The Passover Celebration Fulfilled

July 16, 2023

Series: Morning Worship

Book: Mark

Audio Download

Scripture: Mark 14:17-26

Well, take your bible, if you will, and turn to the Gospel of Mark. Chapter 14. As we continue this morning in Mark, Chapter 14, Mark has changed his focus from Jesus pronouncing judgment on Israel for rejecting him as their Messiah and Lord and Savior to Jesus Christ. Sacrificial death on the cross to pay the price demanded by God for the sins of all who would believe in Him.
Now, to introduce this final section, Mark lists for us the major players in the story of the cross. And I have emphasized and will again emphasize this morning, because Mark wants us to remember that every moment of Jesus Christ’s life and His death, all of the details are under the sovereign control of God. He does not want us to think for a moment that Jesus Christ was some unwitting victim, that He was trapped, couldn’t help Himself and then killed. Now it’s all under the control of God. Jesus is no victim of the Jews. He’s no victim of Rome. This is all a part of the sovereign plan of God, and we saw that in that opening phrase of verse one.
Now, the Passover and unleavened bread were two days away. That’s a very important time reference. In other words, in eternity past, God ordained that Israel would serve under the oppression of Egypt due to their rebellion and disobedience. He ordained that he would deliver Israel from Egypt and that deliverance would be remembered in a celebration called Passover, combined with the feast of unleavened bread, put in place to remind Israel on an annual basis that their God was delivering God. Every year on the 14th day of the Jewish month, NISAN, in late March or early April, Israel was to celebrate that God had sovereignly delivered them from their enemy.
Now, the greatest enemy Israel needed deliverance from was the penalty of their sin. The penalty of their sin was any eternity in hell. And so every single year they had to sacrifice an innocent, spotless lamb to pay for their sins. That sacrifice was a picture, an illustration of the one perfect, sinless final sacrifice whom they longed would come to pay for their sins, once for all time, by dying in their place to pay the penalty for sin as demanded by God. And who is the only one who could offer up that perfect, sinless, spotless final sacrifice? Jesus Christ.
In other words, from eternity past, it was the plan of God that Jesus would give up His life at this specific pass over celebration as the fulfillment of the picture of deliverance, when He would provide the way for sinful man to be delivered from the eternal penalty of his sin.
Think of all of the times. Frankly, almost every single day of His time on Earth that His enemies wanted to kill Jesus, but could not. From the moment He was born, when King Herod tried to have Him killed in his slaughter of all the male babies, age two and younger, up until his final time of clearing out the temple at the end of his ministry, His enemies were always seeking to kill him. And the only thing that prevented them was the divine timing of God set in motion from eternity past. Jesus was to lay down His life on this Passover as the perfect, spotless, sinless lamb of God. No one could take His life because He was God incarnate, but he would lay it down. And right at the exact moment in the exact place God determined in eternity, past.
Now there’s a second group that serve as tools in the hands of God is God uses them to accomplish the perfect will of God right on schedule. And that’s the spiritually dead evil leaders. The spiritually dead leaders knew that given the people’s support of Jesus on Tuesday, when He rode into Jerusalem with 2 million Jews in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, they knew that was the worst time to go after Jesus. It could cost them their position with Rome. They should wait, they said. But that was not the sovereign plan of God is determined by God in eternity past. God’s plan was that that sinless, spotless, perfect lamb of God lay down His life as the final Passover lamb in two days, while tens of thousands of lambs would be killed, all picturing the one final LAMB of God, Jesus Christ.
We then looked at Mark’s third person, ordained by God to help highlight God’s sovereignty in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. Here we looked at the sacrificial friend. Mark reflects, he reflects back a week earlier on that Saturday night when Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, the woman who had demonstrated such spiritual insight earlier. She anointed Jesus’s head with very costly perfume.
Then Mark points out another key enemy that impacts these final days before the cross. This is the scheming enemy. Judas, in response to Mary’s great display of love, argues that this was a great waste of money. He immediately leaves the home to negotiate a deal with the religious leaders to betray Jesus into their hands. He then spends the rest of Passion week with Jesus, looking for just the right opportunity to betray Him.
Mark then lists the final people that God uses to set up the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and that’s the subservient disciples. Verse 12. On the first day of unleavened bread when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed. That is a time reference telling us that it is now early Thursday morning. Verse 12. And by the way, all the way through this from verse one through 12, through this entire section, we have time reference after time reference after time reference, all reminding us that this is all on God’s time table. It’s all taking place exactly as God ordained and orchestrated from eternity past. This time reference tells us that it’s now early Thursday morning. His disciples said to him, Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover? Well, Jesus cannot announce his plans to all of the disciples or Judas would tell the religious leaders, and they would stop Jesus from celebrating the Passover.
And so, according to Luke 22, verse eight, Jesus tells just two of his men, Peter and John, His secret plans. They are to look for a man amongst the 2 million in Jerusalem who will be carrying a pitcher of water. This was unique in that only women and slaves carried water. And so again, we see God’s sovereignty on display. God leads them to the man carrying the water who leads them to the owner of the upper room. The owner, a believer in Jesus Christ, allows them to prepare for their Passover celebration that Thursday night. In the sovereignty of God, these two faithful disciples, despite the obscurity of the command, faithfully carry out Jesus’s wishes without a question.
What should they do to prepare the Passover meal? Well, the necessary preparations for the Passover meal included taking the lamb to the temple to be sacrificed, keeping part of the roasted meat to eat later that evening, obtaining other ingredients required for the feast, including unleavened bread, wine and bitter herbs.
Now, here’s what Jesus knows that none of the other 12, none of the 12, including Peter and John know, while they are preparing for their Passover celebration. Jesus knows that He is going to take what will be the final Passover celebration and turn it into a celebration of His dying being buried as the evidence of His death and being raised from the dead as the final Passover lamb.
For almost 1500 years, the Jews had celebrated God’s temporal deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The Lord’s Table celebration would celebrate a far more significant deliverance. The deliverance from the power and eternal penalty of one’s sins by virtue of the death, burial and resurrection of the one final, perfect, unblemished lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
And so this is the last legitimate Passover celebration, because Jesus is going to transform this celebration into a celebration of the Lord’s table.
Jesus will take the unleavened bread, which once spoke of Egypt, but will now speak of His body. He will take the wine, which one spoke of deliverance from Egypt, but now refers to His blood. And with that, the transformation of Passover into the Lord’s table will be complete. No Passover celebration since then is legitimate. The Lord’s table is the new symbol. It was never God’s intention that we celebrate to remember His deliverance of Israel in Egypt as the greatest act of deliverance. What he wants us to remember, what He instructs us to remember is His death, which made deliverance from sin possible. That’s the greatest deliverance of all.
One last little detail here, and don’t miss it, because Passover was instituted by God Himself. If it is now to be eliminated, it must be eliminated by God. Not just anyone can shut it down. Nor can just anyone inaugurate the new memorial that we know as the Lord’s table or communion. God alone must do this. So get this. What was celebrated as a picture of the reality to come, a symbol of the reality to come, not one of those millions of innocent lambs and animals slain could permanently pay for the sins of man. Not one of them could atone for sin.
Jesus would now end and institute a new celebrate vision of the reality. And so this is the final act that Jesus has to accomplish before laying down His life. He is going to take some elements of the Passover celebration and redefine them as elements of His communion table.
Now, let’s look at how this plays out. Follow along as I read our passage for this morning, beginning in verse 17 of Chapter 14. When it was evening, He came with the 12, Jesus came with the 12 as they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, Truly, I say to you that one of you will betray Me, one who is eating with Me. They began to be grieved and say to Him one by one, surely not I. And He said to them, it is one of the 12, one who dips with me in the bowl. For the son of man is to go, just as it is written of Him. But woe to that man, by whom the son of man is betrayed. It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. While they were eating, He took some bread and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to them and said, Take it. This is My body. And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them and they all drank from it. And He said to them, This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Here’s our outline. Very simple. The final Passover, the first Communion. The final Passover, the first Communion.
Now look at verse 17, verse 17, when it was evening He came with the 12. Now, Mark tells us here that it is Thursday evening when Jesus, with the remaining ten disciples, meet up with Peter and John in the upper room where the two had prepared the Passover meal.
Now, key to the sovereign timing of God’s plan, Jesus is to lay down His life at the very same moment the Passover lambs were being killed. The question then is how could Jesus celebrate the Passover on Thursday night, when the Passover lambs were killed on Friday? Now, that question comes from a seeming contradiction between Matthew’s account, Mark’s account, and Luke’s account, which all say the same thing that the Last Supper was a Passover meal. And John, chapter 18, verse 28, John 18, verse 28, tells us that the Jewish leaders led Jesus from Caiaphas into the praetorium. And it was early Friday morning, the day of the crucifixion. And they themselves did not enter into the praetorium so that they would not be defiled but might be able to eat the Passover.
Listen to MacArthur’s words from his commentary on John’s gospel. He says an apparent discrepancy exists at this point between John’s chronology and that of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Further, according to John, 19:14 Jesus’s trial and crucifixion took place on the day of preparation for the Passover. Not the day after the eating of the Passover meal. Thus, John tells us that the Lord was crucified at the same time that the Passover lambs were being killed.
The challenge then is to explain how Jesus and the disciples could have eaten the Passover meal on Thursday evening if the Jewish leaders had not yet eaten it on Friday morning. The answer lies in understanding that the Jews had two different methods of reckoning days.
This is fascinating. It appears we have a mistake in the Bible. No. A little history survey tells you that’s not the case. Ancient Jewish sources suggest that Jews from the Northern part of Israel, including Galilee, where Jesus and most of the 12 were from, counted days from sunrise to sunrise. Most of the Pharisees apparently also used that method. On the other hand, the Jews in the southern region of Israel, Judea, where the religious leaders were, counted days from sunset to sunset, that would include the Sadducees, who of necessity, lived in the vicinity of Jerusalem because of their connection with the temple. Though no doubt confusing at times, that dual method of reckoning days would have practical benefits at Passover, allowing the feast to be celebrated on two consecutive days. That would have eased the crowded conditions in Jerusalem, especially in the Temple where all the lambs would not have had to be killed on the same day.
Thus, there is no contradiction between John’s gospel and the Synaptics. Being Galilean, Jesus and the 12 would have viewed Passover day as running from sunrise on Thursday to sunrise on Friday. They would have eaten their Passover meal on Thursday evening. The Jewish leaders, the Sadducees, however, would have viewed it as beginning at sunset on Thursday and ending at sunset on Friday. They would have eaten their Passover meal on Friday evening. To say it all another way, why the discrepancy in timing of this final Passover meal? In first century Israel the Passover meal was regularly eaten on two evenings. Those from Galilee observed it on Thursday evening, while those from Judea celebrated it on Friday. Consequently, Jesus was able to eat the Passover with his disciples on Thursday night because they were from Galilee and still die at the Passover lamb On Friday afternoon. That gives us the time for those illegal, unjust trials to take place.
So here in Mark 14,:17, when it was evening, that’s Thursday evening, He, Jesus, came with the 12. They came with the 12. Jesus came with the 12 to the upper room where Peter and John had prepared the Passover meal for them to eat.
The eating of the meal would have been sometime after sunset Thursday and ending sometime before midnight by virtue of Mosaic law,  Exodus 12:8-14.
You’ll remember that Jesus had kept the location between Himself and Peter and John private. The implication being that Jesus led the other ten to the place chosen by God in eternity past. Judas had come back from negotiating with the religious leaders, that past Saturday night, you’ll remember he had been with Jesus throughout Passion week, up until this point.
As I told you, Jesus had one final task before His death, burial and resurrection to complete this picture. The Passover had foreshadowed from the night God delivered Israel from Egypt. It has been pointing forward all of these centuries. This is clear from Luke 22:15 where Jesus says, I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
Now, why does this matter? Well, Jesus needs to complete the Passover picture, and then He will give them some final words of encouragement they desperately need to hear in the hours before the cross. Verse 18, as they were reclining at the table and eating. We talked about this last week. This was the common posture at a formal meal. They would recline on their left sides on cots, their heads at the lowered table, their feet positioned away from the table. Now, you might remember that the first Passover meal was celebrated with the Jews who were packed and ready at any moment to run out of Egypt. You’ll remember. But over the years, it had turned into a longer event, taking several hours to complete following the example that Jesus sets in this final celebration of Passover.
So we’re going to see during this final celebration, the two were together. The 12, I should say, were together long enough for Jesus to wash the disciples feet, for Jesus to confront Judas Iscariot, for them to eat the Passover meal, for him to institute the Lord’s table, and then to prepare the 11 of the 12 for the hours in the days ahead. We see that in John’s chapter 13, 14, 15 and 16. All that took place during this final Passover celebration.
Now, there were several aspects or stages of the Passover celebration. The feast began with a prayer of Thanksgiving. It was a prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s deliverance and protection and goodness. The opening prayer then was followed by the first of four cups of diluted red wine. Four cups. Then came a ceremonial washing of the hands, signifying the need for holiness and cleansing from sin. That’s interesting. That had been a part of the Passover celebration all along. That’s why Israel was always waiting for that final Passover lamb.
MacArthur’s and most other commentators write the same thing. It was probably at this point in the meal, at the very moment, they should have been focused on their sinfulness that the 12 were debating who among them was the greatest.
You’ll remember Jesus at this point responds by washing their feet and teaching them an unforgettable lesson about humility. The hand washing ceremony was followed by the eating of bitter herbs that symbolized the harsh bondage and affliction the Hebrew people had endured while they were enslaved in Egypt. Along with the bitter herbs, the loaves of flatbread would also be broken and distributed and dipped into a thick paste made from ground fruit and nuts. The eating of the bitter herbs was following by the singing of the first two Psalms of the Hallel and then the drinking of the second cup of wine, diluted wine. The Hallel Psalms 113 through 118 consisted of hymns of praise. The word Hallel is the word from which we get the term Hallelujah, meaning Praise the Lord. At this point, the head of the household would explain to them the meaning of Passover. Next, a roasted lamb and unleavened bread would be served. After washing his hands again. The head of the household would distribute the pieces of the bread to be eaten with the sacrificial lamb. When the main course was completed, a third cup of wine would be received. To complete the traditional ceremony, the participants would sing the rest of the Hallel Psalms 115 through 118. And then finally they would drink the fourth cup of wine.
Now, at some point in this Passover, celebration Jesus begins to talk about the one who is going to betray Him into the hands of the religious leaders. Look at verse 18, as they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, Truly, I say to you, listen to this, that one of you will betray Me, one who is eating with Me.
The word betray comes from a Greek word meaning to give over, to hand over. It was often used to describe criminals being arrested or prisoners being delivered over to punishment. And so even though Jesus has told His men that He would die now for the very first time, He tells them how He would be handed over to the religious leaders to be killed.
Now, don’t miss the setting here. In that culture, to gather together for a meal was one of the most intimate things you could do with friends. It was a picture of friendship and unity and companionship. And so to gather together with your closest friends, to celebrate Passover and then to have your leader tell you that someone there was going to betray Him, one actually sitting there in their midst, that had to be one of the most shocking statements these men had ever heard.  In reality, this is unbelievable. Jesus being omniscient, knew who it was. The other 10 of the 11 did not. The words of Jesus shocked them. It was the last thing they would have ever expected Him to say, especially in that setting.
We’re talking about deliverance. And now You tell us one of us is going to deliver You over to the enemy. Certainly, we did not hear that right? Verse 19, they began to be grieved and say to Him one by one, Surely not I. They were grieved. How interesting that they looked first to themselves. That tells you how much trust they had in one another.
The word grieved tells us that they were extremely distressed. They were sorrowful. They were profoundly pained. Matthew 26:22 explains that they were deeply grieved. They were grieved to the core of their being, every one of them, but Judas. They had argued with Jesus about dying. But now, to hear that one of their brothers in this most intimate group would participate in His death, that was beyond comprehension.
And so each one of them, it says one by one, including Judas in his deception, says to Jesus, Surely not I. verse 20, Jesus clarifies His words, and He said to them, It is one of the 12. Implication, one of the 12 I myself chose in agreement with God as ordained by His perfect plan. It is one of the 12 who dips with Me in the bowl.
Now, this tells us that Judas was seated near Jesus, and given the number of men around the table, there would have been several dipping bowls for them to use. They would dip their flat bread with the bitter herbs into the bowls closest to them, filled with the paste of fruit and nuts. And so again, Judas is close enough to Jesus to be using the same bowl. But John’s account in his gospel tells us that the other 11 did not understand what Jesus was saying. They still do not suspect Judas.
Turn over to John 13 for a moment. John 13. Start in verse 22. The disciples began looking at one another at a loss as to know of which one He was speaking. There was reclining on Jesus bosom, one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. That’s John we know. So Simon Peter gestured to John and said to him, Tell us who is it of whom He is speaking.
He leaning back to us on Jesus’s bosom, said to Him, Lord, who is it? And then Jesus answered, That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him. So when He had dipped, the morsel He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the morsel Satan then entered into him. What’s that mean? He was possessed now by Satan. He had been oppressed by Satan. Now he is possessed by Satan. Therefore, Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. Now, no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing because Jesus had the money. Judas had the money box that Jesus was saying to him, Go and buy the things we have need for the feast or else that he should give something to the poor. In other words, they have no idea.
Back to verse 21 in Mark picking up Mark Gospel picking up in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus tells his men that all of this is according to the perfect sovereign plan of God put in place in eternity past. He says, verse 21 for the son of man is to go. What does that mean? This is all on schedule, just as it is written of him. Written of him. You will remember as we have seen every aspect of Jesus, His life and death was foreordained and orchestrated by God in eternity past. He ordained and orchestrated all of it. The Old Testament prophesied Many aspects of this all fulfilled to the letter, and now all of it was coming to pass right on schedule.
Verse 21 Jesus continues. But woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed. Judas. It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. See the word woe. In this context, that’s the curse of God against Judas. He has willfully made a choice in rejecting Jesus that dooms him to an eternity in hell.
Now, what does this mean? It means that it was God’s foreordained plan that Judas betray Jesus, but that Judas would also be fully responsible for his sinful choice. Remember, as we’ve learned before, Judas is not responsible for the plan of God, but he is responsible for his part in the Plan of God. MacArthur writes in his sovereign Providence, God constantly overrules people’s sinful choices, like those of Judas for His own ends and glory. But that reality does not ever exonerate them from their wickedness. Jesus continues in His curse on Judas. Verse 21 It would have been good for that man, for Judas, if he had not yet been born. If he’d not been born. This is just the truth about every single person ever born who rejects Jesus Christ as the only means of having their sins forgiven.
What Jesus is doing here is emphasizing the unparalleled responsibility of Judas. Think about it. No human being who ever lived is more responsible for his choices. Having been chosen by Jesus. Having walked and talked with Jesus, having witnessed it in person, every divine word and miracle of God incarnate for three and a half years. No one is more responsible than Judas Iscariot. His judgment in hell will be unparalleled. It will be along the lines of Lucifer and the fallen angels themselves.
Well, look at verse 22, and this takes us from the final Passover to the final communion. Jesus is now going to end the celebration. He’s going to end the celebration of Passover until the millennial age. And He’s going to replace it with the celebration of the Lord’s table. You can call it communion. You can call it Lord’s supper. It’s all the same thing.
Verse 22 While they were eating. Now go back to John’s gospel. John 13. After receiving the morsel John 13, verse 30 after receiving, the morsel he that Judas went out immediately. Remember he said Satan entered him. He went out immediately and it was night.
Now, no doubt John’s allusion to it being night conveys more than the fact that it was nighttime. Being night speaks of the theological reality of Judas being handed over to the power of darkness, Satan himself. Verse 31 Therefore, when he Judas, had gone out, Jesus said, Now, now is the son of man glorified and God is glorified in Him. In other words, the purpose for which Jesus came to earth as the God man to die for the sins of all who would believe has now finally been set in motion. And Jesus’ words here tell us that He, looking beyond the agony of the cross to regaining His position of glory, seated next to the Father at His right hand in heaven.
He talked about this, John. 1745. Listen. I glorified You on the earth. Jesus speaking, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. I did what You sent Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. Jesus in His incarnation, Philippians 2, tells us that He emptied Himself. And what that means from the Greek is that He willingly chose not to exercise all the aspects of His deity in His incarnation. Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
And so while they were eating, back to Mark, and after Judas received the morsel from Jesus, Judas leaves the room, no doubt consumed in guilt. Look at verse 22 Jesus, He, Jesus, took some bread and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to them.
Now it’s important that Judas is gone, because remember the celebration of the Lord’s table is for only those who are true followers of Jesus Christ. Judas can’t celebrate this. Judas Iscariot would have no part in a celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. But. But not only does Jesus end the celebration of Passover, He also effectively ends the celebration of all of those Old Testament ceremonies and sacrifices and rituals. Why? Because they all pointed to the finished work of Messiah. When Jesus died to pay for the sins of all who would believe, He completed what all of those ceremonies pointed to. They were all perfectly fulfilled and replaced in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
Now it’s in the middle of the Passover celebration that Jesus says these words, thus ending Passover celebration. Probably the most symbolic moment would be when the lamb they had roasted was served. So picture this, the 11 are shocked. Judas has left, they resume their celebration now somberly. Jesus takes some of the flat, crisp, unleavened bread. He prays, thanking God for His perfect plan. He breaks the flatbread into pieces and He hands the piece to each of the remaining disciples. And then He says the most interesting words. And in so doing, He makes the transition from the Passover celebration to the celebration of the Lord’s table. Verse 22, He said, Take it, take the bread. This is My body. In the celebration of the Passover, the unleavened flatbread symbolized the deliverance and the supper separation of the Jews from their old life in Egypt and all that, that pagans society symbolized to a new life of holiness and godliness in the service of the one true God. That’s what that flatbread in the Passover ceremony symbolized. We no longer have to serve Egypt. We now serve God. In the new celebration of the Lord’s table, the bread would now symbolize the body of Christ, which He was about to sacrifice in death to pay the penalty of sin demanded by God for the sins of all who would believe.
Obviously, the bread only symbolizes His body, which He would lay down in death. That the bread was His body was an obvious metaphor, as were His many other metaphors, and not ever to be taken literally. He was not bread, He was not a door. Those are metaphors. Jesus breaks the bread. Why? To give a part of it to each of the 11 disciples. That it’s broken from the same piece of bread symbolizes the unity of all true followers in Christ. Luke’s gospel tells us that Jesus then commanded the 11 to do this in remembrance of Me. In other words, Jesus commands that this new celebration be carried out on a regular basis for the purpose of remembering Christ’s sacrifice.
Verse 23 And when He had taken the cup and given thanks, He gave it to them and they all drank from it. Following the breaking of the bread and handing it to each of the 11 disciples. Jesus takes the cup. He takes the cup and He prays again, praising God for His timing, for His sovereign plan. Now, remember, there were four cups in the Passover celebration, this would be the third cup, the first following the Passover meal. The fact that they all drank from it tells us that Jesus intended all through followers of His, to participate in both the bread and the cup in the new celebration.
Verse 24. And He said to them, This is My blood of the covenant. Again, a metaphor. The bread was the symbol of His body. The cup was to be the symbol of His blood. And you will remember that blood almost always in the word of God, speaks of death. When we talk about Jesus shedding His blood, that means His death. He could not have cut his finger to atone for the sins of those who would believe. He had to die. The reason Jesus mentions His blood, He says it’s because no lasting covenant could be established without a death. This blood was vastly different from the temporal blood shed by all the lambs and all the animals for sin before. This blood, this death spoke of the death of the sinless, spotless lamb of God, who would lay down His life to satisfy the demands of God for the sins of all who would believe once and for all time. This blood would be for the permanent forgiveness of sins, not the temporary covering of sins, as all the blood of the animal sacrifice did before. And as you understand this, you can see why there is no need to celebrate Passover today.
Passover pictured the perfect final sacrifice that would take place. The Lord’s table pictures, the perfect final sacrifice that did take place on the cross of Calvary. Notice that this blood, the death of Jesus Christ, verse 24, was poured out for many Catch that? Not all, but many. If Jesus shed His blood, if He died for everyone, then His death was ineffective for most, since the gate is wide that leads to hell, and many find it. But the gate is narrow that leads to heaven and few there are who enter in through it. So He died for many, not all.
Verse 25. Truly, I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit, the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.
Earlier during the Passover celebration, Jesus told his men, I say to you, I shall never again eat it. Speaking of the Passover celebration, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Luke 22, verse 16. In other words, twice during this celebration, Jesus tells His disciples that this would be the final Passover for now, and that He would not even drink wine with them again, since this was His last meal, His last meal of this type, but that He would return to earth, that He would then celebrate the Passover again with them in the Kingdom. And the Kingdom refers to the promised coming millennial kingdom, His rule and reign on earth for the 1000 years. But for now, we are to celebrate the Lord’s table on a regular basis, to remember what He did and to remember that He is coming back again. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:26, For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again.
But when we do return with Him to rule with Him in His earthly millennial kingdom, we will celebrate Passover again. Why? MacArthur writes, since in the millennial kingdom, commemorative sacrifices from the old covenant will be restored again, according to Ezekiel 43, 44 and 45, we assume they will have meaning never understood before the cross of Christ to which they point. We’re going to know things then that we do not understand now. We simply take the word as the word of God, right?
Verse 26 after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Most likely they sang Psalm 118, the final Psalm of the traditional hallel, repeated over and over again in Psalm 118, is the phrase for His loving kindness is everlasting, for His loving kindness is everlasting, for His loving kindness is everlasting. And that is the perfect hymn to sing in light of the picture of the Passover finally being completed in the reality of the cross. And its ongoing celebration of the Lord’s table,
How gracious of God to give us this portion of Scripture. For us to understand. God keeps His Word. The devout Jew woke up every day saying, Perhaps this would be the day that the Messiah would come, restore Israel to its rightful place of world dominance. God Himself would rule and reign over the earth and that sins would be forgiven.
The unrighteous Jew missed that last part. They believed, by virtue of their heritage, that gave them a free pass into the Kingdom of God. They were wrong.
And so Passover completed, replaced with the Lord’s table, where we celebrate the single most important deliverance of all, the route for man to be forgiven from his sins.
Father, thank you for our time in the text this morning. What a fascinating passage of Scripture. In many ways, we as true followers of Jesus Christ, should celebrate the Lord’s table every single moment of every single day, because that helps us to remember Your death, Your burial, and Your resurrection that enabled us to conquer sin, Satan and death as well.
As always, Father, two kinds of people in this room this day, those who are true followers of Christ, We get this. We understand this. We praise You for Your goodness, Your perfect plan. But there are those here this day who who, who think they know You, but don’t who think they serve You, but don’t. They don’t deny self.
They don’t take up their cross. They’re not willing to die for You. And they certainly don’t submit and obey to Your precious word. And what we know, Father, is that short of You opening their eyes to comprehend this spiritual truth, they will die in their sins. They’ll spend eternity in hell. Spend all of eternity remembering these times where the truth was presented to them and they chose to reject it.
And so we pray, Father, that You’d be gracious to open eyes and hearts this day, to comprehend Your truth, to draw others into the kingdom for Your Honor and glory. All this time we pray in Your name. Amen.