Summary: The beginning of the Lord’s Supper
THE LORD’S SUPPER Mark 14:12-28
Many of us can look back months or even years to that moment in our lives when recognizing ourselves to be guilty sinners in the sight of God; we trusted what Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary for us.
In that moment we recognized that Jesus vicariously, as a substitute, bore our sins in His own body on the tree (2 Corinthians 5:21), and we accepted His payment for our sins as full and forever.
Well, in a few minutes we are going to observe the Lord’s supper that commemorates what Jesus did for us on the cross, and in preparation to partake of the Lord’s supper I want us to look at the establishment of the Lord’ Supper many years ago.
I. A TRUTH COMMEMORATED (22-23)
Until the death of Jesus, the feast of the Passover was the greatest event in the disciples’ year. With great anticipation they prepared for the occasion, and there is reason to believe they enjoyed every moment of it.
Yet after the death and resurrection of their Lord, the Passover feast had neither attraction nor importance for the followers of Christ.
Apart from Hebrews and I Corinthians, where the true Passover is expounded and identified, there is no mention to the feast in the New Testament after the death of Christ of the disciples observing it.
As far as they were concerned, the Passover had fulfilled its purpose in pointing the true Lamb of God, and there remained no obligation even to remember it.
The Passover was the commemoration of the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. At some special point in their observance of final Passover observance, the Lord took certain parts of the ritual and imparted to them a new meaning.
As the Passover feast commemorated their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper to commemorate their deliverance from sin.
Unleavened bread and wine (pure grape juice) were two common items that were used at practically every meal, but Jesus gave them a wonderful new meaning. Jesus gave the bread and the wine new meaning so that from that hour, they would serve as memorials of His death.
II. A THRILLING COVENANT (24)
On the cross, Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and established a New Covenant. The Old Covenant was ratified with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the new covenant was ratified with the blood of God’s Son.
The New Covenant in His blood would do what the Old Covenant sacrifices could not do. The Old Covenant could cover sins, but it could not cleanse sins and take them away forever as the blood of Jesus Christ could.
See Hebrews 10:1-4; 9-12; 14.
Under the Old Covenant, the priests were busy all day long, from dawn to sunset, slaughtering and sacrificing animals. It is estimated that at Passover as many as three hundred thousand lambs would be slain within a week. The slaughter would be so massive that blood would run out of the Temple ground through specially prepared channels into the Brook Kidron, which seemed to be running with blood.
But no matter how many sacrifices were made, or how often, they were ineffective. They simply could not remove sin.