The Last Supper

Around The Table   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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If you were to look up what were the most impactful dinners throughout history
You would find a ton of different meals throughout history that have had a huge impact on history
You would see meals where wars started, you would see meals where wars ended
You would see meals that helped slavery end
You would see meals that made it so a certain person would not come into power because they made a mistake at a meal.
But on almost every list that talks about important meals throughout history there is the meal that we are actually talking about today.
And this is the last meal that Jesus has with His disciples before being crucified on the cross.
And this meal is important because it did not just impact the people at the table it not even just impact people in a specific country or area, but what we see is that it impacts every person on this planet.
And so we are going to be in Mark 14:16-26 and will be looking at this important meal and my hope is for as we get ready to close this series that we will understand just want this meal means for you.
So we will just be starting in verse 16 which says:
Mark 14:16 NIV
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
So we see the disciples getting ready to celebrate this Jewish holiday called Passover where the Jews celebrated their deliverance from the Egyptians.
So you kind of get this 4th of July feeling, but without Tobey Keith
But you know with all seriousness this was a big holiday, because the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt,
But God has delivered them.
And so this meal had reminders of their oppression, there was salt water that reminded them of their tears from the oppression
They had bread that reminded them of the unleavened bread which sustained them as they left
They had wine which reminded them of the final plague that set them free where the first born of every family was killed.
But if you know the story the Jews were told to place the blood of a lamb on their door post and the house was passed over by the plague
And so this meal was a very serious way that they remembered how God had delivered them in the past
And so look what happens in verses 17-19 because it says this:
Mark 14:17–19 NIV
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?”
So they are having this meal in the evening where they are remembering and celebrating their deliverance
And if you celebrate a holiday with your family you can probably picture this very comfortable environment, but Jesus says something really shocking
He looks at these disciples who have been following Him and He says “One of you will betray me”
And He says the person that is betraying me is reclining at this table.
And I want to pause here because this tells us a lot about who Jesus us.
Because Jesus is a person who reclines with someone even if they betray Him and are considered the enemy.
And this is drastic. I mean I want you to picture a person that really gets under your skin.
I mean this person is your enemy
They said the hurtful comment
They wronged you
They view you as less then them
Are you starting to get angry?!
And then magnify that person by 100, because we learn that the person who betrays Jesus does it for money and gets Him killed
Now I want you to imagine having that person over for Thanksgiving dinner and sitting around a table with that person.
You would probably say NO! There is no way I am going to do that!
But heres the thing because the radical thing is Jesus has the person who betrays Him reclining at the table with Him.
And its really interesting in this story because in this Story each disciple goes up to Jesus and says “Jesus its not me is it”
And this is interesting because a lot of Scholars believe that each disciple is not just genuinely asking, but their in part trying to get Jesus to say they are a good person.
And its kind of odd because you can picture everyone going who is it, but Jesus doesn’t actually say who it is,
And there is a point here, because I think our natural disposition, especially if we consider ourselves as a good person is to say “I would never do that!”
I am a good person I would never get caught in addiction
I have grown up in church I would never cheat on my spouse
I have my life together I would never steal even ia small amount.
But heres the thing we need to understand that no one (including ourselves are above sin)
in fact when we say there is no way that could happen in my life there is a good chance we are opening up a place for sin to enter.
I mean when I was a little kid I played soccer and all kids are not great at sports, but I was exceptionally bad.
But since at that young age none of the kids can actually make goals I am pretty sure they put me in goal, of the thought process of “well theres no way they can score”
Well I was pretty young but I remember being scored on…
But its because the team felt they did not need that great of a goalie,
And my concern is that in our lives we get to this point where we say there is no way that sin could creep into my life and so we leave those areas vulnerable.
And the big issue is when we do this and sin creeps in it can have destructive consequenses because we will often not notice it is there until its to late.
And I am not saying this to try and scare you, but I am saying this because there have been amazing leaders, amazing famlies, amazing job oppritunites
where sin crept into someones life and their world came crumbling down in ways that previusly they could have never imagined.
Please find ways to guard your lives from the things that can cause destruction.
Well lets look at this last part in verses 20-26 because it says this:
Mark 14:20–26 NIV
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.” 26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
So Jesus tells them that the person who is going to betray Him is the one that dips bread into this bowl with Him.
And you can picture the disciples all thinking who is it going to be?
But something that is so interesting is in other gospels that tell this story from a different point of view point out that He hands the bread to Judas, (signifying it is Judas) but then in this story and the others He continues to give the bread to each person.
Meaning that probably each person around this table would end up falling short or betraying Jesus
In fact we see that a lot of them run away as he is being crucified, one denies knowing Him and almost of them find ways where they fall short.
And it would be easy to look at Jesus handing the bread out and go wow I di not want to be the person that Jesus hands the bread to because that means you are in trouble. You are getting condemned right?
But the bread and the drink that Jesus was extending to them was not used to show condemnation, but it was used to show God’s grace.
Because with it being passover, Jesus is making a drastic statment here.
Because He is taking the bread which is what sustained the Isralites and He is taking the wine that represented the blood of the lamb.
And He is saying look you are going to be delivered, but its not going to be from the Eygptions, but its going to be from your sin.
And the blood of the lamb on your door frame is not the thing that will save you, but it will be the lamb of God and His blood that is on the cross.
And now instead of the life giving substance being the bread it is going to be the son of God.
And the beautiful thing is that Jesus goes around and extends this to each disciple around the table, but when He dies on the cross and is resurected He actually extends this invitation to us.
Where He says this is my body and blood shed for you on the cross.
And so today we are going to be recieving communion and this is a way that we remember the sacrafice that Jesus give each and every one of us.
Because the truth is each of us have somthing we need delivered from. Somthing that is making it so we can’t live a life to the full for Him.
And I dont know if there is a specific area that you need delivered, but here is the beautiful thing that God is extending His grace to you.
And so as we close we will be singing this song and I would invite you to come forward and receive the communion elements, and do not take them up here but take them back to where you are sitting
And maybe in one hand hold the communion elements and the other imagine you are holding that area that you know is out of step with God’s plans for your life.
What would it look like to allow God’s grace to come into this area, because the thing was about when the Isralties were freed from slavery is their was celebration.
And this morning I believe we can celebrate how God can move in your life.
Will you pray with me?
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