Yesterday I preached from Mark 14:12-26 in our series through the Gospel of Mark.  The scene is Thursday of Passion week and Jesus is less than one full day away from the looming shadow of the Roman cross.  Certainly Jesus knew the foreordained plan of redemption that would involve Isaiah 53:10.  As fully God and fully man, Jesus experienced the emotions of a real man while keeping His divine appointment with the cross in order to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).

As Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, we see the last Passover and the first Lord’s Supper take place simultaneously.  Jesus closed the books on the Passover feast and inaugurated the beginning of a new feast – a worship feast that would recall the death of Jesus for sinners.  What can we learn from this text of Scripture?

Predictions:  The Deity of Christ

The deity of Christ is put on display.  All throughout the build up to Passover, it’s abundantly clear that Jesus is keeping His eye on the divine calendar and the divine clock.  J.C. Ryle writes, “We cannot doubt for a moment that it was not by chance but by God’s providential appointment that our Lord was crucified in the Passover week, and on the very day that the Passover lamb was slain.” [1]  Not only was His deity on display regarding the timing of the whole event of Passover, but it was also showcased through two clear predictions.

  1.  The Precise Prediction of the Passover Room:  Jesus sent two disciples through the town and told them to look for a man carrying a glass of water.  They were to follow him to his house, and then ask the master of the house about a room for their master to observe the Passover meal.  Jesus predicted that he would take them to an upper room where it was completely furnished.  Everything happened just as Jesus predicted.
  2. The Precise Prediction of His Betrayal:  Jesus predicted that one of the inner circle would betray Him.  It would be one who was in the room dipping the bread into the cup.  Within hours, that prophecy would likewise come to pass in the life of Judas.

Both of these predictions point to the deity of Christ.

Passover:  The Humanity of Christ

We do well to exalt the deity of Christ in our songs, sermons, and creeds.  However, we must not overlook the true humanity of Christ.  As a Jew, Jesus was doing exactly what Exodus 12:14 commanded of Him.  He was keeping the feast and remembering the great promise and provisions of YHWH upon the Jewish people.

Jesus was feeling the emotional tension of Judas’ betrayal.  He was experiencing the emotional tension of the looming cross.  Jesus, in His humanity, was likewise experiencing the thrill of being with His disciples in the upper room to celebrate the final true Passover of Jewish history.  All of this must have been emotionally draining, but it demonstrates the true humanity of Christ.

Lord’s Supper:  The Deity of Christ

While this was the final Passover before Jesus’ crucifixion, making it the final Passover of Jewish history, it was likewise the first Lord’s Supper.  Jesus provided commands regarding the way it should be observed.  As often as the followers of Christ get together, they are to remember His body and His blood through the elements of the Lord’s Supper.

Augustus Toplady penned a wonderful hymn titled, From whence this fear and unbelief, and he wrote these words:

Complete atonement Thou hast made,
And to the utmost Thou hast paid
Whate’er Thy people owed;

Each time the church gathers to observe the Lord’s Supper, it’s a pure worship feast – one whereby we remember the body and blood of Christ.  We likewise must reject as blasphemous the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.  They teach that the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper miraculously transforms into the body and blood of Christ at the consecration by the priest.

John Rogers and other Puritans were burned at the stake for condemning the Roman Catholic Church’s view of transubstantiation as blasphemous.  Today, we must remain faithful to hold to a pure view of the Lord’s Supper – one instituted by Christ Himself.  Not one disciple at the table with Him that evening thought Jesus was teaching transubstantiation.  We must be careful to never pervert the worship of God with popery and mystic views that corrupt the feast and the minds of people with false doctrine.

As Augustus Toplady said, we must remember the complete atonement that was made and the full price that was paid for the people of God.

  1. J. C. Ryle, Mark, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 223.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Author The Last Passover and First Lord’s Supper

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.