Summary: Discussion of the new covenant Jesus gave us during the Last Supper
A New Covenant
July 19, 2009
Note: The ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE format is from Andy Stanley’s book, "Communicating for a Change."
Me: I grew up Catholic, as most of you know, and there is something that all Catholic kids go through, usually in the second grade or thereabouts.
Anyone know what that is? Any other former Catholics in the room? (If so, ask if their parents are talking to them again yet…)
It’s called “First Communion.” It’s that time when children are allowed to take communion, or the Eucharist as it is called.
I think I was in second grade – I don’t really remember, but I do remember that about that same time I was given something that only us mature second-graders got – a box of offering envelopes.
I guess they figured that second-graders could hold jobs that would enable us to tithe or something. Or that we would be able to convince our parents to give us money – if we weren’t already getting an allowance, which I didn’t get back in those days.
You had to go to Catechism in order to be able to take your First Communion, and that was where we were supposed to learn about what Communion was all about and why it was so special.
To be totally honest, I don’t remember if I really appreciated all that stuff. I may have, because even at that young age God was working on my heart to love Him.
But I do remember thinking how cool it would be to taste real wine – again, something all cool Catholic second-graders got to do.
I think I can guarantee that I didn’t gain much of an understanding of the significance of Communion, or what is also called the Lord’s Supper, until I came to Christ in college.
We: Would it be fair to say that I’m not the only one here who didn’t really get it about Communion in the second grade?
In fact, I would say that there are lots of people who have been adults for a long time who still have some things to learn about what Jesus started that night, just hours before He was arrested.
As we talk about this important event in Jesus’ life, my hope is that everyone here will grow in understanding of it.
But more than that, I hope that that understanding will move us all toward actions that are in line with loving Jesus like we claim to.
God: We’re continuing to work our way through the gospel of Matthew, and we’re basically entering the last 24 hours of His earthly life.
And we come to that famous event known as the Last Supper. It’s during this time that Jesus institutes a new sacrament that His Church will celebrate from then until now, and until Jesus returns.
Matthew 26:26-30 (P. 703) –
17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
18 He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ’The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’"
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
I don’t want us to go farther without recognizing what Jesus says right here:
“My appointed time is near.”
We’ve already discussed the fact that Jesus had told His disciples that He was going to be handed over to be crucified, and recently He told them it would be during the Passover that was coming up.
In just a few verses He’s going to tell them that one of them is going to be the one through whom He is arrested and crucified.
My point here is that Jesus was totally well aware of what was coming. And He began to be intentional about preparing both Him and His disciples.
Then we come to the part we discussed last week, verses 20-26 –
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"
23 Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?"