Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Lord's Supper"
- Traditions teach
- Jesus inaugurates a unique tradition for his family in Mark 14:22-25.
The Tradition of the Lord’s Supper
The Purpose is that we might remember the central importance of his death.
"The Lord's Supper, which was instituted by Jesus, and which is the only regulative commemorative act inaugurated by him, dramatizes neither his birth nor his life, neither his words nor his works, but only his death. Nothing could communicate more clearly the central significance which Jesus attached to his death. It was by his death that he wishes, above all else, to be remembered." - John Stott
That is why he inaugurated this meal! He never wanted his death to be forgotten.
Commonalities and Contrasts with the Passover Meal
- Jesus utilizes elements of the Passover meal to institute the Lord’s Supper
- Jesus intentionally turns the focus of the entire celebration upon himself. Mark doesn't focus on the details of the meal but rather draws our attention to the one severing the meal.
- Recall John's statement: "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." – John 1:29
- The mood of the Passover meal was a festive occasion. The participants reflected on their past deliverance from Egypt and anticipated their future deliverance in the form of the Messiah.
- That mood has already been altered when Jesus informed the disciples that one of them would betray him. Now the room was filled with tension and anxiety.
- In the midst of that tension and anxiety, Jesus initiates a transition between the traditional Passover, drawing a connection between the bread as his body given to them. The already tense and anxious atmosphere must have been electrified.
- Festive → tension/anxiety → tension/anxiety + electrification.
The New vs. the Old Covenant
- Blood – Temporary forgiveness through animal sacrifices vs. permanent forgiveness through a single God sacrifice. "I will remember your sins no more!" – Isaiah 43:25
- Exodus – Exodus from slavery in Egypt vs. exodus from slavery to sin. "I will put my law within them. I will write upon their hearts." – Jeremiah 31:33
- Community – “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:23
Jesus Looked Beyond his Death
As he approaches death, Jesus looks beyond his death. He announces the next meal on the divine agenda: the messianic marriage banquet – Revelation 19:6-9
The future Feast is facilited by the past Supper.
Christian—be humbled! You have been numbered among the many that the one died for.
Non-Christian—be concerned for your soul! Flee sin! Flee wrath! Flee to the cross.
Both—"The original last supper is attended by traders and cowards. It is a table not of merit, but of grace." This means that there is a seat at the table for sinners like you and me. It is a table of grace, not merit. The table reminds us that he will remember our sins no more.
- Consider your own post-regeneration experience. How have you seen the New Covenant promise of regeneration true in your experience?
- At the Lord’s table, is your attitude primarily one of self-examination or Christ-exhaltation?
- As you enter painful life circumstances, do you cast your eyes beyond the pain to the hope of the messianic banquet, as did Jesus?
[by Taylor Mason]