It is a bit hard to see because of was painting in the late 1400’s.

The next slide is a Restored Version.  I want to point out a few things on this painting that really make you think.

  1. “One of you will betray Me!” – Jesus (Mark 14:18)  not when he instigated communion.  Look at how the Apostles are reacting.
  2. Jesus Reaches for the Bread
  3. Jesus Reaches for the Wine  from Mark 14:22-26
  4. Matthew Thadeus and Simon…notice the argument and discussion  Who is it?  Who will betray Jesus?
  5. Next you see Thomas.  Now why would DaVinci paint Thomas like this….remember after the resurrection Thomas Said…Unless I put my finger in his side…John 20:27
  6. Judas is next…hard to see…he has his hand on the bowl….Jesus said, One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me  Matthew 26:23
  7. THen last slide you see Peter, coming to Jesus’ side with his knife pulled.

What a great painting….   Gives a great feel for the Lord’s Supper

Okay, let’s look at the passage today.  i am going to read the whole passage and then go verse by verse through to see what God has to say to us.

I. Setting the Time (17-19)

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”

18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.

A. The Background –  “On the first day of the Festival” (17a)

– Preparation had to be made for the Passover Jesus wanted to keep.

– I think it is import to understand the Jewish festivals…

Jewish Festivals.  Now, let me give you a little bit of background and the Festival of Unleavened bread and Passover.

The Jews had a year filled with special feasts, not unlike our own day.  We have customs, too, as Christ Followers.  There’s Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and Good Friday, and Easter, and some other churches even celebrate other things during the year that are special holidays.  And the Jews were no different.  They had their commemorative celebrations, their festivals, their times of remembering the work of God in the past.

Let me just remind you of what their basic feast calendar was like.  The Feast of Weeks was to celebrate God’s provision in the harvest.  There was the Feast of Tabernacles was a feast to commemorate their wandering in the wilderness when they lived in tents and how God provided for them there. There was another feast called The Day of Atonement highlighted by a sacrifice in the Holy of Holies. There was the Feast of Dedication, we know it as Hanukkah, which commemorates the deliverance of Israel under the leadership of Judas Maccabaeus in the time between the Old and New Testament.  It’s been celebrated since 167 BC when it happened.

But above and beyond all of these, the greatest of all Jewish celebrations is the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread; both are mentioned in verse 17.

During the spring of the year (March-April in the northern

hemisphere), immediately after the Passover Celebration, which celebrated God’s delivering Israel and Passing over their houses in Egypt. God passed over their houses and spared their lives.  And as a result of that, Pharaoh said, “Get out, I’ve had it.” So, the Passover was commemorating the sacrificial lamb whose blood caused them to escape the judgment of God.  Then  the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the evening after Passover God told the Hebrew people exiting Egypt not to allow their bread to rise, but to grab everything and leave. (Leviticus 23:6-8)

B. The Location – Where do you want us to prepare… (17b)

18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.

1. Millions of visitors to Jerusalem for the Passover.

a. It was the only place that a Jewish person could celebrate the Passover

b. Jesus and the Disciples did not own a place in Jerusalem.

Luke 9:58…Jesus had no home

2. ‘A Certain Man’ – “so-so man”

And the answer is absolutely fascinating to me.  Verse 18, “Jesus said, ‘Go into the city to such a man.’” Now, let me tell you about the word “such a man.”  It’s hapax legomena, we call it, it’s the only time it’s ever used in the Scripture.  It’s the word deina.  He says, “Go into the city and find a deina.”  The best way to translate it would be “Mr. So-and-so.”  It’s a  – non-descript term that is used when you want to be indefinite.  Go into the city and find a man, a certain man, such a man, Mr. So-and-so.

Luke helps a bit… “a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you” Luke 22:10

C. The Table

19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.

‘The disciples…prepared the Passover meal there.’  The preparation took about 10 hours. . I

1. Only a matter of hours before His death and they’re eating the Passover meal.

Luke 22:8 – ‘Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, ‘Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.’”

2. Jesus is sitting, or reclining, at the table.

– So preparation started Thursday morning and they had the meal Thursday night.  Later that evening Jesus’ was arrested in the Garden of the Gathsemane

II. Sharing the Table (20)

20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve.

Remember now, it is after 6:00 on Thursday evening.  Christ will be captured later in the night, brought to a mock trial early in the morning, crucified and He will die at about 3:00 on Friday afternoon.

A. So, it’s only a matter of hours before His death and they’re eating the Passover meal.  It has to be eaten, you remember, that night.  It has to be eaten before midnight.  It can’t be that anything is left for the morrow.  And so, as we come to verse 20, He is at table with His disciples, preparing to eat the meal.

B. Jesus is sitting, or reclining, at the table.  In OT times you had to stand for the Passover Meal, but Jesus makes a change for all of us.  Sitting down to eat.  Don’t you love that.

And as they move into the meal, we come from the setting of the time, and the sharing of the table to what I call the “shocking of the 12.”

III. Shocking the Twelve (21)

21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

Look at verse 21 again.  “While they were eating, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.’”

It is not totally the word “betray.”  The translators have done that because Judas was a betrayer.  But the word simply means, “one of you will deliver Me up.”  Mark adds the statement in Mark 14:18 in a parallel account,

  1. “One of you who is eating with Me will deliver Me over/up.”  Now, this is a shocking thing.  One of you who is eating with Me will deliver Me over.
  2. And, of course, in that part of the world at that time in history, when you ate a meal with a person, you were identifying yourself as a friend.  Meals were sumbols of Friendship.   And the idea of eating a meal with someone and then turning them over to their executioners was just unthinkable, because a meal was a symbol of friendship.  Just had just spend three years living day to day with these 12 men and now one of them will “deliver him up”.

 

IV. Signifying the Traitor (22-25)

22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”

A. Greatly distressed –  “Am I the one, Lord?” (22)

  1. Jesus had just washed their Feet

So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:4-5

  1. They had just Argued which one of them was the Greatest.

24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Luke 22:24

3. Jesus just rebuked Peter and then the Whole Group

23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

B. The Betrayer –  “One of you who has…” (23-25)

23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

   1. Judas was a betrayer who rejected grace, and rejected the offer of salvation, and rejected the grace that Christ presented to him on a personal level.

2. Judas has chosen the Terrible –  ‘how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him’ (24)

  1. Judas asked, “Rabbi am I the one…Jesus’ reply, “you bet yah!!” (25)

But Jesus got rid of him before they actually ate the meal because he should have no part, should he, in the Lord’s Table.  So, he was dismissed.  What a scene of preparation as Jesus has the final Passover.  After that, of course, verse 26 says, “As they were eating.”  They went back to the meal, back to the Passover.

V. Starting the Tradition (26-30)

A. THE END OF PASSOVER

Now, why this final Passover?  Now, listen very carefully to what I say, it’s essentially important in your understanding of Scripture.  This was a very, very momentous time in history.

1. Passover was the oldest Jewish institution, older than any other Jewish institution except the Sabbath itself.  For 1,500 years they had celebrated Passover, even before the Aaronic priesthood was instituted, even before all of the Levitical ritual and the giving of the Mosaic Law.  The Passover was very old, very ancient.  And it was ordained by God to be held every year and every devout Jew did it every year.  But now, listen, this Passover, after 1,500-plus years of Passovers, was the last divinely sanctioned and authorized Passover ever held.

2. Any Passover ever celebrated after this one is not authorized by God.  It is a remnant of a bygone economy, of an extinct dispensation, of a covenant no longer in vogue.  It is vestigial.  It serves no significant purpose.  Jesus here celebrated the Passover as a way to bring it to its end.

B. THE NEW COVENANT

1. Christ ended the long years of Passover and began a new memorial feast which He begins to institute in verse 26.

And this new feast is…

2. Not the old covenant but the new covenant, not the Old Testament but the New Testament, not looking to a lamb in Egypt but a Lamb of God on a hill of Calvary.  So, Jesus ends the old before He begins the new.  And after having drawn the curtain on the Passover of the old economy, He institutes the feast of the new.  And we come to that in verse 26.

C. Three Aspects of the Memorial Feast:

1. The Directive – “Jesus took some bread…” (26, 27)

26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, (26-27)

And then, in verse 27, He took the cup.  And He gave thanks again, euchariste?, we get the Eucharist from it because it means “to give thanks, or to bless.”  And so, He gave thanks for the bread.  Gave thanks for the cup and gave it to them and said, “All of you drink it.”  All of you drink it.  Now, those are the directives.

a. He took the some bread/a cup of wine

b. Blessed it/Gave Thanks to God

c. Gave it to the Disciples/Gave it to them

d. Take this and eat it/Each of you drink from it

2. THE DOCTRINE

26 …for this is my body.   28…for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

Now, Christ is saying I give My body to die in death for you.  That’s what He’s saying.  My body as this bread is broken and consumed; My body will be given.  And I want you to do this in remembrance of Me.  Then, in verse 28 He says, regarding the cup, “this is my blood, which confirms the covenant.”  This is My blood of the covenant.  Matthew and Mark just say “the covenant.”  Luke, again, and Paul say “the new covenant.”   But what He is saying is, “This is My blood of the covenant.”  It is the new covenant, the new covenant written in His blood

If you go back to Exodus, you will find that that’s basically a quote of Exodus 24:8.  And what Jesus is saying is that God when He made a covenant with man required what?  Blood.  When God made a covenant with Abraham, there was blood shed by animals.  When God made a covenant with Moses, there was blood shed.  When God made a covenant with Noah, there was a sacrifice laid on an altar.  God required bloodshed in making covenants with men.  When God brought reconciliation with Himself, the price was blood, that men might know that a relationship to God was going to cost the blood of a sacrifice.

Hebrews 9:22 says “Without the shedding of blood there’s no forgiveness of sin.”

That’s why Jesus came.  And He instituted the memorial to that the night before His death.  So, our Lord headed for the cross to pour out His blood as a sacrifice for sin.  And He instituted the bread and the cup as a memorial for all time that we might remember the self-sacrificing, blood-spilling death of Christ for us.  The old covenant had all those animals, none of which could take away sin.  The blood of Christ alone could do it.  And so, the feast that we celebrate is here at this table with the bread and the cup.

  1. THE DURATION

How long do we do this?  Passover ended that night.  There’s never been an authorized Passover since.  A lot of Jewish people still doing it.  It might be a nice custom, but it’s a dead feast.  It has no purpose.  It ignores the true feast of redemption.  So, if that ended then, how long do we do this?  Well, verse 29 says,

“Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I          drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”  

What He is saying is keep doing it until I do it with you in the Kingdom.  When Jesus comes in His Second Coming and sets up the Kingdom, that great event that He is talking about in Matthew 24 and 25 was going to come.  He was telling them here He was going to die.  He was telling them about pouring out His blood.

So, He says, do this, in effect, until I do it with you in My Father’s Kingdom.  But the emphasis is: I’m going to come back and drink it with you again.  All four gospels, by the way, state that the Lord said that.  This is a wonderful, wonderful thing that He assures us all that He’s coming to set up His glorious Kingdom.

30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

And then, in verse 30 it says they sung a hymn.  Literally, the Greek says they hymned, they hymned.  What was that?  Well, they had already sung Psalm 113 and 14.  They probably sung another 115 maybe, 116.  Then, there was and then they might have sung 117, 118 and went to the Mount of Olives.  And so, the final Passover; and so, the institution of the Lord’s Supper.  Put yourself there that night as we partake together.  Let’s pray.