Summary: This sermon looks at the conclusion of the institution of the Lord’s Supper - which Jesus connects the disciples to the promise of drinking the fruit of the vine with Him on "that day."
April 13, 2006 Matthew 26:26-30
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The writer to the Ecclesiasties mentions that there is a time for everything. As we have examined the Troubling Times of the Passion over the past month - we’ve seen times of sorrow, sleep, betrayal and death. Today’s text takes us back in time - back to the night Jesus was betrayed and the institution of the Lord’s Supper - as we look at a time of eating and drinking. Sometimes people eat and drink - not just because they are hungry - but because they are depressed. I knew a kid who - whenever something bad happened - he would decide to try and drown his sorrow with as much beer as he could drink. There are some women who purposely binge eat to have a temporary moment of “gladness” with their taste buds - to try and relieve the sorrow they feel over their bodies. People eat for different reasons - and they’re not always good. When Daniel’s king was feasting near the arrival of a foreign army at the gates of their kingdom, it was foolish ignorance. Instead of eating, they should have at least been preparing for battle.
As the disciples were celebrating the Passover, Jesus instituted a new kind of eating in the Lord’s Supper - for a good reason. Even though the presence of His enemies was getting ever closer, the celebration of this meal was neither foolish nor ignorant. Psalm 23 says, “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Passover was to point them back to God’s deliverance from Egypt - and their future deliverance from sin. The Lord’s Supper would have similar spiritual significance - with two different time periods in mind - the near and distant future. We’ll look at that tonight, as we examine how in these Troubling Times of the Passion -
The Lord’s Supper Points Us Forward to That Day
Usually we are taught that the Lord’s Supper points us back to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross - and this is rightly so. The words and purpose of the Lord’s Supper seem obvious. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. At the Passover God made a covenant of sorts with the Israelites. He said, “if you slaughter this lamb and put it’s lamb over your doorpost - the angel of death will pass over your household.” God made good on His promise as the angel of death passed over all of those who had the blood of the lamb over their door posts. In this new covenant - Jesus was declaring to the disciples the covenant He had made with His Father - that He - God’s son - would sacrificially offer Himself - pour out His blood - to die for the sins of the world. As the disciples ate this new Supper of Jesus body and blood which would be concealed under the bread and wine - they would forever be reminded of the new covenant that Jesus had made. There was no blood that they would need to shed - no punishments that they would need to receive. The wrath of God would pass over their doors of faith when it came to their judgment. All would be done by Jesus. This was God’s covenant with Himself - and promised to the believers. When they ate and drank Jesus’ body and blood - it would simply remind them of the sacrifice made to spare them of the hell they deserved.
This is the main focus of the Lord’s Supper - to point back to the sacrifice of Christ made 2,000 years ago. As you eat and drink the Lord’s Supper - God wants your mind to go back to that night - and take comfort in the fact that God cannot go back on His covenant with Himself. He cannot condemn you who have the blood on your hearts through faith - because He is bound to His promise. If you don’t take the Lord’s Supper with this promise of forgiveness in the past sacrifice of Christ firmly before your eyes of faith - you will only take it to your damnation. But when you take it in faith that Jesus really did shed His body and blood for you, it will strengthen you as you know Jesus died for you. The main focus of the Lord’s Supper is to point back to this sacrifice.