· Making our way through Luke, almost done I promise. 2 more chapters
· Starting here with the account of the Passover celebration with the disciples, we start on a string of events that is recorded in each gospel.
· Even though the plan of our salvation can seem so obvious and straight forward to us now, the disciples had different expectations. Political revolution, war, free state of Israel.
· Jesus continues to reveal his true mission here on earth. This had been the plan the whole time, but now it’s here.
· What we are going to learn this week: 1) why communion is important, 2) why we participate in communion, and 3) why it is important that we continually examine our faith.
· Last week, we learned the plot to kill Jesus is in motion
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
· Passover, the highest Jewish holiday, it was the story of God sparing the Israelites because of the blood of the lamb.
· The tenth and final plague that God inflicted upon Pharaoh, the angel of death killed every first born son.
· The Israelites were told to sacrifice a young lamb, without blemish
· God looked upon the blood of the lamb on the door and spared them.
· reminder that Christ was under the law, did not neglect its commands, like celebrating high Jewish holidays.
· Only perfect man that ever lived, able to meet the rigorous standard of the mosaic law.
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
· Jesus knows exactly what the plan is, every little detail. Here, and regarding our salvation.
· The disciples found it was all true, just like he said it would be
· “Blind faith” is sort of a misnomer. Jesus makes his case over and over why we should trust him. This is more Evidence for the rest of the gospel, things go the way he said they would go.
· Important to focus on this point. Jesus could have told them exactly what house to go to. Instead he tells them to find a random man who will lead them.
· Jesus teaches them they need to rely on divine providence, in dependence of him. we should engage in the same process of dependent learning, being true disciples of Jesus.
· Do you depend on God’s divine providence? How much of your life do you hold on to, and want to run yourself? This has dire consequences.
· “Is there some part of his life where he is consciously resisting… the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender, some sinful passion, some hope, ambition or reason? If so you may not be surprised to find… that prayer is difficult, or that your request for faith remains unanswered” -Bonhoeffer
· I hold on to my future. Planning for where I want to be, when I want to retire, where to live. We gotta let go!
· A part of your life not surrendered to Jesus can lead to a lack of faith, and even a lack of God’s grace, indicating the absence of the holy spirit!
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
· vs 15, Jesus eagerly wanted to do this! It started his suffering, but also the salvation and redemption of mankind.
· vs 16, with Christ as the sacrificial lamb, he says we will not need to eat the unleavened feast again, he fulfilled it and completed the atonement. Jesus is our Passover.
· 1 Corinthians 5:7 “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
· the Passover was a foreshadowing, Jesus is the fulfillment of what a sacrifice is all about.
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
· Common communion passage, it establishes the sacrament that we partake in!
· sacrament is something ordained by Christ, that is a symbol of spiritual reality
· Augustine of Hippo said it is an “outward sign of an inward grace”. similar to baptism.
· Not salvific, but a demonstration of the accomplished grace.
· Only two sacraments universally accepted in the Christian church. A confession of how we give over control.
· There was a normal script that the head of the table would recite.
· v19, “this is my body, given for you”. Weird! Not part of Passover. He is the offering. References Leviticus 21:8 ” Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy”.
· Jesus did not use the normal meaning of the Passover elements, he reinterpreted them.
· why participation is important. We get to sit and enjoy a meal with him.
· so we do this as a witness, a confirmation of the promise he made. declarative bond that we partake in his broken body.
· v19 “do this in remembrance of me”. A clear cut command. We see the disciples do this throughout Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
· Jesus tells us to do this until he comes back, not for a season. Also a looking forward to his return. Because we do believe he is coming back.
· v20, “new covenant” implies there is an old covenant. There were several actually, with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David.
· Some of these are conditional, some unconditional. Some to Israel, others to all mankind.
· this new covenant is for everyone, he has been broken for us. not a trashing of the old. progressive revelations with each new one.
· this new one fulfills all old covenants. Jesus came not to break, but to fulfill. It is the apex of god’s promise!
· This is why we want to keep it fresh, less of a ritual, and more of a purposeful celebration. A gift we’ve been given. Not something to do without recognizing the importance of it.
21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
· We read last week that Satan had already overtaken Judas. Again, there is nothing Jesus doesn’t know.
· Judas just performed the ceremony and customs of the law, being fully turned against the Lord in hatred!
· words and Actions might plausibly profess religion, but his heart was corrupt and evil.
· There are those who have taken the bread and the cup, who have professed Christ, and still betrayed Him.
· Have you given control to God?
· v23, they questioned themselves. They inspected their own faith. this is part of why we do communion every week.
· to check our relationship with Jesus, to examine our faith.
· Paul says inspect your faith. 2 Cor 13:5 ” Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?”
· It is something we need to constantly ask ourselves. This ritual drives us to a point of self-examination.
· As followers of Jesus we need to make this a lifestyle.
· Jesus impressed on his disciples a dependence on him. As disciples, we are to live the same way. There is no such thing as an independent disciple.
· It can seriously impact our faith and belief when we hold on to control in our lives.
· Communion celebrates what Jesus purposefully accomplished. It is an opportunity to regularly experience his sacrifice.
· Judas was going through the motions, the results are the same if we just go through the motions. It leads to death.
· How are you trusting God? One thing to say it. Another to do it. with your money? with your relationships? with your plans?
· What are you not trusting Him for?
· How do you examine your faith? Do you have purposeful practices in your life that cause self-examination of what is hopefully your most treasured possession.
· How can we see communion for more of what it is? Do you see it as important? Should it be?