Summary: It's called the Last Supper, but that’s not really true. Jesus looked forward to a time in the future when He would be alive, and He would celebrate a feast in the Kingdom of God. This will be a future time of reunion, refreshment, and rejoicing.
Easter is five weeks from today. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to walk with Jesus through 94 hours of events that changed the course of our world. The 94-hour period started when Jesus sat down with His disciples to eat the Passover Meal. It ended on Easter Sunday morning when the disciples discovered that the tomb was empty. Between these two events, Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane where He was crushed by the burden He was facing. Then He was arrested and put on trial. He was tortured at the hands of the Jews and Romans. Then after spending just six hours on the cross, He died. They removed His dead body from the cross, wrapped it in spices and placed it in a tomb. The last 72 hours of the countdown are in the tomb.
In addition to studying the Last Supper of Jesus, we’re also going to participate in the Lord’s Supper. This serving will be unique, because it will be the first time that I’ll be leading the meal for Green Acres South and Crosswalk as well.
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.
One of the most famous paintings in the world is Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” The original was painted in 1495 on the wall of a dining room in a Convent in Milan, Italy. The original work has faded through the centuries until the details could hardly been seen in the 1970s. The latest restoration took 21 years and was finished in 1999. In the restored version you can see that da Vinci tried to capture the moment when Peter is leaning over to John to ask him who will betray Jesus. Judas can be seen between them clutching the bag containing thirty pieces of silver.
However, this posed arrangement with everyone sitting on one side of the table as if they’re having their picture made isn’t the way they ate the Last Supper. The Bible says Jesus and the disciples were reclined at the table. They were probably arranged in a small circle around a low table reclining on their left elbows. In Jewish culture, the left hand was considered unclean, and the right hand was clean, so they would only eat with their right hands.
There are some important first truths that He shared at the Last Supper. Let’s learn four of these truths because they still apply to us today.
1. THE LORD’S SUPPER INVOLVES CAREFUL PREPARATION
Jesus sent some of His disciples into Jerusalem and told them to find a room and to make preparations for the Passover. Every spring the Jews commemorated the time when they were slaves living in Egypt. God called Moses to tell Pharaoh to set the Hebrew people free from their bondage. Pharaoh refused. God sent a series of plagues to warn Pharaoh, but Pharaoh still refused, so God sent a final, deadly plague.