Five Greek Words
Five Greek Words
Matthew 26 26-30 “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
Introduce self, Set Timer, Pray
Wrapping up Kingdom Series.
We’re looking at the final moments of Jesus life. One of the last things he did before he was arrested and went to the cross was to take the passover meal with his disciples
-He instituted what we call the Lord’s supper.
-We take the Lord’s supper every single week here at ACC.
I would argue that the Lord’s supper is the Core component of what a Church Gathering is.
And these final chapters of Matthew are what this meal commemorates.
And so today, rather than going verse by verse through the last three chapters of Matthew I want us to look at the final moments of Jesus’ life through the lens of His last meal.
I want us to pay careful attention to what Jesus says and does during the Last supper. And hopefully we can have a better appreceation of it. Hopefully we can have a better appreciation of the richness of it, and how we should approach the Lord’s supper.
And we’re going to do that by learning 5 new words. We’re going to learn 5 new words relating to the Lord’s supper.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.”
When we take the bread and the cup, we should have a sense of gratitude in our hearts.
Not just for the good things in our life. Think about what Jesus was giving thanks for. He was about to be arrested and beatien and crucified. That’s what this bread represented. And yet he gave “Thanks” for it.
A big component of Gratitude is recognizing God’s will for your life, and submitting to it.
in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Giving thanks is God’s will for you. And giving thanks means we submit to his will.
Examples of Jesus Submitting to God’s will
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people met together in the palace of the high priest, who was named Caiaphas. They planned to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”
Jesus is fully aware of the suffering he’s about to go through. It doesn’t take him by surprise and he goes through with it anyway.
Shortly after that Judas, one of his own disciples makes plans to betray him.
When it was evening, he took his place at the table with the twelve. And while they were eating he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” They became greatly distressed and each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus replied, “You have said it yourself.”
Jesus knows full well what Judas has done. And he wants to make it clear to Judas that he knows. Lest anyone think that his crucifixion was simply a tragic cosmic mistake. Judas isn’t pulling one over on Jesus, he isn’t tricking Jesus. Jesus is acknowledging his purpose with eyes wide open.
Notice how Jesus doesn’t just say “By the way everyone, Judas is going to betray me.
He doesn’t want to alert the other disciples. He knows that if he just calls out Judas the other 11 are going to try and stop Judas. Jesus needs away to let Judas know without letting all of the disciples know. And he says one of you is going to betray me? Who is it?
It’s the one who dips his hand in the bowl. Everyone dipped their hand in the bowl. So it’s really a cryptic message. Even John’s account it’s a lot more direct, Jesus says it’s the one who takes the bread, and then he hands the bread directly to Judas, but in John 13:28 It says nobody understood what Jesus was talking about. They all thought Jesus was telling Judas to go buy some stuff or something.
The more important thing is the fact that Jesus is acknowledging their free will. Judas could have backed out. He hadn’t delivered Jesus over yet. He still had opportunity to back out. Jesus is acknowledging the fact that one of his disciples was going to betray him. This is God’s will, not Judas’ will. And if judas would have chickened out, it would have been someone else.
Grattitude looks like giving in completely to God’s will.
How do we know what God’s will for us is? Jesus prays in the garden, if there’s any other way, take this cup of suffering from me. In other words, Jesus’ will. Jesus desire was to find another way that didn’t involve the cross But he submits, he says but not your will, but mine.
We know what God’s will is by the things that happen to us in our life.
But I think the biggest way we know God’s will for us comes in 26:24 Matthew 26:24 The son of man will go “As it is written about him” Jesus didn’t just have a feeling that he had to die on the cross. He didn’t just have a deep heartfelt emotion that he had to go to the cross. He relied on god’s written word. We can not submit to God’s will based on feelings or emotions, or even logic and reasoning. We have to rely on his word. IF it doesn’t line up with God’s word, it’s not his will.
Submitting to God’s will, being Content with God’s will, is the ultimate form of Grattitude.
This is my body
When we take the Lord’s supper, we almost always read from luke or 1 Corinthians. We tend to gravitate toward those two readings. This is a bias we have.
Some Christians, namely the Catholic Chruch, Orthodox churches, and even some protestant churches understand the bread and the wine to literally be christ’s body. That there’s some sort of supernatural thing that happens that it’s acutally real literal body of Jesus.
I don’t read it that way, to me it seems painfully clear that it’s a metaphor. In the same way that we talk about the church as the body of Christ, i think it’s a metaphor.
However historically there has been such a strong push for christians who think it’s a metaphor distance themselves from christians who think it’s not a metaphor, we gravitate toward the readings that include “do this in remembrance of me”
It’s almost like we really hone in on the remambrance part of the verse because we want to make chrystal clear to everyone that we’re not like those christians who hold this view. We almost dwell on it.
It’s not a conscious thing, it’s just honestly a tradition that has arisien historically, to distance ourselves from that view.
The catholics and the protestants broke up like 500 years ago, I think we can move past that. When we ONLY focus on the remembrance aspect we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
Matthew was there when Jesus broke the bread. Matthew remembered Jesus saying do this in remembrance of me. Look what matthew left out.
IF JESUS would have said “take and eat, this is a metaphorical representation of my body, please don’t take it literally, make sure you always mention that it’s a remembrance thing” ---That take the impact out of the words doesn;t it.
Everyone at the table understood it, nobody debated about it. Jesus takes this bread and he snaps it in two, and says this, is my body. That’s an impact
It takes the suffering that jesus went through and it puts it right there in your hand. We can remember Jesus without taking this bread, but when we have a physical tangible thing, it makes that connection so much more real
The thing that we are both remembering, and also identifying ourselves with, and in some ways participating with Jesus in is his suffering. His broken body.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s residence and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe around him, and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, and kneeling down before him, they mocked him: “Hail, king of the Jews!” They spat on him and took the staff and struck him repeatedly on the head. When they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Remember how the book of matthew started? This is the genesis of Jesus, son of david, son of abraham. This is the king. The book started out with images of mighty king david, in the palace. A warrior king defeating the cananites, returning the ark of the covenant, defeating goliath and the philistines.
Look at our king now. It’s a mockery of his kingship.
Jesus was the rightful heir to a kingship on earth. Full of earthly glory, and wealth and riches, and earthly power. And instead he chose ridicule. Suffering, mocking, dying at the hands of gentiles. What kind of king of israel is that? He’s the suffering king.
And that word pascho, which means suffering. There’s a really powerful play on words that comes in the book of luke. The word for suffering is “pascho” the word for passover, which is the meal they were commemeration is “pascha”
Jesus says “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer”
When you read it in the original language jesus says “I’ve earnestly desired to eat the pascha before I pascho
Jesus is intimately linking his suffering with the passover.
Just like the isrealites were enslaved to pharaoh, we are enslaved in our sins. And it’s through the suffering that he endured that we are delivered.
This is his body. This is his suffering. We are all participants in that .
A lot of times what I will do when I take the bread is that I’ll hold the bread in my hand and I’ll break it.
I do this to remind myself that it was my sins that caused him to suffer. I might not have been Judas. I might not have been the roman soldier who was actually put the nails in. But that doesn’t matter. My sins are the reason he needed to suffer. I broke his body.
We all did.
“Drink from it ‘All of You’ Jesus is very specific when he says all of you. He didn’t have to add the words “all of you” it’s redundant. If you hand 12 people a cup and say “drink from it” it’s not neccecary to say “all of you” it’s implied from the context. But Jesus is clear to say it.
It’s a recognition that we are just as much intimately linked with one another as we are with God. Good and bad. In most english bibles it’s translated in multiple different english words
Sharing. Participation. Fellowhip. We are intimately linked in that way.
One of the most startling ways this word gets translated, comes out of 1st corinthians 10
Is not the blood of christ a “koinonia” in his blood. Is not the body a “koinonia” in his suffering.
The tragedy in Matthew 26-28 is the fact that after the lord’s supper the disciples were absolutely not in fellowship with Jesus.
Jesus gets arrested. And onnce the disciples realize that they aren’t going to fight their way out of it, what did they do? They all abandoned Jesus. In the time when he needed Koinonia the most, they left him.
Peter follows along at a distance. The rest of them are nowhere to be found.
Peter won’t even associate himself with Jesus. They’re like, hey your accent sounds galileean, we saw you hanging out with Jesus. and peter’s like “I don’t even know the guy”
The only thing the disciples were united together on was the fact that they all deserted Jesus.
This Koinonia thing, this fellowship, this unity, includes both our vertical relationship and communiion with God, as well as our horizontal relationship and communion with each other.
I feel very strongly about the fact that I won’t take the bread and the cup alone. it’s a personal conviction of mine, I don’t think there’s a super strong biblical command. Just be aware of that, if you take the Lord’s supper alone, You are not beholden to my personal convctions But when I search through the passages that talk about the lord’s supper, there’s always an aspect of fellowship there.
In the age of the internet and livestreams, this idea that we are together virtually over the airwaves has caused me to really ponder on that idea, and what it really means to be together.
But nevertheless throughout hte bible the Lord’s supper and communion, fellowship with one another always seem to go hand in hand.
In that passage in 1 Cor 10, the very next verse after it says we are koinonia with Jesus and his body and blood says, “because there is one bread, we who are many are one body. for we all share the one bread”
What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
The way john talks about it he almost blurs the lines between our fellowship with God and our fellowship with each other.
John kind of makes it seem like it’s really hard to tell where one koinonia stops where the next begins.
the word covenant is a very strong one. I’ve talked up here before about this idea of covenant.
The idea is that covenant is a contract. Just like if you rent a house you sign a covenant with your landlord. It’s a contract, an agreement. that’s one way to think about covenant
And in greek literature outside of the bible, that’s how the word is used. In a very legal sense. A lot of times you’ll see it translated as “testament” that’s where our words New and Old Testament come from. and the word was used to describe a last will and testament. It was legal speak.
And I think that’s an ok way to think about covenant, to help us to understand it. At the same time it really is an injustice to the word the way it’s used in the bible. It’s not really a strong enough comparison
the fact that we’re making a diatheke with the almighty everlasting creator of the universe....that puts it on an entirely differnt level than a lease agreement with your landlord.
The ideas and concepts are the same, but the intensity of the word in that context is not even comporable
The people of israel were defined by covenant. It wasn’t just a deal they made that they could back out of, it was the entire purpose. If it weren’t for the covenants that God made with Israel, there woud be no israel.
God made all of these covenants with Israel, probably most famous one is the covenant he made with them on mount sinai when he gave them the law.
And now, if you will diligently listen to me and keep my covenant, then you will be my special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is mine, and you will be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you will speak to the Israelites.”
God initiates this covenant through the shedding of the blood of the lamb, and ratifies it by giving them the law.
But it didn’t work. The israelites didn’t hold up their end of the diatheke.
So god promised that there would be a new covenant, an eternal covenant. A covenant that didn’t depend on our ability to keep the law.
“Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” says the Lord. “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people. “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
Just like the covenant in the book of exodus, the new diatheke, is initiated by Christ’s blood. and it’s ratified by God placing the law in our hearts
A lot of times I will approach the lord’s table from the standpoint of Covenant renewal. I am declaring my willingness to remain in his covenant. to be defined by his covenant.
Here’s the beautiful thing. The entire covenant is intiated and maintained by god. We don’t do anything besides agree to be in it.
We don’t initiate the covenant, we don’t set the terms, we don’t have to pray a certain prayer, or do a certain action, or make up for a sin. We’re in the covenant
Even our baptism, which the bible teaches that our baptism is the intial entry point into the covenant, it’s the way the bible prescribes that we enter into this saving relaitonship with god, Even that is a passive action. It’s not something you do. It’s something that is done to you. That’s why you can’t baptize yourself.
All you do when you declare your renewal of the covenanant is say yes.
God says do you want to be a part of my kingdom? I’m going to send my son, he’s going to be obedient, he’s going to die and suffer, he’s going to pay the price of your sins, he’s going to give you the gift of baptism, he’s going to give you the gift of the holy spirit. He’s going to place the law in your heart, he’s going to give you the church a group of like minded people who will be your new familiy. he’s going to transform you into the likeness of his son, and He’s going to give you eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. God’s covenant says he’s going to do all that. That’s his kingdom. Are you in or are you out?
Matthew 26:29 I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom.
I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
We started off this series by talking about the fact that Jesus talks about the kingdom in the book of matthew more than any other book. More than all of Paul’s letters combined.
In verse 29 is the last time in the entire book that the word kingdom is used.
Jesus is pointing forward to eternity
as citizens of the kinngdom, we have ahope that we hold on to, a promise that one day we will have the privilege of joining with the king around the table, and feasting with him
as the angels surround him, and crying out, holy holy holy. worthy is the lamb who was slain.
how good is it going to be to be able to sit at thst table with him.
I’d be willing to sit at the feet of the table and just eat the scraps
the beautiful part about God’s kingdom is thst we’re already in it. we dont have to wait until the fullness of God’s kingdom to enjoy the honor of being able to sit at the feet of Jesus
make no mistake the kingdom of heaven isn’t just near. its here. we’re in this state of waiting, the fullness of the kingdom hasnt come yet, but at the same time its already here.
jesus, fully aware of what he was doing, fully in submission to the will of his father, allowed himself to be arrested, he stood trial without ever once trying to defend himself, and Was beaten, and mocked, and crucified.
as he gave up his last breath, the curtain at the temple tore in two from top to bottom, and dead people started getting up out of their graves.
and the women went to go seehim but henwasnt there. he had overcome the power of death and sin, the power of thesatan, the king of this world.
our king has already won.
and now all that’s left for us to do is to serve in his kingdom .
our job is to go out in our communities and tell people the good news of his kingdom. to initiate them into His kingdom through baptism, to grow in knowledge and understanding and obedience, and to teach others to do the same, and he’s with his followers always. hes always with his disciples, to thend of the age.
I think when Jesus says he wont drink of the fruit of the vine from now until his father’s kingdom, i think that hes pointing forward to the eternal kingdom in heaven, but i think he was also pointing to right now, and last sunday, and next sunday, and every singlentime we gather together and take the Lord’s supper
we declare our gratitude, eucharistos,
we proclaim the pascho, the suffering he went through to institute this kingdom
koinonia, the fellowship and participation and communion we have with God and with each other
diatheke, the covenant that God hss so graciously offered to us
basileia, christ’s kingdom. and the almighty king who gave himself up, who put himself last, and is seated on the right hand of the father in heaven.
this is so much more than just a cracker and juice. its so much more than just a couple seconds we take to think about Jesus. this bread and thiscup is everything.