Monday, March 30, 2015

Last Supper - Passover (Easter Story 2) (Matthew 26:14-35, John 13:5-11, John 17:20-26, Zech 13:7)

"The Last Supper"
Guest painter- Leonardo da Vinci
I did some touch ups...

In the evening, Jesus and the disciples gathered in an upper room, to celebrate the Passover together.  Jews still celebrate the Passover to remember how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt.  After God sent nine plagues to free Israel from Pharaoh, He sent the final, severest plague.  It would kill all the first-born sons.  God spared all those who painted lamb's blood over their doors.  Jesus is the first-born and only Son of God.  He is the lamb that was slain to protect us from our sin today.  God gave His first-born because of His amazing love for us. It is His desire to walk with us like in the Garden of Eden, to restore His relationship with us.  He wants to free us from life's bondage and sin.  There is much symbolism for both Jews and Christians today in the Passover.

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him." 
Matthew 26:14-16 NKJV
Many people try and explain why Judas did what he did.  Some say that he believed Jesus' purpose was to help the poor. Judas became angry believing He was a fake.  Others say Judas was looking for a leader who would lead people into battle against the Romans to free the Jews.  John 12:6 says that Judas was a thief and took money from the money box.  God knows the truth, He wants us to let Him be the Judge.

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?" 
23 He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.  24 The Son of Man indeed goes 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." 
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?"
He said to him, "You have said it.
Matthew 26:20-25 NKJV
The interesting thing is that Jesus didn't stop Judas.  It's like He gave him permission.  Jesus was to be God's sacrifice for man's sin, His purpose had to be fulfilled.  If his kingdom was to be on earth, He certainly could have done it; but, it would've only been for one generation.  His kingdom is in Heaven, eternity, for all mankind.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 
John 13:27 

Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him (Judas). Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."  

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  
Today, we partake in the Lord's supper.  We eat bread or crackers.  When I eat the bread I confess my sins in prayer.  I remember Jesus' tortured body, and confess my sins.  When I drink the juice, I remember He has cleansed me of my sin and I am clean!  It's such a joyful moment, I praise Him.

31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:

'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Zechariah 13:7

32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee." 

Peter is one of my favorite disciples.  He approached things with such enthusiasm and then, well, things didn't go exactly as planned.  I can relate to that.  My other favorite is Nathanael, when he was asked to follow Jesus, he replied, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  Of course, Jesus heard it and admired his honesty.  (John 1:46)  Jesus chose real people to follow Him.  They weren't perfect.  People like us.
33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble." 
34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.
35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!"
And so said all the disciples. 
Matthew 26:26-35 NKJV
I used red on the text so I could see the tension rising with Jesus and the disciples.  It may be that the disciples thought life would be like this forever.  Jesus would walk with them, they'd proclaim the good news.  Peter, seems to have reacted out loud in his fear and anguish, "What are you talking about Jesus? I'll protect You."

It would have been heartbreaking for Peter to hear Jesus, his hero, tell him he was going to deny Him.  We've all struggled with this at one point or another.  He is the good shepherd and is always open to bringing us back to Him, if we repent (change direction).
It was a custom for a servant to wash the feet of visitors.  Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings, washed the disciples' feet.  He took on the role of a servant.
5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 

6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 
7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." 
8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!"
Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 
9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 
Here's my favorite disciple.  He's telling the Son of God what to do!!?  The disciples had an idea of who Jesus is, but they didn't quite grasp the whole purpose of His life yet.  Without the Holy Spirit, Peter was left guessing.  

10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."  11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." 
John 13:5-11 NKJV

Jesus prayed for us!
20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 
24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.  26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." 

John 17:20-26 NKJV
Jesus prayed for all of us, as Christians, that we would be one.  On Easter, we put aside our doctrinal differences and focus on Jesus.  May we be a blessing to Jesus, and always seek to be one in Him.  Our differences are so small compared to His great sacrifice.  There is only one Savior, one Heaven, one body of Christ. 

"Wine is the symbol of Jesus' blood, that will cleanse us of our sins.
Bread is the symbol of Jesus' body, broken for us that we might live.
The final sacrifice for man."

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Here's a song by Third Day,  King of Glory (link)

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