Text: Mark 10:14-25
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The Last Supper
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
The last supper took place on the first day of Passover, or the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Jesus sent his disciples ahead into the city to prepare a meal to celebrate Passover. Passover is the remembrance of Israel being freed from slavery to Egypt and specifically when the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites that had lambs blood over the doors. That evening Jesus sat down at the table with the apostles to eat his final meal before going to the cross. As they dined together, he told the twelve that one of them would soon betray him.
One by one they questioned, “I’m not the one, am I, Lord?” Jesus explained that even though he knew it was his destiny to die as the Scriptures foretold, his betrayer’s fate would be terrible: “Far better for him if he had never been born!”
As the disciples reclined and ate dinner with Jesus, he explained to them that one of the twelve of them would soon betray him. One by one the disciplines denied that it would be them, including Judas who would be the betrayer. Jesus responded that the person who betrays him will have a terrible fate and that indeed, it was Judas.
Jesus prayed and thanked God for the meal. He then broke the bread and shared the wine with the disciples and explained to them how the bread was a symbol of his body, broken for them, and the wine a symbol of his blood which would be poured out for their sins to be forgiven. This is where the churches tradition of communion comes from.
After the meal, Jesus became like a servant and washed the feet of the disciples. Peter did not feel right having Jesus wash his feet but Jesus said that He was doing it to be an example to them. Now the disciples would be able to wash each others feet, meaning they could be servants to all.
POINTS FROM THE LESSON:
- The Passover commemorated Israel’s escape from bondage in Egypt. In Exodus, the blood of the Passover lamb was painted on the door frames, causing the plague of the firstborn to pass over their houses sparing the firstborn sons from death. The Last Supper was very significant because Jesus showed his disciples he was about to become the Passover Lamb of God. His blood would open the door to freedom. His followers would exchange slavery to sin and death for eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
- According to Jewish tradition, the four cups represent four expressions of redemption. The first cup is called the cup of sanctification; the second is the cup of judgment; the third is the cup of redemption; and the fourth is the cup of the kingdom.
- Judas had already determined that he would betray Jesus, yet still he shared in the communion of the Passover meal.
- There are 3 main Christian views regarding the blood and the wine during the practice of Communion:
- The bread and the wine become the actual body and blood of Christ.
- The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, but Christ’s presence by faith is made spiritually real in and through them. This is known as “Real Presence.”
- The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ’s body and blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice.
QUESTION FOR REFLECTION:
At the Last Supper, each of the disciples questioned Jesus (paraphrased): “Could I be the one to betray you, Lord?” I would guess at that moment they were also questioning their own hearts. A little while later, Jesus predicted Peter’s three-fold denial. In our walk of faith, are there times when we should stop and ask ourselves:
- How true is my commitment to the Lord?
- Do I profess to love and follow Christ, yet deny him with my actions?
- If I was in Peter’s Shoes, will I deny Jesus?
- Are there ways in which I have denied Jesus with my actions?
- What can separate me from the love of God, trials, temptations, money, challenges, family etc
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