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December 7, 2008 PM

MK 14:12-25

INTRO: One of the most famous of all paintings is that of DaVinci's "Last Supper". In recent years that painting has given rise to all sorts of speculations ... most of which were ridiculous. Indeed, the painting has been historically an object of considerable study and comment. In our thoughts tonight we come to that event which prefaced the betrayal and crucifixion of our Lord. Luke's account of this event includes these words of the Lord. "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer" (Lk 22:15). Perhaps we will have time to come back to that thought this evening. Suffice it to be said just now that this was a very special passover observance for the Lord ... His last. Look with me at this somber event.

  1. THE PREPARATIONS - 14:12-15
    1. We must remember this was not Jesus' first visit to Jerusalem!
      1. see, for example, Jno 2:23 and a previous passover
      2. prior to His Galilean ministry, Jesus was in/about Jerusalem
    2. So, Jesus explains how His disciples will discover the preparations
      1. obviously, they would need to depend on someone's providing
      2. while they may have visited often, it was not "home" to them
      3. "a man bearing a pitcher of water" - probably an unusual sight - a signal
      4. "the goodman of the house" - doubtless, someone known to the Lord
      5. the "upper room furnished and prepared" - there is little doubt that the Lord had made all of these arrangements in advance - interesting is the fact that Jesus, during this last week, left nothing to chance!
    1. News of His being betrayed is among the His recorded words at the feast
      1. Ps 41:9 - must have been very much on Jesus' mind this night
      2. "one of you which eateth with me" - betrayal by one whom you have considered to be a friend is particularly painful!
    2. It is obvious that none of the disciples knew the identity of the betrayer
      1. "Is it I?" - this they asked "one by one"
      2. the somber feast was made even more so by this revelation - "And they began to be sorrowful..."
    3. Jesus did not give the betrayer's name - but it would be one of the twelve
      1. I expect to have named Judas would have created a violent situation
      2. too, Jesus would not interfere with Judas' freewill - but there is, it seems to me, a last loving appeal and warning to Judas 
      3. Jesus knew the betrayer's name - while we may hide our intentions and sins from others, they cannot be hidden from the Lord! (Acts 1:24)
      4. we are repulsed by Judas' sin - but see Heb26-29
  3. THE MEMORIAL FEAST - 14:22-25
    1. Remember, this is at the passover feast
      1. that feast celebrated the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian slavery
      2. called "the feast of unleavened bread" (Ex 23:15) - leaven was removed from the houses, the land and symbolized "corruption"
      3. the blood of the passover lamb recalled that fateful night (Ex 12:13)
    2. "This is my body"
      1. obviously, it was not His physical body - it was truly a symbol
      2. Luke adds, "..which is given for you"
      3. notice Heb 10:5-10 and the reference to His body - our atoning sacrifice
    3. "This is my blood"
      1. Lev 17:11c - these words would have an immediate impact on thought
      2. I'm not sure what was going on in the minds of the apostles - were they really hearing what He was saying? its significance?
      3. or, what about Heb 9:22?
    4. "Of the new testament (covenant)"
      1. Ex 24:8 - here was the blood of the old covenant
      2. the blood of the new covenant, however, is the blood of God's own Son!
      3. notice, too, Mt 26:28 - "..for the remission of sins" - thence, to Heb 10:15-18 (clearly, then, this new covenant has superceded the old ... it's gone!)
    5. "I drink it new in the kingdom of God"
      1. 1 Cor 10:16 - clearly, friends, Jesus is with us in this observance
      2. eating & drinking without thought dishonors the Lord!
      3. we eat and drink in communion (fellowship) with Him

CLOSE: May I conclude, then, with this reminder from 1 Cor 5:7,8. What may have been to many just an annual celebration of physical deliverance became, and is, a weekly reminder of our deliverance from sin by the body and blood of Jesus.

Cecil A. Hutson

07 December 2008

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)