Mark 14:22-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus "took bread, blessed and broke it .. take, eat."
--"This is My body." The beginning of Holy Communion.
--It was His Last Supper, we keep in His remembrance.
--One His followers are blessed, to dine with Him.
We have all had memorable meals with our families.
--Get-to-gethers with friends, or special occasions.
--Special meals. Special places, and invitations.
--Ones we must never forget. I say this is the one.
When we get an invitation, we accept, if possible.
--We make it a point to go. Most of us would.
Well, we have such an invitation, of Jesus Himself.
--He invites, "Come and dine." The disciples came.
--They have come through the ages, and still, today.
--We have His invitation, from the Lord. His Word.
--To His house. The Lord's Supper. To worship Him.
--To share with Him. Let us come, if able, in joy.
The first invitation went out about 2000 years ago.
--All around the world, it is still being sent out.
--And blessed indeed are all those who respond.
"In the evening He came with the twelve" (v 17).
--At supper-time. To a large "upper room" prepared.
--It commenced with the Passover, Jesus fulfilled!
--To celebrate its meaning, of the "paschal lamb."
--It was the "first day of unleavened bread" (Mt. 26).
--A time of repentance, and confession of sins.
Jesus spoke some final messages, before His cross.
--Then, our Lord instituted His Holy Communion; that is, the Lord's Supper, that He asks us to keep.
Who were these there with Jesus? His chosen ones.
--Those He had called to "Follow Me," and serve Him.
--They were all kinds of people, all walks of life.
--Had been with Jesus those three and a half years.
--Now Jesus was to leave them, for a cross of death.
--They still had much spiritual growing up to do.
--Some had been quarreling, and sought top spots.
It took Jesus, a supper and a cross, to mature them.
--Jesus washed their feet. Gave final wise counsels.
--He said, "One of you ... will betray Me" (v 18).
--They began to ask, one by one, "Is it I?"
--It is always good to search our hearts, isn't it?
--Sometimes it takes a Supper with Jesus to change us.
No longer does man need to sacrifice lambs for sins!
--Jesus is "the Lamb of God Who takes sins away!"
--For over 1400 years, Passover lambs were required.
--Now, the world has a Savior, Jesus Christ. Risen!
--Instead of putting lamb's blood on their doors - in the form of a cross - we appropriate His sacrifice.
Back then, it was to be a "lamb without blemish."
--Jesus qualifies - He was without sin of any kind.
--He is God - holy, sinless - able to pay for ours!
It was a borrowed room, an Upper Room, for supper.
--Like it was a borrowed donkey Palm Sunday for Jesus.
--Like a borrowed boat, to teach and preach at Galilee.
--And a borrowed tomb, for Him to be buried for 3 days.
--What Jesus may borrow, He repays, many fold.
--In fact. as God, Jesus wants to "borrow" our life.
--He wants to live in us. Bless us. And save us.
--To be a blessing - to guide and provide - to all.
Our Maker and Provider of all things had little here.
We have been in that room many believe Jesus used.
--The building is stone. Stone steps cupped by wear.
--It has all the Biblical requirements. Very sacred.
--We have held services - of Scripture and prayers.
--One could feel the presence and power of the Lord!
You recall Judas was there for the Passover, but Judas was absent for the Lord's Supper; on his way to betray the Lord for "thirty pieces of silver."
After all Jesus had done, His feeding of the 5000 and the 4000, and His many miracles, messages and prayers, how could anyone betray, or deny, the Lord Jesus?
People get misled. Follow the crowd more than Christ.
--Go astray. And feed the body more than the soul.
--Yet, there is power - of God - in this holy Bread.
--In God's holy Word. And worship in the Spirit.
--Making a living is important, making a life more so!
We all have good intentions, but often get off track.
--Every Lord's Day is an opportunity to get back on.
Some get discouraged by neglect, and avoid worship.
--They feel uncomfortable to come to church, because they feel they have failed and sinned before God.
--God welcomes such! So do we! We all fail Him!
The Savior is for sinners. Church is where we grow.
--It is where we best find salvation and forgiveness.
--Find Jesus as Savior.. It is something like fishing.
--First, you catch the fish - you come to Christ.
--Then, you clean them up - after you catch them!
--That's the work of the Word, and Holy Spirit!
--Where we need the help of the Church, Bible Study!
"Born again" takes but a moment, to say yes to Jesus.
--Becoming Christ-like; loving, godly, takes time.
--A mushroom grows overnight. An oak takes decades.
Don't let some slip, some sin, keep us from His table.
--Come. Come now. Come, just as we are. To Jesus.
--In penitence. In humility. In consecration.
--Hungry for the Lord's cleansing, and enrichment.
--In faith, leave each Lord's Supper happy in Him!
Judas, bent on betraying Jesus, wasn't ready for the Supper, for he wasn't saved! He was not a believer.
--It is for believers. Who seek to "remember" Jesus.
--So Judas slipped out before supper, in darkness.
I am sad, earnestly pray, for people like that today.
--Those caught up in the allure of this world - know not God as Savior - and too busy to seek Him.
--Who know little, or less, about salvation in Jesus.
--Of why Jesus came that Christmas long ago, to save.
--Let's truly, fully know Him, as our Lord and God.
--Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." Obey.
Growing up, suppertime was when all at home could get together as a family. Many precious memories abound.
--I feel that way about the Lord's Supper.
It was just a simple ceremony. Jesus "took bread."
--Something as basic .. as common, or needed ..as the bread we eat. Think what it represents, of Jesus.
--Grains of wheat; grown, threshed, ground, sifted.
--Then put into a fired oven, to become life-giving.
--All this, we see, pictures suffering, of the Savior.
Jesus "blessed and broke it." What did Jesus bless?
--Usually one thinks it was just the bread so blessed.
--Or, He blessed the disciples. Yes, both of these.
--But Jesus also, in Jewish prayers, He blessed God!
--Jews still pray at meals, as I have heard them, do.
--What is this ancient prayer? "Blessed be Thou, our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread out of the earth .. Creator of the fruit of the vine."
--God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
--We are to bless God! Give Him praise and thanks.
The Psalmist wrote, "Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord 0 my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps. 103).
This is unleavened bread; it had to be broken to eat.
--Like unto our Lord. Jesus was broken - in heart.
--Broken, for being rejected, denied, or disbelieved.
--By those who don't return Jesus' merciful love.
It may be you feel broken, in heart. Sad. Lonely.
--We all do, at times. Jesus is the place to come.
--Come to His table. His Supper. Humbly at His feet.
--It is when we are broken - yielded to Him - that God can comfort, counsel, and change us for the better.
Then, Jesus "took the cup, gave thanks, and He gave it to them, and they all drank from it" (v 23).
--No devout Jew ate, anywhere, without thanking God!
--It was that way growing up, and in our own home.
--Each meal began in a prayer of thanks to the Lord.
If the Apostle's needed that Supper, so do we. Come.
--It is for you!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 868