Summary: How the elements of the Jewish Passover meal communicate powerful symbolism in the Lord's Supper.
I spent the last week in Hong Kong with Dale Pond and Greg Smith at a very strategic international church conference. I was able to be one of the speakers and introduce the Healthy Church training. I was the small print on the program because the keynote speakers were Ravi Zacharias and Os Guinness. It was a great conference because I got to be fed by these spiritual giants.
At our final luncheon the keynote speaker was a British billionaire businessman, Sir Robert Edmiston. He just happens to have a heart for Jesus and for global evangelism. God gave him a vision to touch a billion people with the gospel message. He has pledged $100 million dollars to a project called Yes He Is. And the evangelism tool that this ministry is using is in your hand or in your pocket or purse. It’s your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can download the app YesHEis, or go to yesheis.com. The app allows you to share a variety of very well done brief videos that touch people at many points in their lives. You can share these videos over social media with your friends who need Jesus. So download the app or visit the website. When someone accesses a video it uses their device’s GPS to connect them to a local church. How cool is that?
Just so you can remember, I want you to respond out loud to several statements I’m going to make. Remember, when I point at you, the response is easy. All you say is “Yes He is!” Are you ready? Jesus is God’s Son! Yes He is. Jesus is the Savior of the world! Yes He is! Jesus is Lord! Yes He is! Jesus is the only hope for this world! Yes He is! So let’s download it and share it!
In the 14th Chapter of Mark, we come to the night before the cross. Jesus gathers with His Disciples for a night of firsts and lasts. You might say it is last official Passover meal, and at the same time it was the first Lord’s Supper meal. Here we are two thousand years later. We are part of millions of Christians who still connect with the Lord through the bread and the cup.
Mark 14:12-25. “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?’ 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. Say 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?’ He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.’ They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, ‘Surely not I?’ ‘It is one of the Twelve,’ he replied, ‘one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 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.’
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ he said to them. ‘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.’ When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
Before we share the Lord’s Supper together, I want to use the Jewish Passover meal to communicate the powerful symbolism in this memorial meal. Christians are no longer required to observe the Passover meal, but understanding it will give you a deeper understanding about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Understanding Passover will enhance your appreciation of the Lord’s Supper. There are three ways the Passover meal teaches us the significance of the Lord’s Supper.
1. PASSOVER REQUIRED SPECIFIC PREPARATION
The disciples asked Jesus about what they should do to make preparations for the Passover. This involved more than just finding a room. It had to be a house and room that was kosher or clean. Jesus didn’t have a home. He was a wandering rabbi. He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20) Jesus gave up the comfort of an earthly home so that we might be able to enjoy a heavenly home.