Summary: Of all the things that were expected to happen the Friday after the triumphant entry, nobody expected these things.
An Unexpected Friday
Nobody had expected this.
It was only five days ago that the people of Jerusalem had welcomed Jesus as their Messiah.
For three years Jesus had travelled throughout Israel. Preaching, teaching, healing the sick and feeding the hungry. He had quieted storms and cast out demons. During that time, he had won the hearts of the people and alienated the religious leaders of the day.
And if there had been those present the previous Sunday morning who were inclined to wager, they would be bet on Jesus as the winner.
Let’s read how John described the events of that day.
John 12:12-13 The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Hail to the King of Israel!”
Those in the know recognized Jesus’ entry that day as the fulfilment of prophecy. Hundreds of years before the prophet Zechariah had written in Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.
And while it was true that there had been a few hiccups during the next week, what with Jesus clearing out the temple courts of the merchants and money changers and condemning the religious leaders, popular opinion seemed to be in Jesus’ corner.
And when the time came for the Passover Dinner, the apostles felt that they were standing on the very edge of history.
That this would be when Jesus would announce his plans to overthrow the Romans and re-establish the Kingdom of David. Because that’s what was expected of the Messiah. And we pick up the story in Luke 22:7-8 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
Song: The Table
Let’s join Jesus and the 12 for the meal.
It's great to have Pastor Les Somers, Pastor Arron Birch and Pastor Rob McDowell assist with our communion service this morning.
Luke 22:14-18 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
Les: For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
Rob: In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”
Aaron For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
Denn: That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.
At Cornerstone we celebrate an open communion that is we don’t limit it to members of Cornerstone or of the Wesleyan Church. Instead it is a celebration for the Family of God. So this morning you might be a Christ Follower and when you hold the bread you will remember the day you decided to follow Jesus. Perhaps you haven’t made that decision yet but you are acknowledging that Jesus is the son of God and died for your sin and you are remembering his life and death and resurrection. He is offering the gift of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life, but it is a gift that is only valid when it is accepted.
And just as Jesus invited the twelve, we invite you to come to the Table.