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Summary: A discussion about communion in the book of Mark

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NOTE: The following notes include several sections drawn / adapted from commentaries

or messages (with credit given). These were not quoted or even stated in full but merely

served as a reference for the idea.

INTRODUCTION

Some people will go to great lengths to preserve the memory of another. We have

monuments that dot our globe which were intended to preserve the memory of a

worthy event or person. There is perhaps none so spectacular as the Taj Mahal.

Most of us have seen pictures of this architectural specimen that has been labeled

one of the seven wonders of the world. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra India and was

built in the 1600’s by the 5th Mughal emporer, Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved

wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is an octagonal building with walls measuring 130

feet long by 70 ‘ high and it is surmounted by a dome adding an addition 120’ in height.

It is constructed entirely out of white marble, which is reflected by a huge pool. The

interior design is magnificent, containing 12 types of inlaid stones, and mosaics of great

beauty. English poet Sir Edwin Arnold has written of the building, “Not a piece of

Architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love

wrought in living stones.”

(Clark Bates – SC Sermon)

> Today we are presented with a symbol of love that transcends the Taj Mahal…

that is truly the greatest wonder of the world… and that was established out of a love

that transcends all others… a love for YOU… and for me.

Let’s pick up with what mark describes in his Gospel… Mark 14:12-17, 19-25 (For

the sake of focus, this skips the portion focused on Judas.)

Mark 14:12-17, 22-25 (NIV)

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice

the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make

preparations for you to eat the Passover?"

13

So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a

jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14Say to the owner of the house he enters, ’The

Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’

15

He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us

there."

16

The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So

they prepared the Passover.

17

When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. ....22While they were eating,

Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it;

this is my body."

23

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.

2

24

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.

25

"I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I

drink it anew in the kingdom of God."

Larger Background…. Breakthrough at every turn… but now we enter into the

climax… most prophetic and profound…. Enters Jerusalem… hailed as King…weeps

over Jerusalem (speaks of it’s destruction which indeed came to pass)…. Because he

would become the new temple…

> Now he clears away the sacrifice itself… as he reconstitutes in himself… the

Passover Meal.

Passover meal…is what bonded the people… to God and one another.

> It was symbolic of the covenant that God had established with the people of Israel.

Covenant is not an agreement between two equal parties but rather an arrangement

established by one party, in this case God. The other party can only accept or reject it.

And God had long told of a day when he would create a new form of covenant… and that

was precisely what was unfolding in this last meal with Jesus. God was establishing a

new covenant symbolized in this meal.

But it begins with preparation… Jesus initiates… had likely met an owner who he

made plans with… but now while outside the city proper (perhaps to maintain the

potential for a safe and secure time with his most intimate relationships)…he sends two

in.

Always sent in twos… among other reasons in such times two witnesses were required to

substantiate the veracity of anything… the testimony of two maintained integrity.

Picture of ministry… Jesus initiates wanting to meet… gives them some direction to

start with… and they obediently prepare what is needed. It’s a beautiful reminder that

while the purpose is central – that of meeting with the Lord …the practical preparation

matters… Jesus had cared to make sure that this important gathering would be able to

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