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The Gospel of Mark #36 - The Last Supper

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The Gospel of Mark #36:

The Last Supper

Text: Mark 14:12-26

Thesis: To examine the meaning of the Lord’s Supper.

Introduction:

(1)   What thoughts go through your mind when you partake of the Lord’s Supper?

(2)   Let us seek to understand the thoughts that were going through Jesus’ mind when He was partaking the Last Supper.

Discussion:

I.                   The Story:

A.    Jesus and His disciples made plans to eat the Passover meal.

1.      “The Passover lamb was selected on the tenth day of the month Nisan (our March-April), examined for blemishes, and then slain on the fourteenth day of the month (Ex. 12:3-6). The lamb had to be slain in the temple precincts and the supper eaten within the Jerusalem city limits. For the Jews, the Passover feast was the memorial of a past victory, but Jesus would institute a new supper that would be the memorial of His death” (Wiersbe 1:159).

2.      “The original Passover feast consisted of the roasted lamb, the unleavened bread, and the dish of bitter herbs (Ex. 12:8-20). The lamb reminded the Jews of the blood that was applied to the doorposts in Egypt to keep the angel of death from slaying their firstborn. The bread reminded them of their haste in leaving Egypt (Ex. 12:39), and the bitter herbs spoke of their suffering as Pharaoh’s slaves” (Wiersbe 1:159-60).

3.      In verses 13-15, Jesus revealed the plans to His disciples.

a.       “Evidently, Jesus had previously made secret arrangements with a homeowner in Jerusalem to use his upper guest chamber for Passover” (Hughes 2:154).

b.      Jesus then sent two disciples, Peter and John (cf. Luke 22:8), to the home to get everything ready.

c.       In order to find the home, they were to find a man carrying a pitcher of water.

(1)   “A man carrying a water jar would have been an unusual spectacle since women normally fetched water” (Garland 524).

(2)   Also, “water-carriers normally used leather bottles” (Hooker 334).

(3)   Therefore, this would be something that would easily stand out to the disciples and aide in their easily finding the house where they would then relay the message from Jesus and then prepare the upper room for the Passover meal.

4.      Later on, Jesus and all of the disciples gathered in the upper room.

B.     As they were eating the Passover meal, Jesus revealed that one of His disciples would soon betray Him.

1.      This immediately sorrowed the disciples and then wanted to know who would be the one to betray Him.

2.      “Christ, by his reply, neither removes their doubt, nor points out the person of Judas, but only confirms what he said a little before” (J. Calvin).

3.      He alludes to Psalm 41:9, which deals with “the theme of the righteous one who suffers unjustly but will be vindicated by the Lord” (Williamson 252).

4.      In verse 21, Jesus points out that: “Divine providence neither cancels human freedom nor relieves responsibility for moral choices” (Edwards 424).

C.     Later, Jesus then instituted the Lord’s Supper (vv. 22-26).

1.      There are 4 NT accounts of the Lord’s Supper: 1) Matt. 26:26-30; 2) Mark 14:22-26; 3) Luke 22:19-20; and 4) 1 Cor. 11:23-25.

2.      First, Jesus took some unleavened bread and blessed it and gave it to His disciples to eat, which was to represent His body.

3.      Second, Jesus took some fruit of the vine and blessed it and gave it to His disciples to drink, which was to represent His blood.

4.      Then, Jesus stated that He would only drink the fruit of the vine when the new kingdom (i.e., the church) was established.

5.      Afterwards, Jesus and His disciples sung a hymn, probably Psalm 115-118

II.                The Application:

Jesus’ death is here understood in three ways (Cole 293):

A.    First, He is our Passover Lamb (cf. 1 Cor. 5:7).

1.      He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

2.      He is a “lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19).

3.      Because of Him, God’s wrath passes us over (cf. Rom. 5:9).

B.     Second, He inaugurated a new covenant.

1.      “The reference to the covenant established in Jesus’ blood contains an allusion to Exod. 24:6-8, where the old covenant at Sinai was ratified by the sprinkling of sacrificial blood, and serves to set the whole of Jesus’ messianic action in the light of covenant renewal. It also evokes Jer. 31:31-33 where God promises to establish a new covenant with his people in the last days. That promise is now sealed through Jesus’ action and the death it anticipates” (Lane 507).

2.      “Just as the blood of a sacrificial animal sealed the covenant God made with Israel at Sinai, so the blood of Jesus sealed the new covenant God made with his new people, the church, at the cross” (Brooks 230).

C.     Third, He shed His blood as a sin offering.

1.      “Being ‘poured out for many’ is an allusion to Isaiah 53:12, which speaks of the Messiah as one who ‘poured out his life unto death’” (Hughes 2:162).

2.      Jesus tasted death for every man (cf. Heb. 2:9).

Conclusion:

(1)   What did Jesus think of when He partook of the Last Supper? You!

(2)   Will you then think of Him each time you partake of the Lord’s Supper and each day that you have left to serve Him?

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