Morning Bible Study
We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.
Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring
crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
After cleansing the Temple, Jesus taught every day in the Temple.
We are now on Thursday night, the night of the Last Supper, the night that
Jesus is betrayed.
22:14-18 Passover Begins
:14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.
:14 When the hour had come
It could be that it simply is referring to the hour when the Passover meal
is to begin, around 6:00 p.m.
Yet Jesus referred many times to a special “hour” that was coming.
(John 8:20 NKJV) These words
Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands
on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
(John 12:27 NKJV) “Now My soul
is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for
this purpose I came to this hour.
(See also John 2:4; 12:23; John 13:1)
:14 He sat down
He sat down – anapipto –
to lie back; to recline at a table
Jesus isn’t sitting in a chair at a table, He’s reclining at a table.
In the ancient world, the table would be low to the ground, and the guests
would lie on their left side and eat with their right hand.
:15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer;
:16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in
the kingdom of God.”
:15 With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover
The Passover Feast was an annual feast celebrated by the Jews ever since
the day that God delivered them from slavery in Egypt.
On the night of the very first Passover, God warned that the angel of death
was going to go through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn children.
The only way for your firstborn children to survive would be to slaughter
lamb and sprinkle its blood on the doorposts of your house.
If the angel of death saw the lamb’s blood, it would “pass over” that
Jesus’ Passover would be unlike any other.
In a way, the first Passover was prophetic, and spoke of a day when another
Lamb would save His people.
This was the day, the “hour” Jesus had been aiming at His whole life.
This is when He as the “Lamb of God”, would be dying for the sins of the
And just as that first Passover would be remembered by a ritual, this
Passover would be remembered with a ritual.
:16 until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God
Jesus is saying that the next time He will be eating the Passover will be
after the kingdom of God has fully come on the earth.
11:26 NKJV) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim
the Lord’s death till He comes.
:17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it
:18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the
kingdom of God comes.”
:17 Then He took the cup
The Passover Feast
Over time, the Passover feast has become an elaborate ritual.
I’m not sure exactly what the feast looked like in Jesus’ day, nor the
exact order because it changed after the destruction of the Temple, and lambs
were no longer slain.
Here are some of the main elements:
In today’s modern Pesach (Passover), there are four cups of wine involved.
The first cup is called the cup of sanctification, and it might be that
this is what Jesus was doing here.
This is NOT our communion cup.
At one point, bitter herbs were eaten to remind the family of the
bitterness of their bondage in Egypt.
In today’s Pesach, there are three loaves of unleavened bread kept in cloth
This middle loaf, called the Aphiqomon,
may have been the bread of communion.
The middle loaf is broken and half is eaten during the meal, half hidden
There would be a second cup of wine, the cup of plagues.
The kids were to ask questions of dad, and the family would talk about the
history of the Passover (Ex. 12:26)
A song of praise was sung from the Hallel or “Praise” psalms (Ps. 113-118)
At some point the lamb was eaten, but this practice was not done after the Temple
Then came the third cup
of wine, the cup of redemption.
Paul called this the “cup of blessing”
10:16 NKJV) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the
blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body
This may have been what we call our “communion” cup.
There was a fourth cup of wine, the cup of praise.
We’ll back up now to the unleavened bread…
:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it
to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in
remembrance of Me.”
:19 gave thanks
gave thanks – eucharisteo (“good”
+ “grace”) – to be grateful, feel thankful; give thanks
This is a practice that some call “saying grace” before a meal.
The word “Eucharist” comes straight from this word.
This is the term that many people use for communion.
:19 This is My body
A lot of church splits and wars have been fought over what these four words
When Jerome translated the New Testament into Latin, the words came out
hoc est corpus meum
Some have suggested these words were garbled and became the
origin of the phrase “hocus pocus”.
The word for “is” is…
eimi – to be, to exist, to
happen, to be present
Even though this word is used to mean something exact and equivalent (ie. “This
is my finger”), it can also be used
The same word (eimi)
is used by Jesus in these ways:
10:7 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am
the door of the sheep.
Did Jesus literally become a slab of wood on a hinge?
15:1 NKJV) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Does Jesus mean that He is literally becoming a plant?
(other examples – John 8:12; 10:11)
When Jesus says that the bread is
His “body”, does it mean that the piece of bread becomes the actual, literal
body and flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, as some churches teach?
If when the priest says those magic words, hoc est corpus meum, and the bread becomes transformed into the
actual, literal flesh of Jesus, what about when Jesus Himself said those words
on that night?
Did the piece of bread become His actual flesh while He
was still reclining at the table with the disciples?
This rare and wonderful footage is from 1957:
That was a famous BBC April Fool’s Day hoax. Many people fell for it back in the day and
even wanted to know how to start their own Spaghetti orchard. The BBC told people to “Place a sprig of
spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Just because you want something to be true doesn’t mean it is. Spaghetti
doesn’t grow on trees, and a priest’s words do not turn bread into the literal
flesh of Jesus.
Two nuns were driving down a country road when they ran
out of gas. They walked to a farmhouse and a farmer gave them some gasoline;
but the only container he had was an old bedpan. The nuns were happy to take
whatever they were offered and returned to their car.
As they were pouring the gasoline from the bedpan into the
tank of their car, a man drove by. He stopped, rolled down his window and said,
“Excuse me, sisters. I’m not of your religion, but I couldn’t help admiring
The standard Jewish words spoken over the Passover Bread were something
“This is the bread
of affliction our ancestors ate when they came from Egypt.”
Did they believe that the bread transformed into the
actual bread eaten by their ancestors when they came out of Egypt?
No. It was a
representation of that bread. It
reminded them of that bread.
We believe that Jesus is speaking figuratively here.
We believe that the bread is still bread, and the grape
juice is still grape juice.
What you believe about this affects how you believe a person can be saved,
how to make it to heaven.
We believe that we are saved by the work of Christ on the cross when He
paid for our sins.
He died as a sacrifice for our sins, dying in our place,
taking the penalty for our sins.
The death of Christ for us is God’s gift, God’s grace for
We didn’t do anything to deserve it. It is a free gift of God for mankind.
This gift of God is available for all who will believe in
Paul summarized it like this,
2:8–9 NKJV) —8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
But listen to how some churches have twisted this over the centuries.
Churches like the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic church
believe that we are saved by grace, but that “grace” is only received through
the sacraments of the church – rituals like Eucharist, infant baptism,
anointing with oil, etc, are ways in which grace is imparted to the person.
On February 27, AD 380, in his edict of Thessalonica, the
emperor Theodotius decreed that everyone in the Roman Empire was to become a
Christian, and he banned paganism.
There was a flood of pagans who “converted” to the
faith. The church began to adopt the
practices of paganism into the church at this time, perhaps trying to help
these new “converts” feel at home.
Up to this point, pastors were just considered ordinary
people, wearing ordinary clothes, and no different than any other believer.
By the 6th century, that changed, and pastors
were starting to be considered as “better” than the people. They began to wear fancy robes. They considered themselves the only bridge
between God and the people.
They started calling themselves “priests”, which means a
“bridge” between God and men.
By the 7th century, sacerdotalism in communion began
They still considered that a person was saved by grace
through faith, but they believed that grace was only received through the
sacraments, and the thing that made the sacraments impart grace was the “faith”
of the priest.
They taught that it was the “faith” of the priest that
magically turned the bread into the body of Christ.
They also began to teach that rather than communion being
a remembrance of Jesus’ death, it became an actual reenactment of Christ’s
death, and the priest was offering up the sacrifice of Christ for the people.
Yet the Scripture says there is not more need for
10:12 NKJV) But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God,
The problem with all of this is that God doesn’t think you
need a priest to get you right with God because that’s something that Jesus has
already taken care of, being our Great High Priest.
Timothy 2:5–6 NKJV) —5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the
Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
God’s grace is available to you at anytime, without a
You don’t need to keep taking communion to be saved, you
are saved by believing in Jesus.
You can even have communion any time. You don’t need a priest to say magic words.
You just need bread, wine (or grape juice), and Jesus.
:19 do this in remembrance of Me
Just as the Jews celebrated the Passover to remember what God had done, we too
celebrate Communion to remember what God has done.
Communion is an opportunity to draw near to God and experience His presence
in a fresh way, but not because of a priest’s faith, but yours.
:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is
the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
:20 He also took the cup after supper
This seems most likely that “third” cup of wine, the cup of “redemption”
called by Paul the “cup of blessing”.
:20 This cup is…
Your view of communion affects how you view the cup of “wine” (or, in our
case, grape juice).
If you believe that the wine magically transforms into the actual blood of
Christ, and that drinking it gives you actual grace that leads to eternal life,
you might even believe that there could be something magical about the actual
cup that Jesus used.
That’s the whole idea behind the search for the “holy grail”, the “cup of
It was thought that drinking from it would give you eternal life.
Video: Indiana Jones Choosing Wisely
:20 the new covenant in My blood
A New Contract
1400 years before Jesus, God made a contract with the nation of Israel
We call it the Mosaic Covenant. It’s
all about keeping the Law.
God promises to bless His people if they will keep His
Another word for “covenant” is “testament”, as in the “Old Testament” and
The Old Testament is about what God for Israel with the
Law of Moses.
The New Testament is about what God has done through the
grace of Jesus.
God said that one day He would make a new agreement, a new covenant.
600 years before Jesus, Jeremiah recorded God’s promise of a New Covenant.
(Jeremiah 31:31–34 NKJV) —31 “Behold, the
days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that
I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant
which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
The Old Covenant started with God getting Israel out of
What was the event that got them out of Egypt? The Passover.
The New Covenant starts with the same celebration.
33 But this is
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says
the Lord: I will put My law in
their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they
shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his
brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,
says the Lord. For I will forgive
their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
The New Covenant is all about what God does on the inside
of man, not what man does on the outside for God.
God writes His laws on our hearts instead of stone
People will actually know God, and He will forgive their sin.
The Old Covenant was “sealed” with blood.
It’s like the signing of a contract.
24:8 NKJV) And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and
said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”
This made the agreement binding. The people were sprinkled with blood.
The New Covenant is also sealed with blood.
The cup reminds us that Jesus’ blood sealed the New Covenant.
:20 which is shed for you
God told Israel back in the days of Moses that blood was to be used for a
specific sacrificial function.
NKJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given
it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the
blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
When you sacrifice an animal, it’s blood is poured out as
a demonstration that the animal is giving its life for you.
Jesus shed His blood, poured out His life, to pay for your sins.
John tells us how many sins Jesus’ blood can pay for.
John 1:7 NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us
from all sin.
Are you struggling with condemnation?
The cup we share in communion reminds us that Jesus’ blood can cleanse us
from all sin.
Open your heart to Jesus and you will find that God will forgive you of ALL
Some of you will need to rethink the condemnation that you live under. Is Jesus’ blood enough to pay for your sin?
Yes it is.