Summary: Considers 4 major events from upper room to empty tomb
“Jesus’ Final Hours”
David P. Nolte
The last hours of Jesus’ earth life were fading fast away. His appointment with death was imminent. Before His work would be totally complete and successful there were significant events that had to take place. TURN TO MARK 14 FOR THOSE EVENTS. The text will be divided to fit with each event.
I. MEETING IN THE UPPER ROOM: V17:
A. “When it was evening He came with the twelve. As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.’ They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, ‘Surely not I?’ And He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.’ While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away, because it is written, “I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.’ But Peter said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.’ But Peter kept saying insistently, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!’ And they all were saying the same thing also.” Mark 14:17-31 (NASB).
B. I point out some particulars:
1. See the intimate setting. Jesus and His chosen 12 – away from the rush and quietly observing the Passover.
2. See the application of the Passover to His work on the cross pictured in the Communion loaf and cup. In Moses’ day, the death angel in Egypt passed over the homes marked with lamb’s blood, thus not slaying the first-born as he did for unmarked homes. So Jesus – the Lamb of God – saves us from death by the shedding of His blood.
3. See the sad announcement of betrayal by one and denial by another and the claim to undying loyalty by all.
C. Let’s apply that to ourselves:
1. Do we spend quality, intimate time with Jesus?
a. Away from the rush and pressure of life?
b. Away from the interruption of TV, cell phone or mp3 player?
c. Away from the secular, mundane duties of each day?
2. Do we value the moments at His table, remembering His sacrifice by which we are saved?
3. Do we inadvertently betray or deny Him by the way we live or by failing to speak for Him when we can?
D. Each of us needs an upper room – a quiet, private place – maybe the living room before anyone else is up for the day – maybe an office with a closed door – maybe hiding in the car for awhile.
1. Close out the world’s confusion and chaos.
2. Close out the distractions.
3. Open your Bible and let God speak to you.
4. Open your heart and let it speak to God.
E. Author Charles Templeton commented that the course of human history has been affected so negatively and positively by what happened in two small upper rooms. One of them is a drab apartment in London. It was dirty, curtainless, with stacks of articles on the table and worn manuscripts. Seated at a table a man labors over a writing that would overthrow governments, enslave millions of people, and affect the course of history for generations. The man: Karl Marx; his writing: Das Kapital, the handbook for the Communist revolution.
But there was another upper room that also altered the course of human history, but in a good way. This one was located in Jerusalem, There were 13 gathered in this room to share a meal and to hear the words of a man whose love and sacrifice would make an eternal impact on human history.