Summary: An authentic biblical community celebrates Christ’s covenant. A message that examines the Lord’s Supper through the theme of "covenant."
His Name Is Jesus – Part 2
March 10, 2002
Big Idea: An authentic biblical community celebrates Christ’s covenant.
A. There is a restaurant in Oak Brook that Kim and I would rank as our favorite place to go out for a nice evening.
It is all the more special to us because we have only been there a few times. The food is just a little bit better, the service just a bit more attentive, and the atmosphere is just a little bit different. All these things, combined with the memories we have established there, add up to a highly anticipated dining experience when we walk through their doors.
First a friendly hostess greets us. She asks how many people are in our party. “Two, for non-smoking,” we tell her. Because they don’t take reservations, people generally have to wait before being seated. But no one in the crowd seems to mind all that much. They must know what’s in store for them if they are patient.
The hostess gives Kim and I a square device, and tells us it will light up when they are prepared to seat us. So we wait while our stomachs rumble and our mouths water as observe fragrant entrees being carried from the kitchen. Finally our little pager erupts with a display of flashing red lights.
We return it to the hostess who says, “Rogers, party of two? Your table is ready. Right this way.”
B. On Thursday of the final week of Jesus’ life, he and His disciples would share a special meal together. This meal was special because it celebrated the Jewish feast known as Passover.
Jesus arrived in the city of Jerusalem just 4 days prior. And as we learned last Sunday from Luke 20, his second day in town was immediately filled with controversy. On that Monday the Jewish religious leaders tried everything they could to trap Jesus with trick questions. But Jesus masterfully pointed them to His God-given authority. And over the next two days their hatred for Jesus grew.
So the events surrounding this special Thursday night meal, would cast a long shadow on the celebration. Here is how the stage is set in Luke 22:
Read Luke 22: 1-13
1Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
C. Jesus sent Peter and John sometime Thursday morning or afternoon to prepare for the Passover meal.
Many believe Jesus didn’t specify the location for the meal in advance so that Judas couldn’t inform Jesus’ enemies where he might be. Jesus wanted this last meal with His disciples to be a significant memory maker and free from interruptions.
Back in that culture, women were usually the ones to carry water jars, so the site of man doing this kind of work would be out of the ordinary.
The owner of a particular house showed them a large upstairs room, fully furnished. Peter and John would have then had to buy and prepare the items for the meal - the Passover lamb as well as the unleavened bread, herbs, and wine.
When they returned they could have rightly said, “Jesus of Nazareth, party of 13? Sir, your table is ready. Right this way.”
D. Jesus sent Peter and John to make preparations for the Passover meal. But God had been preparing the table itself for centuries.
TRANSITION: The secret to the table lies within the nature of something called a “covenant.” Covenant is a major theme throughout the pages of the Bible. Covenant drives the story of God’s efforts to save people throughout all history. Covenant is a word for an agreement or treaty of sorts. In the Bible, covenants are written by God and offered to people.