The Lord’s Supper Part 2 by Matthew Howden

Matthew Howden

Introduction

In our last study in this series on the Lord’s Supper we took an introductory look at the Christian practice of communion. We also contrasted it with the practice of baptism and learned how each are important sacraments and pictures of biblical truths.

In this second lesson, we’re going to learn about how communion was passed down to us by the Israelites, and Jesus through the Passover meal. We’ll also understand how God is a God of fine details.

12) And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

13) And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

14) And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

15) And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

16) And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.Mark 14:12-16 (KJV)

The Passover Meal

In this passage Jesus and His disciples were entering the city of Jerusalem. Throughout Mark Jerusalem has been a place where Jesus challenged the religious leaders of His time.

By this point the religious had questioned Jesus, he had ridden into the city on a colt and he had cleansed the temple. Now He is entering the city again, but this time it is for a meal.

Verse 12 mentions “when they killed the passover.” This means that they had sacrificed the Passover lamb as part of the meal they were going to have, which is thus called the Passover meal.“The purpose of the Passover meal was to point forward to the one who was going to come and be the Passover lamb – Jesus Christ.”

This meal goes back to when God’s people lived in Egypt. It was a signal that God was going to bring them out of there and free them from slavery to the Egyptians.

The background of the Passover meal is found in a book called Exodus, the second book of the Bible, which tells the story of how God brought His people out of Egypt.

God used ten plagues to bring His people out – the last one being the death of the firstborn.

But God made a way for His people to be saved from that last plague, that is, if they would obey His commands.

God’s command to them was that each family would have to get a lamb without blemish and kill it and then take its blood and paint it on the two doorposts of their home.

They were also commanded to make bread without yeast (unleavened bread) and they needed to be ready to move when God said it was time to go. We see this account in full here:

11) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.

12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.Exodus 12:11-14 (KJV)

Fast forward to the Gospel of Mark and we see that Jesus and His followers are still having the Passover meal. They are following a tradition that has been passed down for generations.

The purpose of the Passover meal was to point forward to the one who was going to come and be the Passover lamb – Jesus Christ.“Jesus was without blemish. His blood would be shed but it would not go on the doorposts, rather it would flow down from the cross.”

Jesus was without blemish. His blood would be shed but it would not go on the doorposts, rather it would flow down from the cross.

Just as the blood on the doorposts would cover the people when death came, and protect them, Jesus’ blood gives the same guarantee to all who trust and believe in him as savior.

When we put our trust in Jesus as our savior we are covered by His blood. We will die one day but we no longer have to fear death, for we know we are going to be with Him forever.

The Passover meal has always been about Jesus.

God of Details 

The disciples knew that there was much that needed to be prepared for the Passover meal. For instance:

1. A lamb 
2. Unleavened bread
3. Bowl of saltwater
4. Collection of bitter herbs
5. Paste
6. Four cups of wine:[1]

  • The Cup of Sanctification – “I will bring you out”
  • The Cup of Deliverance/Plagues/Judgment – “I will deliver you”
  • The Cup of Redemption/Blessing – “I will redeem you”
  • The Cup of Praise/Hope/Kingdom/Salvation/Restoration – “I will take you for My people”

The disciples, realizing they’ll need somewhere to prepare everything for the meal, ask:

12) And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?Mark 14:12 (KJV)

The disciples wanted to know from Jesus where they were going to have the meal. And when the disciples say “where wilt thou” it tells us that Jesus is going to be leading them through each section of the Passover meal.

Jesus then gives the details about what to look for. He sent two of His disciples and said to them:

13) And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

14) And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

15) And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

16) And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.Mark 14:13-16 (KJV)

Jesus cares about small details. He knew they would need to be able to find the meal just as He would tell them or else they would not know what to look for. There was also great detail involved in setting the stage for the meal in the upper room.

This was not the first time He told His disciples to go into the city and to find something specific.“Jesus told them to look for a man carrying a jar. This speaks to God’s all-knowing nature and to his caring for the smallest of details.”

Back in Mark 11, Jesus sent two disciples to go and get a colt and they found it just as Jesus said. (Mk. 11:2)

And now here again two are sent into the city and they see a man carrying the jar. Jesus told them to look for a man carrying a jar.

This speaks to God’s all-knowing nature and to his caring for the smallest of details. It is significant because during the season of Passover the city would have been filled with people.

It would be similar to a major event that is happening in your city where lots of people are gathering in one place. Imagine being tasked with having to find one single person in similar circumstances! It would be quite daunting.

But why did Jesus want them to find a man carrying a jar? Because such a person would have been easier to spot. During Jesus’ era women normally carried jars around, but this man would stand out and would be easy not only to spot, but also for the disciples to follow.“We see in this that the Bible is fully interconnected. It is all about Jesus, and the Passover meal stood as the passed down tradition through which we would be taught communion.”

Eventually, the disciples arrived at the place and found it just as Jesus had said. The man then showed them to the upper room which was simply a room located at the top of the house.

Moreover, it was furnished and ready for them to use since people living in the city of Jerusalem would allow visitors to use their upper rooms for hosting Passover meals.

17) And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.Mark 14:17 (KJV)
Here Mark mentions about Jesus entering the city in the evening. Jesus did this knowing that the religious leaders were looking to arrest him, but it did not matter, he wanted to have time with his disciples before his death. It was a significant moment in God’s plan.

So, the stage was set – the meal would take place at night. Jesus and his followers had arrived, and Jesus would lead them through the meal.

We see in this that the Bible is fully interconnected. It is all about Jesus, and the Passover meal stood as the passed down tradition through which we would be taught communion.

We also see the care that Jesus went through to teach us about communion and to bring about the lesson in the upper room through his careful handling of all of the details surrounding it.

Conclusion – The Table is Set

In this lesson we continued our study on the Lord’s Supper. We saw how the practice of communion was passed down to us by Jesus through the lineage of the Passover meal, and how God is a God of details – there was great detail involved in setting the stage for the meal in the upper room.

At the end of our passage for today’s lesson we find Jesus and His disciples seated at the table, but there is a cloud hovering over the scene – Jesus’s heart is heavy, and he wants to tell them something important.

In our next lesson we will examine Jesus’s teaching on communion, and its implications for Christians today.

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Sources

[1] Chabad.org, What is the significance of the four cups of wine?

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