This sermon was based on Mark 14:12-26.
The Passover with the Disciples
12And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
17And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
22And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
What are We Remembering?
- This happened at the time of the Passover meal when the Israelites were remembering being saved by God from Egypt. They were remembering this act of salvation as they did every year.
- The way the Passover meal was celebrated was quite specific and the same each time. The person overseeing the meal had a specific set of words and actions as they called the people to remember.
- Jesus doesn’t follow this pattern though. He calls the to remember something else, he is pointing out that the Passover is all about him. He calls them to remember his death which is coming soon. The great salvation they remember and re-enact points to a greater salvation — a greater Exodus, which is brought about through his death.
Why do We Remember?
- A better question might be ‘why did Jesus die?’ and the answer can be found in verse 24. ‘this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for [on behalf of] many.’
- Jesus didn’t die to show how much he loves us. Simply dying for someone does not show how much you love them unless the death is completely necessary.
- Without reason or purpose dying for someone is pointless and foolish. Jesus died because his death was necessary for us to live.
How Should We Remember?
- Jesus dying is not enough to save you. In the same way, if you are starving, simply looking at a meal will not stop you from starving to death. You have to reach out and take it.
- He gives the bread to the disciples and tells them to eat it. In order for his death to mean something to you, you have to reach out and take it.
- The Lord’s Supper acts as a signpost to help us to remember and to re-enact the gospel in the same way the Israelites remembered and re-enacted The Passover. It reminds us of the salvation that we have taken hold of, that has been given to us.
What Does it Mean for Us?
- JESUS IS SOVEREIGN. When you read this passage carefully, you can see that Jesus is in complete control of the situation. Jesus is sovereign over every one of our circumstances.
- JESUS UNDERSTANDS OUR SUFFERING. When we participate in The Lord’s Supper, we remember that we have one who has gone before us and understands and sympathises with our weakness.
- WE ARE DEAD TO SIN. When we participate in The Lord’s Supper, we remember that we too have died. When we take The Lord’s Supper we are joining in his death and resurrection, and reminding ourselves of our new status of being dead to sin and alive in Christ through Christ’s victory.