2020-07-05 – Mark 14.12-26 – First and Last Supper
Bible Text: Mark 14:12-26 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2020-07-05 – Mark 14.12-26 – First and Last Supper
Greetings everyone. I am Pastor Jerry from the First Baptist church Orion Illinois. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
I pray you had a marvelous 4th of July holiday. Although it seemed a little toned down from my point of view,as most of the fireworks sadly were cancelled this year. However, as I am sure most of you will attest, there was ample booms heard from most every direction last night none-the-less. I enjoy the festivities surrounding this holiday for sure. I especially like the family gatherings and all the food being shared. Yesterday I had two amazing meals. First I had a family gathering in Davenport where we had wonderful burgers along with four kinds of salads and amazing desserts. Then we went to another family gathering and again a wonderful supper meal of jalapeno bratwurst, salads, deviled eggs and amazing deserts. Yum, Yum. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a lot of working out ahead of me to work off some of those holiday fixens. Other than the gathering of loved ones, the food is the best part of most any holiday, Amen?
Well today we are going to talk about another gathering, and yes it includes food. But this event in scripture has significant meaning, especially for us Christians.
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 14:12 (page 902) of God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word. But let us first start with Prayer.
We are now moving into the final chapters of this book of Mark. In the next few sermon messages we will go through most of what is referred to as the Passion of Christ. If you recall the messages we shared that led up to this passion event were Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (aka Palm Sunday); the turmoil and challenges in the Temple; and then the final anointing Jesus received as we talked about last week. That brings us in scripture to the final day before Jesus is crucified on the cross at Calvary. It is now the pre-celebration of Passover where Jesus would present Himself as the sacrificial lamb for our sins. Passover, you should know is a memorial tribute from the Old Testament-Torah that mandates the Israelites to ritually sacrifice and eat lamb on the first night of the Passover holiday along with bitter herbs and matzo. It is kind of like a religious Thanksgiving. This is a big deal for the Jewish believers, of which Jesus and His ollowers chose to partake in. That takes us to our first verses here in Mark 14:12:
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
Passover as we talked about briefly last week, is a memorial celebration of the time when the Hebrew people were spared from God’s pronounced judgement on the Egyptians where the first-born sons of the Egyptian people were killed. The Jews had been enslaved for 430 years in Egypt and God told the Pharaoh if he didn’t let them go free, then He would judge them in that manner. The Pharaoh refused and thus the judgement was carried out. God then told Moses that if the Jewish families put the blood of a lamb on their door posts, then their children would be spared death. Death would “pass over” their homes and their children would be saved. Thus the Passover has been celebrated by the Jewish people ever since. You can read for yourself the events of the Passover as written in Exodus 11 & 12, it is an excellent read for sure.
These Passover festivals still are celebrated today and are amazing to partake in. Some 3 Million people participated just last year in Jerusalem. I have not yet had that privilege, however I have participated in what is called a Seder Supper. The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The ritual practice and the food surrounding all this is simply amazing and I encourage you all to try it some day if you have the opportunity. As you know, our Christian heritage is rooted in the Jewish culture and our Bible is full of stories that include Passover as well as other Jewish festivals. However Paul says, we as Christians no longer are obligated to such practices. In Philippians 3:3 he wrote, “We no longer put our confidence in such rituals”, because we now have Jesus, the ultimate and only thing now that is most worthy of our attention and adoration.
In our first verses here regarding Passover, Jesus told the disciples where they should go, what they should do, and what would be the result. This amazing foreknowledge of Jesus has already been proven out several times in the past, so the disciples no longer questioned Jesus’s ability to do this. Jesus already proved to them that He did in fact know what was going to happen. You might recall just a few days prior to this event it was Palm Sunday where Jesus rode in on a colt of a donkey into town. In Mark 11 it says: “Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go”. Everything occurred just as Jesus told them it would. So the disciples had confidence that Jesus knew what He was talking about. And there were many other situations like these that Jesus shows His Omniscience.
Omniscience means all-knowing, one of the attributes of God, along with Omnipotence, meaning all-powerful, and Omnipresence, which means all-present. Like the disciples, we too can trust that God not only knows all, but that God can do anything, that is why He deserves to be called the Great I Am.
Jesus knows what was going on brothers and sisters, He demonstrated that ability many, many times. He did that then and He still does that in our lives today. Like the disciples, put your trust in Jesus Christ, and you will never regret doing so, Amen?
Verse 17 Continues: 17 When evening came, he arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one by one, “Surely not I?”
20 He said to them, “It is one of the Twelve—the one who is dipping bread in the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!
It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”
You may recall the sermon from last Sunday where Judas became upset that Mary anointed Jesus with 300 Denarii worth of perfume. That set things in motion for this betrayal Jesus now speaks of. This betrayal however is actually a fulfillment of prophecy by King David as written in Psalm 41:9. It says, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me”. Again, Jesus knows what He knows, and He told the disciples exactly what was going to occur.
I find it interesting how each of the disciples question Jesus saying “Surly not I?” Notice they didn’t say “Not Me!”, but instead they questioned Jesus, and effectively even questioned themselves. They knew that they themselves were not without sin, not without error, and actually capable of even this sinful act. They were questioning Jesus about their weak faith. We too may sometimes come to a point of insecurity in our relationship with Christ. When that happens, don’t come down on yourselves too harshly, as you see we are constantly battling our sin-filled self as we strive to serve the Lord. That dichotomy, that struggle and gap in our armor, is where faith and endurance have a chance to be exercised. Even in those circumstance we can thank the Lord for His faithfulness despite our weakness.
In this situation, Jesus allows them to realize their weakness and His faithfulness. And that sets the stage for now this First and Last Supper with Jesus. That is the title of today message, First and Last Supper. For it is the first time that which we call the Lord’s Supper is being served. And it is the Last Supper because the very next day Jesus will put Himself up on the cross at Calvary.
What follows in verse 22 is Mark’s account of that First and Last Supper event:
22 As they were eating, he took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
A study of the Lord’s Supper is a soul-stirring experience because of the depth of meaning it contains for us Christians. As you can see it was during the age-old celebration of the Passover on the eve of His death that Jesus instituted this significant new fellowship meal that we observe to this day. It is an integral part of our Christian worship. It causes us to remember our Lord’s death and resurrection and we now look for His glorious return in the future.
Each of the four Gospel accounts highlight this Lord’s Supper event and its significance to the believers. Interesting to note, only Dr. Luke’s Gospel includes the statement by Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me.” However the apostle Paul later also makes reference to it in his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11. He also adds, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself”. You can see, for the Christian this is a most blessed and holy exercise.
One might ask what it means to partake in an “unworthy manner”. Might I suggest it means to disregard the true meaning of the bread and cup and to forget the tremendous price our Savior paid for our salvation. It may also mean to allow the ceremony to become a simple formality, or to come to the Lord’s Supper with unconfessed sin. So in keeping with Paul’s instruction, we should all examine ourselves before eating the bread and drinking the cup. We should ask for forgiveness of our sins and we should open our hearts for God’s saving grace.
Another instruction about the Lord’s Supper Paul gives us is “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” Jesus is coming back. He is going to gather up His church family and usher in for us Heaven on Earth again. We have much to look forward to brothers and sisters.
Finally, when Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” that means this is an observance that must be continued. It also means that the Passover requirements and the death of a lamb was forever satisfied by the perfect Lamb of God being Jesus. The New Covenant has replaced the Old Covenant when Christ, the Passover Lamb was sacrificed on the cross.
The Lord’s Supper/Communion is a remembrance of what Christ did for us and a celebration of what we now receive as a result of His sacrifice.Hebrews 9:28 tells us that “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” And to that I say Amen and Amen.
Question: Is it necessary for us to partake in this Lord’s Supper?
Jesus himself answered that question in John chapter 6. Starting at verse 53:
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
So Jesus told us to do this, and He told us why we do this. And that is why we will now again today participate in what is referred to as “The Lord’s Supper”.
My prayer for you is that understand what you do and why you do it in this regard. We aren’t just going through the motions, this should really mean something to the Christian believer.
But the question now we must first ask is, are you truly a believer?. Have you chosen to believe by faith that Jesus died for you on the cross, and only through that sacrifice that you can enter into Heaven. Have you asked for forgiveness of you past, present, and future sins? And will you choose to repent of those sins?
If you haven’t’ done that, maybe you will consider doing that right now.
We in this church offer what is called an open communion. That means as long as you are a born again believer of Jesus Christ and have been baptized into that faith, then you are welcome to participate with us now.
This relationship you have with Jesus Christ is special and personal. We choose to come together in this church family for support and encouragement as we are instructed to do, but your relationship with Jesus is yours alone. Allow Him to mold you into His image and bring His joy and His purpose into your life more and more as the day of His return draws near.
Let us go to the Lord now in prayer.
Luke 22:19 He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them,
and said, “This is My body, which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Luke 22:20 He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Next week we will dive into the final day of Jesus before His crucificition. You won’t want to miss that as it sets the stage for the most import event in all Human History being Christ’s Miraculous Resurrection.
Now I can’t wait to get home and dig into some of those wonderful leftovers.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you today. May the God of Peace, bless you all today.