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The Lord Institutes His Supper


Matthew 26:17-30

Just a little bit ago we participated in the taking of what we call the “Lord’s Supper.”

Notice in verse 17 that it is the time of the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.

And so in verse 18 He tells His disciples to go into the city and He tells them that they would meet “a certain man” there and they were to say to him, “the Teacher says, My time is at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”  

So, in vs. 19 the disciples do…they go into the city and they “prepare the Passover.”

Now look at verse 20-21.

Now these disciples have walked with him for 3 years now and not one single time has Jesus said something, and no matter how absurd it seemed, did it not come true.

And I think their response is interesting in that it seems to show that they are not confident in their own moral strength.

And now look again at what He says in verse 23 and 24.  He says, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

The first thing that Jesus does here is He narrows it down.

I think He is giving Judas a chance to repent.

But the reality is some people do not want to repent…and I hope you are not one of them because each one of us knows what happened to Judas.

And here is another thing.

And here is something else: When Jesus proclaims this betrayal “by one who has dipped his hand in the bowl with Him”, He implements within each of them a self-examination.

Self examination is something that we all should do regularly.

Now in the next few verses Jesus is going to share His supper with the other disciples, but I want you to see something that I think is significant in understanding His supper. Turn to John 13: 21.

Now verse 26, read with me:  Jesus therefore answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, {the son} of Simon Iscariot.             And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”  Now no one of those reclining {at the table} knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

 Jesus knew what Judas had in mind.

 Well, I will tell you why He does that.

I believe the apostle Paul says this same thing in 1 Cor. 10: 15:  I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

1 Cor 10:21-22  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

Now, go back to Matthew 26 and verse 26.

What Jesus does here when He does this is He equates Himself and His impending death to that of the Passover Lamb.

When He takes that bread and breaks it and gives it to each one and says, “This is My body” He is in a sense equating Himself to that Passover Lamb that they were eating of…and all that Lamb stood for.

 But there is more.

 Well, when it came to the Passover the door posts and the lintels served as the altar where the blood was sprinkled…and that signified atonement.

 And when Jesus hosted this Passover meal…and then took the bread and presented it to these disciples…He was symbolically saying, “We are in fellowship with one another.”

So you see, when we take of the bread…we are recognizing Christ as a sacrifice superior to the Passover lamb.

Notice something else.

Jesus takes the bread and He says, “This is my body.”

But now look at verse 27.

Back in chapter 20 and verse 28 Jesus said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

That is what the Lord’s Supper is.

Observing the Lord’s Supper does not take away sin.

Now, look at verse 29. Jesus says: “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 

When Jesus institutes this memorial supper He knows that by the next evening He will be dead.

That makes this memorial feast unique above all other memorials.

He is still alive…and He is coming back…and the Lord’s Supper reminds us of that.

Are you ready?

Judas wouldn’t repent and be saved. Surely you aren’t that way?