Lets jump to Thursday now when Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. This I s found in Mark 14:22-25 but the backgroud leading up to this is found in Mark 14:12-16 and Mark 14:17-21. Lets look at Pass Over first, that is what Jesus and the disciples were preparing to celebrate was actually Passover. Passover was the first of all the annual feasts and the most important. (see Lev 23:4-8) It celebrated on the 14th of Nisan the first month of the religious year. This would fall sometime in our March or April. Passover commerates the deliverance of the Jews from Eygpt and the establishment of Israel as a nation by God‘s redemptive act. The Feast of Unleavend Bread began in the day after Passover and lasted seven days.
New Living Translation (NLT)
The Last Supper
13 So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 15 He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” 16 So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
20 He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man[c] must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant[d] between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. 25 I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
- Mark 14:17 Greek the Twelve.
- Mark 14:18 Or As they reclined.
- Mark 14:21 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
- Mark 14:24 Some manuscripts read the new covenant.
Here Mark is speaking of the events of Thursday. Apparently Jesus had already made arrangements for a place to eat- He announced the location in a very inconspicuos manner. Now, it would have been highly unuasual for a man to be carrying a picther of water, this was nornally a woman’s task. It is thought that this man may have been a servant. It is thought that the owner of this house may have been Mark’s father. Tradition has it this is the same “upper room” of Acts1:13 whereover 100 believers met on Pentecost.
There were actually two memorial meals observed here- one was the Passover meal during which Jesus predicted that one of the disciples would betray Him. After Judas left Jesus then observed the Last Supper which was in anticipation of the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood. The phrase “one of you who eats with Me will betray is reminscent of the messianinc prophecy found in Psam 41:9
New Living Translation (NLT)
Matthew and John both identify Judas as the betrayer though Mark never mentions it.
I want to pause here and say a few words about this Memorial Meal that we have come to call – The Lords Supper, the Eucahrist, The Lords Table, Holy Communion, or just Communion. No matter what name we call this meal by- that consists of the wine of Juice ( some leeway here- both are from the fruit of the vine) It was most likley wine that was served at this meal as there was no way to refrigirate in biblical times thus no way to keep the juice from fermenting and becoming wine. And the Bread or the Loaf. No matter what your view is – whether this is actually the blood and body of Christ or are symbolic emblems- they are HOLY and this meal is a special time for all who observe it. It is a HOLY time – the loaf is to be unleavend bread. That is what was served to the disciples in that upper room after the Passover meal had been observed. Jesus instituted this as a Remembrance of Him and of the sacrifice that He was about to make. This Meal has been abused over the centuries and actually did not take that long for it to be abused by the Corinthian Church- they were making a party out of it! And in doing so some that could not afford to bring a meal were left without. The called it a “Love Feast” The time of Holy Communion is to be appraoched with high reverence and Paul even mentions that one who partakes in an unworthy manner is dooming themselves to damanation. This time is a time to commune with God and to let Him commune with you, this is a time of self examination, this is a time to look back to the cross, and remember the suffering servant taking the full wrath of God’s anger on Himself to spare us all from that horrible wrath. This is a time to remember the Resurrection and know that we share in that victory over sin and death. This is a time to look forward to His return to once and for all defeat evil and set up His Kingdom and reign forever. Again, this time of observing Holy Communion is a time reverence , a time joy, a time of anitcipation and a time to speak to God and a time to just sit quitely and listen for that small whisper in the whirlwind, a time of self examination and come to God in true repentance with a broken and contrite heart- confessing your times of falling short to Him. In short – it is the most significant portion of any worship service and should not be treated casually.