Mark: According To
Mark 14: 12-26
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 13 and He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, “the Teacher says, “where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples.” 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
Almost continually since the Children of Israel had left Egypt, they had kept the Passover. At that first Passover, they were instructed by God through Moses that the head of each family should kill a lamb, put its blood upon the door posts and the lentil of the door. Then take the lamb and roast it. Then to prepare bread without leaven and then bitter herbs. Then the lamb that was roasted along with the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs were to be eaten. The lamb eaten in such a way that not a bone of its body was to be broken.
The Passover story tells of how the angel of death had passed over each house that had blood sprinkled upon its door posts and lentil. Yet the first born of all those that did not comply was to die, with no exceptions, not even for the Pharaoh.
The blood sprinkled upon the door posts and lintel represented the blood of Christ that is spilt for the remission of sin. That acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Christ’s spilt blood would then allow the repentant sinner to be spared death, the final death that was a curse placed upon all mankind as a result of sin.
But as we see, God had another plan by which mankind could be spared this permanent death, which is ultimately total separation from God, and that is by accepting the spilt blood of Christ’s sacrifice as the remission of sin. For sin to be forgiven, something must die, blood must be spilt. Nothing else would do, so God through Moses instructed the Israelites to place this blood upon the door posts and lentil of the door and to believe that the angel of death would Passover them and not hurt them.
As Jesus came before John the Baptizer, John called Jesus, “The Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.” Thus the Passover lamb that was killed, whose bloods was sprinkled on the door posts and lentil and then roasted represented Christ. The people were instructed to eat all of it, not to waste any of it and to not break a bone, because when Christ was crucified, not a bone of his body was broken. The Passover lamb represented Christ and the fire that roasted the lamb represented the affliction that the Son of Man would have to endure before his death upon the cruel Roman cross.
This was the celebration that was about to take place, that two of Jesus’ disciples set up so that they could all celebrate the Passover together.
I truly wish Mark would bring out some of the dynamics of what was taking place, as the disciples entered into this upper room to celebrate the Passover. But, it doesn’t. Missed is the foot washing and the exchange that took place between Jesus and Peter. Missing from Mark is the fact that the discipled did not enter into that room all being united. In fact, instead of being united, there was hatred, jealousy and a jockeying for position and power.
Many of the disciples were still very upset at James and John whose mother had petitioned Jesus to have one sit on His right while the other sit on this left when Jesus came into His kingdom. Again, a false impression of what Christ’s kingdom is all about.
Judas Iscariot believed he had created the perfect plan to exalt himself above the other disciples. This is something we will look at a little later in our study.
Jesus laid a bomb shell among his disciples when said that one of them would betray him. We pick this up in verse 18 when Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me. 19 And they began to be sorrowful and to say to Him one by one, “is it I? And another said, “Is it I? 20 He answered and said to them, “It is the one of the twelve, who dips with me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
The other Gospels give us a clearer view that it was Judas that was given the piece of bread to eat and upon being exposed left the others and went out into the darkness.
Judas had received all the same opportunities to learn of Jesus as the other 12 had. But Judas was a person that was blinded to the goodness of Jesus and His teaching, by his own pride and covetousness until His heart had become so hardened that he went and talked with the chief Priests about betraying Jesus.
Yet until Judas walked out that door into the darkness, Jesus continued to plead with Judas to follow Him, by taking up his cross and following Him. But pride, prejudice, and ambition got in his way, as it did for Lucifer before he was cast from heaven.
After Judas left forever sealing his fate being shut out in outer darkness, Jesus institutes what we call the Lord’s Supper. 22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave 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.
Take eat, this is My Body, some have interpreted this to literally mean that this is the literal body of Christ. But remember throughout Christ’s ministry he often referred to himself as the bread of life. Indeed through Christ we receive spiritual manna, which is needed for us to grow daily in our Christian experience. Not only did Jesus refer to himself as the bread of life, but he also said “I am the door,” and the “way.’ Therefore to assume that Jesus words were literal and not figurative would be a mistake for I believe we can all agree that Jesus was not transforming Himself into a door or a highway. Jesus poke figuratively regarding the “bread” becomes transparently evident from Luke 22:20 and I Corinthians 11:25 in which it is better stated that “this bread” is a representation of Christ’s body which was broken for our sins. If the bread actually became His very body, by the same process the “cup” must literally have become the New Testament. The verb “is” in the phrase “this is my body” is used in the sense of representation in the same fashion as it is in Mark 4:15-18; Luke 12:1; Galatians 4:24.
The cup was used in the celebration of the Passover service. The cup contained the pure juice of the grape untouched by fermentation, and probably diluted with water in according with contemporary Jewish custom. The method used in ancient times to preserve grape juice in an unfermented state from the vintage some six months prior to the Passover season is not known. In certain parts of the ancient East today, this is accomplished by partially dehydrating fresh grape juice and preserving it in a semi-jelly state. The addition of the requisite amount of water restores it to its original state. Grape juice can also be made from raisins.
The English translation obscures the fact that Jesus said, “Drink of it, all of you.” The word “all” refers to the disciples, not to the wine. None were to pass it by.
As the bread represented Jesus’ body so the wine represented his blood. The blood that Jesus shed on Calvary ratified or made valid the “New Covenant,” or “Testament” even as the blood of oxen stood for the ratification of the old covenant (Exodus 24:5-8; Hebrews 9:15-23; Galatians 3:15). Except for the vicarious death of Christ the plan of salvation would never have become a reality. Even those saved in Old Testament times were saved by virtue of the sacrifice to come (Hebrews 9:15). They were saved as they looked forward in faith, even as men find salvation today by looking backward to the death of Christ.
Jesus death on the cross was for the remission or “release,” “forgiveness,” “pardon,” from the verb aphiemi, “to send away,” “to dismiss,” “to forgive.” This is the meaning of forgiveness.
Jesus also made a promise as they celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and that was that he would not drink from the cup or have juice from the grape vine again “Until that day.” That day is a reference to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). As the Last Supper was closely related to the great event that made possible the plan of salvation, so the marriage supper of the Lamb will celebrate the triumph of the plan of salvation. When Christ refers to New Wine it is not a contrast between fermented and none fermented grape juice but to the fact that everything in the kingdom will be “new” (Revelation 21:5).
It is a pledge on God’s part that the kingdom will eventually become a reality, and on our part, of faith in the promise that this will be so. The ordinance of the Lord’s table significantly links the first advent with the second. The communion service was designed to keep the hope of Christ’s second coming vivid in the minds of the disciples as well as the memory of his death (I Corinthians 11:25, 26).
It is possible that this hymn that was sung is from Psalms chapters 115-118. And then they left the upper room and made their way to the Mount of Olives.