The True Passover Lamb – Mark 14:12-25

By John Bellingham on August 21, 2016
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The True Passover Lamb

Mark 14:12-25

I.  Preparation for the Passover (vv. 12-16)

1)     Old Testament Origins of Passover

  1. Commemorates God’s salvation of Israel when they were enslaved in Egypt  (Exodus 12)
  2. Passover was part of the longer 7 Day ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread’  (leaven = yeast)

2)     Jesus’ Preparation for Passover

  1. Jesus returned to the city knowing that hostile authorities would try to arrest Him – a secret location for Passover was needed!
  2. Jesus’ instructions about finding a location for Passover parallel Mark 11:1-11
    1. A man carrying a water jar was an unusual sight in the 1st century
    2. Jesus’ sending of Peter and John (cf. Luke 22:8) prevented Judas from arranging Jesus’ arrest during the Passover meal

II.  Transformation of the Passover (vv. 17-25)

1)     The Traditional Passover ‘Seder’

  1. Blessing pronounced / first cup of wine
  2. Bitter herbs eaten – bitterness of slavery
  3. Breaking of Break/ Story of Deliverance/   Psalm singing/ second cup of wine
  4. Some bread is dipped in a paste made of apples – symbol of clay and mortar used to make bricks
  5. Lamb is eaten/ third cup of wine
  6. Psalm singing/ fourth cup of win

2)     Jesus Prediction of Betrayal

  1. Jesus announced the betrayal as the bread was about to be dipped into the paste
    1. Each of the disciples responded to Jesus’ words in sober self-examination – “Is it I?”
    2. Judas left the table and in the process caused some confusion (cf. John 13:27-30)
  2. Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
    1. Judas’ betrayal was part of God’s plan (Mark 14:21. cf. John 17:12;  Acts 1:16, 4:27-28)
    2. Judas remains responsible for his sin (v. 21)

3)     Institution of the Lord’s Supper (vv. 22-25)

  1. Re-interpretation of the Passover Elements
    1. Broken bread represents Christ’s body which was broken on the cross
    2. Wine represents the ‘blood of the Covenant’ (or ‘New Covenant’ – Luke 22:20)
      1. In the Old Covenant, blood was sprinkled on the people by Moses as a warning against infidelity:  the penalty for covenant-breaking is death!  (Exodus 24)
      2. In the New Covenant, the Lamb of God takes the Covenant curses upon Himself for the elect  (the ‘many’ – v. 24)
      3. Jesus ended Passover after the 3rd cup of wine – 4th cup is reserved for the future!
    3. Jesus is the true Passover Lamb (cf. Jn 1:29)
      1. His substitutionary death turns away divine wrath and cleanses us from sin
      2. His sacrificial death fulfills all the Old Testament types & shadows  (cf. Heb 10)

Application Points

The Lord’s Supper is for believers only.   Every born again, baptized believer should regularly participate in the Supper in the context of their local Church

– The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ.   It symbolizes the gospel promises and it nourishes our soul/ strengthens our faith just as bread and wine nourish and strengthen our body.

– The Lord’s Table gives us regular opportunities for self-examination.   Am I truly trusting in Christ alone for salvation?   Am I refusing to repent of sin in my life?  Is my relationship right with the Lord & other Christians?

– The Lord’s Table reminds us of the Messianic Banquet yet to come when the Church Universal is finally gathered together in the consummated Kingdom of God

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