Friday, January 13, 2006

The Meals of Jesus
Passover Supper with the Disciples Part One
Matthew 26.1 - .30
Mark 14.12 - .26
Luke 22.1 - .38
John 13 – 17
I Corinthians 11.17 - .34

Everything that happens today, right now, changes everything that will happen in the future. The choices we make this moment change and shape our future in dramatic and minute ways. Some events and choices are more life altering than others. For instance the shirt you are wearing is a choice that will have less impact on your life than the wife you choose. In the meals of Jesus this is also true. All of his meals impact us but today's meal is huge! In fact we are still eating this meal. No other meal impacts the future of our world as the Passover Meal he eats with is disciples on the night he was betrayed. We traditionally call this the “Last Supper” but I don't think that is a good name for this meal. Following this meal Jesus eats at least 4 more times with his disciples.

This meal begins with Jesus showing his disciples that he is in control of what is happening. He sends Peter and John into town to find to make preparation for the passover. (Luke 22.8) He sends then with specific instructions on how to find the room for the passover meal. They are to look for a man carrying a water jug and follow him.

They find things just as he said. (Matthew 26.18 & .19, Mark 14.13 - .15 and Luke 22.10-.12) The Lord has provided the place for the meal. When they all arrive in the upper room and begin to eat Jesus sets the mode with a terrible announcement that one of them will betray him. They all begin to question who this might be and to deny that it is them. (Matthew 26.20 - . 25, Mark 14.17 - .21 and Luke 22.21 - 23) This betrayal is key to understanding this meal. When Paul rebukes the Corinthian church for the way it celebrates the Lord's Supper he describes it as the meal Jesus ate the night he was betrayed. (1 Corinthians 11.23)

At the beginning of this Passover meal Jesus takes the unleavened bread they were to eat to remind them of their forefather's hasty escape from Egypt and changes the meaning. Now it is his body! He tells them to take and eat the bread that is his body
which is for you. Jesus body is no longer for himself but now it is for all of us. (Matthew 26.26, Mark 14.22, Luke 22.19 and 1 Corinthians 11.24) The betrayal will lead to his body being offered as a sacrifice.

Then towards the end of the traditional passover meal he take the cup of wine and changes it too. Now it represents his blood of the new covenant which is going to be poured for us. The blood is the life of the body. The blood is sacred. The Old Covenant between the Israelites and the Lord was cemented thru the sacrifice of lambs, goats and bulls. Now this New Covenant we live under is brought about by the blood sacrifice of God's only and unique Son. (Matthew 26.27 - .29, Mark 14.23 - .25, Luke 22.17 - .18 & .20 - .22 and 1 Corinthians 11.25)

The betrayal that happens much later that night is another history changing event. Those who had been looking for away to stop Jesus had their opportunity to put him on trial and kill him. They failed! His arrest, trial and crucifiction were all part of his plan to save us all by creating a New Covenant between humanity and the LORD. Jesus was in control the entire time. He provided the place for the meal and now he provides the sacrifice for the Covenant that brings forgiveness and salvation to all.
This is just a short examination of this meal. We will look at it again next week to examine why it is a meal that we still eat. This is the only meal of Jesus that we actually take part in.
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