Summary: how Jesus revealed a new supper to his disciples on the night he was betrayed
The Revelation of a New Supper
26 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.”
27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 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.”
One of the things my wife and I were looking forward to when we got to Topeka was the opportunity to go to a variety of eating establishments. In Norton, we had basically two places to choose from on a Friday night - and we always ended up eating at the same spot. Although the food was good, we would have liked some more variety - something new once in a while. So when we arrived here we looked forward to a new variety. I never like to go to the same spot. I always like to try something new.
For over a thousand years, ever since the actual Passover to free the Israelites from Egypt, the Israelites had celebrated the same supper - the year old lamb and the unleavened bread at the Passover - to remember their deliverance from Egypt and look forward to a new deliverance from sin. It was on the of the Passover and also night of Jesus betrayal that Jesus said to his disciples, “I have a new supper for you - a new place to eat.” Since Jesus began his public ministry with a sacrament, it was only fitting that he should end it with one as well. Tonight we’ll look at how Jesus gave us -
The Revelation of a New Supper
I. The atmosphere
When I go searching for a new place to eat - a major priority to me is first of all the atmosphere. I prefer one to have the right “mood.” If the premises look dirty and run down, chances are the inside will be so too. When going on a more formal dinner, I usually prefer places that are a little bit darker, where you can eat in more of a booth like atmosphere and not too much out in the open. For instance, Grazies is down in a basement - where you can eat in a basement with more dim lighting. I was able to go on a date with my wife there once, and gazing at her across a candlelight sure was nice. I didn’t have to worry about bringing up conversation or what to say. I could just be myself and enjoy a nice meal with someone I love.
What was the atmosphere of the Last Supper? It took place in an upper room - very secluded. Jesus was there, eating the Passover with his 12 disciples - his close circle of friends. They knew that things were getting tense. Jesus had chased out the money changers and taught in the temple. They knew that the chief priests and teachers of the law wanted them dead. Jesus even predicted that He himself would die soon. And yet they could find comfort and peace as they spent time together apart from the pressure of the outside world. Just as God had delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians, so God had delivered them from their sins by sending Jesus. But Jesus turned what peace there was inside of the room upside down, when he announced that one of them with whom he had shared his bread that night would betray Him. Fear, bewilderment, and uncertainty soon entered the room. The disciples were hanging on every word Jesus said. After Judas left, the mood of the room must have been somber, strained, and searching.
We feel similar things yet today when we come forward to the Lord’s Supper. As strangers and aliens in this world, we come to worship with the pressures of life on our shoulders. We come with bills to pay, children to raise, and temptations to face. We come sorrowful over the troubles in this life and the sins that we have committed. Yet when we come together to take the Lord’s Supper, we also feel the comfort of being by close friends. We like the atmosphere of kneeling down next to someone who is in fellowship with us, of eating with another Christian whom we get along with. There is a special bond here - a serious bond - a spiritual one. It’s an atmosphere not like any other. You won’t get it at any restaurant in town. It’s different. But there’s something about it that we like.