Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mark 14:22-26 The Lord's Supper Instituted

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it 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.

This section of the gospel is one of the most poignant for believers. Since it is here, in this section of the gospel, that the Lord Jesus Christ ushers in the New Covenant. A Covenant unlike the Old Covenant, in that it puts all of the ominous on our being made right with God, on the Son of God. Therefore all that is about to unfold as Jesus will be arrested in Gethsemane's garden, and then taken to be tried, mocked, and finally crucified by lawless hands, is because Jesus the Son and God the Father wanted it to be done. So that through Jesus' Crucifixion death, then Resurrection from the dead, God 's salvation could be brought to as many as believe in  Him (John 3:16). Therefore Jesus’ giving thanks to God the Father for the bread, before He distributes it to the disciples, is not a mere formality,  but is far deeper. For with Jesus' thanksgiving to God the Father before offering up the bread, He is declaring His own desire to offer up His own body as a sacrifice for us all. Therefore Jesus having broken the bread, and having given thanks for it, He then distributes it to the disciples. Indicating that what He is about to do, He is doing for us all. Therefore having offered it up to the Father in prayer, Jesus says to disciples “Take, eat; this is My body.”

If you remember, Jesus in John’s gospel said we must all eat His flesh and drink His blood (Please Read John 6). Not as a literal act as some there misunderstood His Words there and walked away from Him and thus eternal life when He said that. But as an act of faith we must “eat” and “drink” Jesus Christ’s entire Person into our lives, by opening our hearts unconditionally to Him. For to be Jesus Christ’s disciple means to accept all of Him as He is revealed in the Scriptures. For we cannot take what we like of Jesus' Words, or even His gracious Works, and build our faith on only those things that appeal to us. For you can't accept Jesus Christ's offer of God's grace (which I hope and pray that you do; John 1:17) but then turn around and deny His call for all people everywhere to repent and believe (Mark 1:15). For to reject any part of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Words, or His Works in the gospel, is ultimately to reject all of Him (John 5:24; 8:31, 32, 37, 43-47, 14:23-24).
Nor do we (and this is specific to the context of the passage we are looking at) build our faith on our own works and righteousness, plus the Lord’s. As if redemption comes by what we do, or have done. Therefore we don’t hope in our keeping Communion as if keeping the ritual that Jesus instituted for us to observe somehow justifies us before God the Father. The ritual must be kept, but not for it's own sake, but rather for the reality it points too (1 Cor 11:26). The Lord Jesus Christ's broken body and shed blood by which our redemption from sin and death has been purchased. Therefore we don't hope in being good enough, or obedient enough, or even righteous enough, to have or to find the mercies of God, since ultimately that only leads to self-righteousness, not God's Righteousness (consider Luke 18:9-14). We only hope, and trust, and fully believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who alone is without sin and fault before God the Father. Who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Who by His crucifixion death first atones for all of our sins, then by His resurrection from the dead paves the way for everlasting life to be brought into us by the Holy Spirit, which He pours into each and every one of us when we believe in Him. Thus we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, through the grace and work of God alone (Rom. 3:19-28; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:20-21). Therefore whatever things we once thought would approve us to God. We now count as rubbish! And place all of our hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead, to save us from all that could ever separate us from God again (Acts 13:39; Phil 3:7-9). For apart from the Lord Jesus Christ’s Righteousness imputed to us the moment we believe in His Person we would have all been condemned. For the Scripture does not justify mankind either individually, or collectively, it justifies God. Who then justifies us when we put our faith/trust in His Son Jesus Christ to saves us (Rom. 5:1). “for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23 Therefore as recipients of the love and grace of God we reject all notions of “self-redemption”. For the bread of God that Jesus freely distributes to us all, is His Person crucified in our place. All that God requires of us is that we in repentance and faith accept His gracious offer to freely forgive all that we have done wrong, by all that He has done right.

And so with repentant hearts we turn away from our sin, rebellion, or disobedience to God, and turn/return to God by faith in Jesus Christ's Person. For repentance is not trying to be good enough to get God to love us, or accept us; that's only works, not grace (Eph. 2:8-9). Repentance is often first admitting that we are not good enough, and we are incapable of ever being good enough, to be accepted by God. Therefore it starts with a change of mind about ourselves, and/or the things we have done wrong. That we are not "all right" or "fine" in of ourselves, but we are not only born into sin, but we have indeed sinned against God and thus are guilty before Him. Whether with knowledge of His Law or not it makes no difference, God still holds us all accountable for the things we have done, or not done (Rom. 2:12). And thus we all are in need of God's redemption and grace which only comes to us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Who willingly heals and makes whole every repentant sinner (Matt 9:10-13). For God did not send His Son Jesus Christ into the world to condemn the world, but rather through the Lord Jesus Christ's Person and Work He could first save from sin and death and eternal destruction then transform into Christ's likeness each and every one of us who believe in Him as declared in the Scriptures (John 3:16-17); who receive the truth from Him (John 1:12; John 5:24; 8:31-32; 14:23); as opposed to those who do not (John 5:47; 8:43; 12:47-48; 14:24; 2 Thess. 2:12). Therefore repentance again often first begins with a changing of our mind about ourselves, and or about our sins and the horrific effects it has reaped on ourselves and others. But also our own misguided notions about God, who takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezek. 18:32; 33:11). But rather He freely forgives and loves each and every repentant sinner (Luke 15:11-32). That is why we preach the gospel, to turn people back from their sins to God through Jesus Christ the Lord who then saves and sanctifies us all who believe.
Therefore returning to the passage Jesus having broken the bread which is both prophetic and symbolic of His own body being broken for us all (1 Cor. 11:24). He now takes up the cup. And having given thanks to God the Father for it. Jesus then hands it to the disciples. And when they have drank from the cup Jesus than says: “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.” Vs. 24-25
And with those Words the Lord Jesus ratifies the New Covenant. That is by Jesus’ blood, symbolized by the wine in the cup, God has ushered in the New Covenant to be enacted by the Crucifixion death of Jesus Christ His Son (Please read Heb. 9:11-28). And so Jesus having shared the communion cup with the disciples says: “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.” Vs. 25

New in the Kingdom of God, for with the Lord Jesus' crucifixion death, then resurrection from the dead, Jesus must also first ascend back to the Father, until all His enemies are made His footstool. And thus having done so, the Holy Spirit’s outpouring will usher in the Kingdom of God into the hearts and lives of everyone who believes in Jesus. And thus the Kingdom's manifestation is now committed to believers with Jesus Christ working in and through our lives to reach others; until the fullness of times; which await Jesus Christ’s Second Coming for His bride the church, before His judgment and war on a unrepentant and unbelieving world. For that will proceed the Kingdom of God's literal manifestation, in a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 2:13). Then Jesus will drink of the vine new with us all. In the Kingdom of God where all of this world’s plagues and evils because of sin, Satan and death will be vanquished forever (Rev. 21:4). No more poverty, injustice, oppression or persecution. No more pollution, alienation, or hostility towards one another, or from the rest of God’s creation. No more hate and no more war. For sin and Satan and all of its effects and all that he did to alienate us from God and each other, and even creation itself, will be no more. And not only that, in the Kingdom of God we will have no more sin natures in our bodies to resist or struggle with. For we will all be in resurrected and glorified bodies with no traces of sin or desires or inclinations towards it. Fully capable then of experiencing a holy relationship with God and each other, apart from sin and death. And thus no more susceptibility to the horrific effects and fallout from it all. No more diseases, infirmities, weaknesses, bodily imperfections, nor even old age; forever young, vibrant and beautiful. We shall have no more failing hands, bodies and minds. For we shall all be like the Lord Jesus Christ in His resurrected Glorified body and we shall all fully reach and experience all of the unlimited potential that God created us for and placed in us all.

And all in a place where God’s Perfect love and peace are experienced as an everlasting and uninterrupted reality. Forever enjoyed by us all who received the love of the truth and believed. If you haven’t done that, that is come to believe and receive the Lord Jesus Christ please do so now.
Invite the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life, to be your Lord and Savior, before God the Father shuts the door forever and this world’s judgment comes, or your own life ends. For who can say when either will be? For who knows the day of their own death? Or who even knows the day of the Lord’s return? Only the Father in heaven knows these things. Therefore it is incumbent upon us all to be prepared this day, and everyday, for that day. For it is clear by all the of worldwide upheaval and cataclysmic events and phenomena going on, with signs both in heavens and on earth, as Jesus said there would be. And as the Book of Revelations bowl judgments is bringing forth, that we are in a stage of history that cannot be simply explained as “global warming.” For even the scientists seem to be astonished by what is now happening. It maybe that we are in the precursor cataclysmic events before Jesus Christ’s return! It may very well be that as Jesus warned when you see these signs, it is now, at the very doors! Therefore the only security that anyone will have on that day will not be found in stock markets, commodities, or in bullion. It will not be found in friends and relatives and loved ones. And it certainly will not be found in living in, and for owns own pleasures. But only in the Lord Jesus Christ under whose wings we like the Old Testament Ruth have come for refuge (Ruth 2:12). The only question then is, have you? Have you come to place of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Who is fully willing to save you from the wrath to come.
And so Marks’ gospel passage concludes by stating “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Vs. 26  For that is where the garden of Gethsemane is, on the Mount of Olives. And that is where Jesus will be betrayed by Judas Iscariot this night according to the predetermined Will of God for our salvation. The disciples then singing a hymn with the Lord is a beautiful scene; not only in of itself, for the gentleness of spirit within it. But also for what it is foreshadowing, the drinking of the cup with the Lord Jesus Christ new in the Kingdom of God for sure, but also are more immediate until then the countless souls that will be saved after the dreaded and dark night has served its purposes for that end. And so we as recipients of God's glorious Grace and Work in all hope and joy eagerly wait for the fullness of the resurrection dawn, where the new heavens and new earth and Jesus Christ's righteous reign will be forever.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
Additional Resources
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible dictionary; article on repentance

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