Summary: To examine the meaning of the Passover and Lord’s Supper, especially in regarding the bread
SBC Phiippi, 3/7/04 am
lThe Last Supper
Primary Purpose: To examine the meaning of the Passover and Lord’s Supper
This last Passover meal is so critical for us to understand who Jesus is and what He did for us on the cross. The Passover was first observed in Egypt, on the night the Jews were released from slavery from Egypt. Each household was to share a lamb that night as a part of the meal. They would take some of the Lamb’s blood and place it on the doorposts. By doing this, the lamb became for them a king of substitution for them. It’s important to realize that on this same night- Christ was betrayed . Christ became for us our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7). What was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to do- Christ did. (Heb 10:5) For He took away the hostility that sin causes- the judgment of God. Jesus symbolized his offering with bread and wine. There’s three things you should notice about the bread.
First, it was unleavened. Leaven wasn’t even allowed inside the house during the Passover. (Exodus 12) Leaven represents sin in the Bible. The bread had no leaven in it just as Jesus had no sin in Him. He had no sin or blemish in him. If he had, then he would have the same sin problem that the rest of us have. If He did, then the cross would have been meaningless, He wouldn’t have been able to die for anyone’s sins.
Second, this body Jesus said is given for you v.19. The connotation is that His body is a gift. It wasn’t forced on Him by someone else. The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus for most of his public ministry. But, God the Father didn’t allow it because his time wasn’t fulfilled. They were so blind with hate that they wanted to kill Lazarus too when he was raised from the dead.
We need to understand what 1 John 3:16 means when it says that Jesus laid down his life for us. Scripture indicates that God did this because he loves us and wanted to justify you in his presence.
The Lord has been showing me that this plays out much like in a courtroom. The Lord is judge and the devil is your prosecutor. He is the accuser of the brethren, the adversary. Charges are brought against you. The record of offenses are read. There are only 2 pleas you can enter. Guilty or Justified by Faith in Christ. You cannot enter a plea of innocent because the charges are true. You also can’t blame your mother or father or the schools or your environment.
You need to understand this point- that Christ’s sacrifice allow me to stand before God- justified and at peace with Him. No one comes to God claiming innocent or ignorance. This is why it says this in Romans 5:1 “Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Third, the bread was broken. The flogging that Jesus endured before going to the cross alone was enough to kill a person. Flogging involved a whip, a cat of nine tails, that had bits of glass and rock intertwined with it to open up a person’s skin and cause as much pain as possible. Isaiah 53 says that Christ was “pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our inquities.” V.5 There is also another significant passage in Isaiah 52:15. It tells us that Jesus was marred beyond human likeness. The physical beating that Jesus took for you and me is beyond words. But, worse than that is the sin that was hung on Jesus on that cross. We have no idea what the trauma of that is like.
Doctors who have examined the story of the crucifixion of Jesus tell us that Jesus heart was literally broken for us. The soliders trying to see if Jesus was dead pierced his side and it says in John 19:34 “one of the soliders pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” The presence of flowing water and blood many think means that Jesus heart was literally broken.
So, when we take this bread and juice today we are reminded of Jesus sacrifice for us. This Lord’s Table represents the new covenant or new agreement. I recently read in Jim Cymbala’s book “Fresh Power” where a music minister in the Midwest was rebuked by her new pastor who was upset by her music selection. It seems she had led the congregation in several hymns that morning about the blood of Jesus. The new pastor had been offended and told her if she wanted to keep her job she would never lead another song about the blood of Christ. He said he believed they were beyond that crude symbolism. (pg.57)