Summary: What do we learn from the Last Supper that we can apply to our lives as Christians
Maundy Thursday sermon
Today we remember the events that occurred on Thursday of what the church calls Holy Week, the last week in the life of Jesus.
Perhaps this week in about AD 29 is the most talked about week on in the history of mankind
It has been estimated that about a third of all the events that we have recorded in Scripture about Jesus’ life occurred during this week:
On that Thursday, the disciples have gathered in a home, whose we are not sure, but we do know that it had a furnished second floor.
Tradition has it that it was the house of John Mark’s mother – John Mark being the author of Mark’s Gospel
However the way that Jesus sends out Peter and John out to find where the Passover is to be held is very mysterious.
Instead of sending them to the house of John Mark’s mother who would be known to them,
Luke records this:
Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.”
9 They said, “Where do you want us to do this?”
10-12 He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.” (Lk 229-12 The Message)
Why the cloke and dagger?
Well earlier in Luke 22, Luke tells us that Satan entered into Judas heart.
Had Jesus said: Go to Mary, the mother of Mark’s house, - Judas would have informed the High Priest and Jesus would have been arrested before the Last Supper had occurred.
And before the Prayer time in Gethsemene.
I believe Jesus arranged for the man carrying a jug to be there and the disciples would then follow him home
So when Jesus sends Peter and John, none of the disciples know where the Last Supper is going to be held.
So both on Palm Sunday – where a code word was used to borrow the donkey and the man with a jug who leads the disciples to the furnished room, show me that Jesus is very much in control of Holy Week and he plans it meticulously.
So on Maundy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper – part of the Passover Celebrations in AD 29- that was very definitely in Jesus's plan for Holy Week.
As they gathered, they were taking part in the Seder meal, one of the highlights of the Passover week.
The Passover festival, was ingrained in the life of the Jewish nation.
It commemorated that time when the Jews were in slavery in Egypt.
Moses had warned Pharaoh to let his people go, but Pharaoh refused.
So God one plague after another .
Pharaoh wasn’t moved until God sent the tenth and final plague – known as the death of the firstborns in Egypt
However this death passed over the homes of the Jews in Goshen.
And so the feast of Passover was ordered by God as a commemoration of the Jewish nation’s deliverance by God.
The meal itself was a symbolic one reminding the Jews of the sufferings of their forefathers and the power of God's deliverance.
The foods that were eaten were symbols to remind the Jews of their captivity in Egypt.
1. Lamb The word 'pesach' (pasch, passover) applies to the Lamb of sacrifice as well as to the deliverance from Egypt and to the feast itself.
2. Unleavened bread (Matzoh) called "bread of affliction" because it recalls the unleavened bread prepared for the hasty flight by night from Egypt.
Three large matzohs are broken and consumed during the ceremony.
3. Bitter herbs (Moror) is a reminder of the bitterness of slavery and suffering in Egypt.
4. Green herbs to be dipped in salt water.
Salt water represents tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord's people.
5. Haroseth (or 'haroses') - a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine represents the mortar used by Jews in building palaces and pyramids of Egypt during their slavery.
6. Wine is dipped from a common bowl.
There are four acts of drinking wine during the Seder feast – known as the 'Four Cups”
It was this Seder Meal that Jesus and the disciples were celebrating in the upper room that night.
It was at the conclusion of that meal that Jesus himself gave two of the symbols of the Seder meal fresh significance
He took a loaf and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying: