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081 The Last Supper

I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom’   Matthew 26:29

Key Verse:

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”   (Matthew 26:28)

(Matthew 26)

As most of you know, in our journey through the Holy Scriptures, we are presently studying in the Gospel, the holy book which tells the Good News about Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is the holy Redeemer who came into the world to deliver the children of Adam from the dominion of Satan. The Redeemer was

very different

from all other men; He is the Word which was with God in the beginning who appeared upon earth as a man. The Man Jesus was unique in His birth, because He was born of a virgin by the power of the Spirit of God. Jesus was also unique in His character, because He was born with a holy nature;

He never sinned.

His works were also unique; no one ever did miracles as He did. The Lord Jesus had power over Satan and his demons, the wind and the sea, and sickness and death. His teaching was also unparalleled; even His enemies said, 

“Never man spoke like this man!” (John 7:46)

Yes, Jesus Christ was unique

in His birth, His character, His works and His words. But that did not cause everyone to recognize that He was the Savior who came from heaven. Most of the children of Adam did not understand who Jesus really was. They considered Jesus to be a prophet, but

they did not realise that God Himself had come to visit them!

As for the Jewish religious rulers, they not only failed to understand who Jesus was, but they even conspired together to have Him put to death! In our last lesson, we heard how Jesus rebuked the religious leaders and the teachers of the Law because of their hypocrisy and wickedness. But Jesus’ words to them did not cause them to repent. In fact, the religious rulers only had one thought:

Jesus must be put to death!

The Lord Jesus knew that He was going to die in Jerusalem, and that those religious rulers would be the ones who would put Him to death. Thus, we saw that Jesus informed His disciples that the Priests and the teachers of the Law would condemn Him to die. They would turn Him over to the Romans, so that they might mock Him, spit on Him, beat Him, and nail Him to a cross. But

after three days

He would arise again! Thus did Jesus predict His death on a cross and His resurrection from the grave. And Jesus not only announced how He would die, and where He would die, but in the chapter before us today, we will see that Jesus even announced

when He would die!

Now let us continue in the Gospel of Matthew, and hear how Jesus prepared for His crucifixion. God’s Word says: (Matt. 26:1-2) “And it came to pass that, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and

the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified”.

Did you hear what Jesus said to His disciples? He informed them that the sons of Adam would nail Him to a cross on the day of the Passover feast. This is very important. In our study in Exodus, we learned about the day of the Passover. The Passover took place in the first month on the Jewish calendar, which is in March and April (Easter). Every year, at that festival, the Jews recall

what happened in the time of Moses,

when the Israelites were the slaves of the cruel king Pharaoh. Back then, God, in His righteous judgement and great plan, had condemned to death every first born male in Egypt. But God also provided

a way of deliverance

for those who believed Him and obeyed Him. God commanded every Israelite family to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and to sprinkle the blood on the doors of their houses. God had promised them, saying, “When I see the blood I will pass over you!” (Exod. 12:13) The people of Israel did as God had commanded and, consequently, God delivered their firstborn sons from death. God redeemed them by

the blood of a lamb.

For one thousand five hundred years, the Jews sacrificed lambs every year at the festival of the Passover, in order to remember how God had saved them from the plague of death that fell on the land of Egypt. However, God did not want them merely to

look back

and to remember what had happened. By means of those sacrificial lambs, God wanted them to

look forward

and anticipate the day when the Messiah would shed His blood on the cross. The blood which the Messiah would shed would save sinners from the plague that is worse than any other plague:

the eternal fire of hell!

The Redeemer’s death on the cross would be the final and perfect sacrifice which God’s righteous law required. God in His wisdom planned that the Redeemer would pour out His blood on the day of the Passover Feast and thus fulfil what the sacrificial lamb spoke of. Thus, Jesus the Redeemer would finish the plan which God had designed to save sinners from

His righteous judgement.

Now let us return to the Gospel, beginning with the verse we already read. (Matt. 26:1-5,14-16) “And it came to pass that, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and

the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people … then one of the twelve, called

Judas Iscariot,

went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, what will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they bargained with him for

thirty pieces of silver.

And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him”.

(Mark 14:12-16) “And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him. And wherever he shall go in, say to the owner of the house, The Master saith,

Where is the feast room,

where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them; and they made ready the passover”.

(Luke 22:14-16) “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I say unto you,

I will not any more eat of it,

until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.” (Mark 14:18-21) “And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you who eateth with me

shall betray me.

And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him, one by one, Is it I? And another said, Is it I? And he answered them, and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man, indeed, goeth, as it is written of him;

but woe to that man

by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born”.

(Matt. 26:25) “Then Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Master, Is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said it” (John 13:30) “He, then, having received the sop, went immediately out; and it was night” (Mark 14:22-24) “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat;

this is my body.

And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament,

which is shed for many”.

That is what is written in the Gospel concerning the last supper which Jesus had with His disciples, before He poured out His blood as a sacrifice that takes away sin. Jesus made known to His twelve disciples that one of them would betray Him.

It was Judas Iscariot.

In the eyes of man, Judas was a faithful disciple, but in his heart, Judas only cared about money and the things of the world. That is why he went to the High Priests and said to them, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” Thus the Priests counted out for him

thirty pieces of silver.

This took place to fulfil what the prophet Zechariah had predicted hundreds of years earlier, when he wrote that the Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. (see Zech. 11:12,13).

However, the most important thing in what we have just read is what Jesus said when He shared the bread and the cup with His disciples. Did you hear what He told them? Let’s read it again: (Mark 14:22-24) “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said,

Take, eat; this is my body.

And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them; and they all drank it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many”.

Thus we see how Jesus placed two symbols before His disciples: the symbol of the bread, and the symbol of the cup. The bread, which Jesus broke and gave to His disciples, illustrated

His body,

which He was going to give as a sacrifice. The cup with the juice of grapes illustrated

the blood

which Jesus the Redeemer would pour out to pay the debt of sin for the children of Adam so that they might live in the presence of God forever.

Thus, through the symbol of the bread and the symbol of the cup, Jesus taught His disciples that the reason He came into the world was to give His life–His body and His blood–as

a sacrifice for sinners.

And just as everyone on the earth must take in food and water in order to stay alive, so also, everyone who wants to live forever in heaven with God must believe that Jesus Christ gave His body and blood to give us eternal life.

The Lord Jesus Christ

is the only One who can give eternal life and the blood He shed is God’s only remedy to redeem you and me from the curse which sin brought.

Ah, dear friends, if you remember only one thing from this lesson, let it be this: Jesus Christ came into the world to bear your burden of sin. That is

the message

of God’s prophets. That is

the meaning

of the ram which Abraham sacrificed in place of his son. The way of forgiveness is the way of the Perfect Sacrifice. God can forgive you of your sins

through the sacrifice of the holy Redeemer,

who poured out His blood for you. For thousands of years God required animal sacrifices so that He could pass over (cover) the sins of the children of Adam. That is the Old Covenant, which God entrusted to His prophets. However,

Jesus the Messiah is the One who brought the New Covenant.

He is the One who came to fulfil the real meaning of the animal sacrifice. Jesus Christ Himself is the final Passover Lamb that was slain, so that whoever believes in Him might be saved from

God’s righteous judgement.

That is why the Holy Scripture says: 

“[Jesus] Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Cor. 5:7) 

For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

The blood of Jesus is of infinite value.

Read what the Word of God declares concerning the cleansing power of Jesus blood. The Scriptures say: The blood of Jesus [Christ] . . . cleanses us from all sin!” (1 John 1:7) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the

precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, who raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Peter 1:18-21).

May you carefully consider what you have studied, because God wants to give you insight into these great truths.

In the next lesson we plan to complete the story about the last supper and see how the religious rulers arrested Jesus so that they might kill Him.

God bless you as you think about the deep meaning and great blessing contained in this verse from the Word of God, 

“The blood of Jesus [Christ] . . . cleanses us from all sin!”

(1 John 1:7; John 1:29)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have