Summary: The Lord's Supper is a memorial that ought to change our lives.
A Messiah's Memorial
Text: Matt. 26:17-30
1. Illustration: A few years ago, Tina and I visited a memorial that said, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
2. We all want to have memorials, things that people will cause people to remember us after we're gone.
3. Jesus set up...
a. A memorial of Planning
b. A memorial of Examining
c. A memorial that is Living
4. Let's stand as we read together Matt. 26:17-30
Proposition: The Lord's Supper is a memorial that ought to change our lives.
Transition: First, the Lord's Supper is...
I. A Memorial of Planning (17-19).
A. My Time Has Come
1. As Holy Week progressed Jesus made plans to lead into the fulfillment of His mission, which was to go to the cross.
2. Matthew tells us, "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?”
a. By this period “the Feast of Unleavened Bread,” which immediately followed Passover in the Bible, had been extended in popular language to include the Passover itself.
b. Representatives from each family would “prepare the Passover” (i.e., have the priests slaughter a lamb for them in the temple), then return with it for the later meal.
c. Others would prepare the other dishes (Keener, IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
3. In response to their question, Jesus said to them, “As you go into the city, 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.’”
a. They are still in Bethany, early in the day on Thursday.
b. Jesus directs them to go into Jerusalem where they will find a specific man, whom they will tell, "The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house."
c. Luke gives us a bit more detail.
a. Luke 22:10-11 (NLT)
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, 11 say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’
d. Finding a man carrying a water jar would not be difficult, since women normally lugged water.
e. Either Jesus has made prearrangements for the room with friends in Jerusalem in order to avoid the Jewish authorities, or else these were divine arrangements.
f. Either way, Jesus' statement, "My time has come," recognizes that he is on a divinely ordained timetable (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary: Matthew).
g. Jesus speaks with a extreme level of authority, so we can deduce that the man in question was one of Jesus' disciples, not to mention that He used the term "Teacher," and "My time has come."
h. This is all phraseology that only someone who was a follower of Jesus would have understood (Horton, 575).
i. No matter how we look at, Jesus made plans for this memorial; a memorial that we be celebrated until His second coming.