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The Lord Institutes His Supper


Mark 14: 12-26

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

Notice in verse 12 that it is the time of the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.

And so in verse 13 He sends two of His disciples into the city and He tells them that they would meet “a man carrying a pitcher of water”.

Now the reason the man carrying a “pitcher of water” was an effective sign is because in those days men didn’t carry jars of water.

And as far as the “owner of the house” is concerned, he very well could have been a follower of Christ because Jesus does not even have to give him His name.

The disciples do…they go into the city and they find the room just as Jesus told them they would.

Now look at verse 17.

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 at what He says in verse 20.  He says, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with me in the bowl. For 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 of the 12”, He implements within each of them a self-examination.

Self examination is something that we all should do regularly.

Now, there is a paradox here that is a little troubling.

If God planned for Jesus to be betrayed, why does He blame and condemn the betrayer?

That is a hard question and there is no easy answer.

I am absolutely persuaded that Judas’ choice to betray Jesus was Judas’ choice.

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.

Now, go back to Mark 14 and verse 22.

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 23.

Back in chapter 10 and verse 45 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 25. Jesus says:  “Truly I say to you, I shall never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

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?