Summary: We need to focus upon the meaning of the Lord’s Supper to renew our appreciation of and commitment to Jesus Christ.
The Last Supper
1. It is a myth to think that the only interesting people are young.
101-year-old Grandmother Sets Paragliding Record (WATCH)
By Good News Network Thursday, March 22, 2012
Not wanting to be outdone by her 75-year-old paragliding son, Mary Allen Hardison of Ogden, Utah, took flight on her birthday, becoming the “Oldest Female to Paraglide Tandem” — an achievement described Tuesday by Guinness World Records as a “celebration of the start of spring and life rejuvenated.”
“I didn’t want him to do something that I couldn’t do,” the 101-year-old great, great grandmother said. She didn’t know anything about breaking a record. She just wanted to have fun.
2. Likewise, God’s truth and Gospel are old: but relevant, amazing, and needed!
3. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, followed by Good Friday. We will observe the Lord’s Supper twice in one week. Why?
Jesus and the Apostles presented the church with many commands, we have only a total of two rituals that all Christians partake of, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Main Idea: We need to focus upon the meaning of the Lord’s Supper to renew our appreciation of and commitment to Jesus Christ.
I. The DETAILS of the Last Supper
A. The Last (Lord’s) Supper was part of the PASSOVER (26:17-19)
Why last minute preparations and mysterious arrangement and only two apostles involved? To prevent Judas from betraying Jesus prematurely [source: MacArthur]
Peter and John would bring the lamb to the Temple for sacrifice, then roast it.
Not like daVinci: reclining. Lois Tverberg in Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus:
“Most telling is what is on the table. Lacking are the essential elements of the Passover celebration, including the lamb and unleavened bread. In their place is a puffy loaf of bread, when leavening is strictly forbidden during the week of Passover, and a shockingly unkosher plate of grilled eels garnished with orange slices!”
What day of the week? Probably Thursday night. It is possible that the Pharisees celebrated Passover one day (Thursday after sunset) and the Sadducees the next day (Friday). Other evidence suggest that the Jews from the north started their day at sunrise while the Judeans considered a day to start at sunset (14th of Nissan). Thus Christ both celebrate Passover and was crucified on Passover.
B. Jesus proved he was a WILLING sacrificial victim (20-25)
They took bread & meat and dipped it, prob. in Charoset (a fruit paste /mortar for the bricks) and Maror, bitter herbs (recalling the bitterness of slavery in Egypt).
John 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
C. Jesus distributed the MATZO (26)
Why Matzo (unleavened bread)? Because Hebrews had no time to leaven bread.
Leaven represents nfluence of evil, sin. The idea of Holiness is connected.
This was the second of three matzos, put in a pouch (afikomen)
Normally the leader of the seder would say, “This is the bead of affliction our ancestors ate when they came from Egypt, “ meaning not the same bread, memorial
This is my body means, “for centuries you have taken the second matzo and broken it. All along this has predicted me and my sacrifice, though you have not know it.”
D. Jesus distributed the CUP (27-28)
The third of four cups, the cup of redemption, as they would read from Exodus 6:6, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment.”
1. Jesus redeems with outstretched arm(s)
2. His death included great acts of judgment
3. The cup speaks of God’s wrath; “If possible, let this cup pass from me…”
4. The cross institutes the New Covenant
E. Jesus promised a REUNION in the Kingdom (29)
F. They sung a PSALM and went to the Mount of Olives (30) (Psalm 118)
II. The Rich MEANING of the Last Supper
A. The awful nature of our sin: we require Jesus as our PASSOVER
1. Some accuse the Father of being a child abuser…
2. Others think that the cross could have been avoided
3. Over 250,000 lambs were slain on Passover, but Jesus was different
4. Between 10 and 20 people were to eat a lamb (MacArthur), Jesus different
B. We REDRAMATIZE the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood
1. Jesus did not just die, but he died as a sacrifice
2. As a knife might pierce a sacrificial animal and shed its blood
C. The price was paid once, but we REMEMBER forever
D. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is a time of RENEWED commitment