Remembering the Lord’s Last Supper

Matthew 26:14-32

July 11, 2021 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (Exodus 12:14)


A.   Every Bible-believing Christian ought to look forward to the opportunity to refresh their memory of what Jesus Christ did for their forgiveness, and salvation!

B.   The Lord’s Supper is God’s way of reminding us that Christianity is not all fun and games – not all blessings and good times - but that it had a high price tag - and that we should NEVER take our salvation from sin for granted!!!

C.   Every Orthodox Jew throughout history has repeated a memorial of an event in Mar/Apr called Passover. That memorial was meant to remind the Jews of their miraculous exodus from Egypt, and their salvation from God’s judgment on stubborn nations!

D.   Jesus now has come to Jerusalem with disciples for the Passover meal together - this would turn out to be His Last Supper - most important! ~His LAST Passover meal

E.    But He will use it to start a whole NEW celebration!


II.   Background


A.   In the Background… The Betrayal by a Friend (Matthew 26:14-16)


1.    Judas was an Apostle – personally called by Jesus to follow Him and be like Him

2.    Jesus had given Judas…


a.     Power over devils, sickness – so that Judas could help people

b.    Responsibility for the money bag, which was a collection for poor people


3.    Jesus had loved Judas, just like He had loved everyone He had ever met – never forget that!

4.    Yet, that same Judas was secretly meeting with the Pharisees, planning the capture and ruin of Jesus’ ministry to the people


B.   Preparing for the Passover (Matthew 26:17-19)


1.    First day of an eight day national feast called “the feast of unleavened bread”

2.    The Passover was held on the first day of that feast

3.    Jesus and His disciples had no place the celebrate the Passover meal – they were all away from their homes in Galilee, visiting Jerusalem

4.    So Jesus directs their steps…


a.     Follow a man in the crowd carrying a water jug – easy to spot because usually only women carried water

b.    When you come to his home, tell him that the Master needs to use his home

c.     They actually discover there was a room upstairs that was completely prepared for all 13 of them! Nobody prepares their home for people they haven’t met yet!

d.    Jesus never ceased to amaze them


C.   The Passover Meal (Matthew 26:20,21a; Exodus 12:18-20)


1.    Very simple meal of five ingredients


a.     Roasted Lamb meat

b.    Unleavened bread

c.     Unleavened wine

d.    Some bitter herbs

e.     And a Dish of vinegar sauce to dip the bread in


2.    The one thing missing was leaven – no yeast in anything. Not in the wine, and not in the bread – not even allowed anywhere in the house!


D.   Remembering the Original Passover


1.    Around that table, everyone of Jesus’ closest friends were sitting and…

2.    Tasting and experiencing each item on that table

3.    They would remember all the details of the deliverance of all those slaves from the bondage of Egypt as told in Exodus 12!


a.     Bitter herbs (horseradish) reminded them of the bitterness of bondage in Egypt

b.    Roasted Lamb meat – remembering the blood of lambs in place of the people so they could go free – blood was painted on doorposts and top of the main door

c.     Unleavened bread – simple bread with no yeast

d.    Unleavened wine – simple juice with no fermentation yeast - Grape Juice, or fruit juice

e.     And a Dish of vinegar sauce to dip the bread in


4.    It would last for a few hours, with singing the Psalms and Hymns, and telling the Bible story

5.    Throughout Jerusalem, on Passover evening, children would:


a.     Act out the painting of the lamb’s blood on the door post of the front door

b.    Families would huddle together, as if waiting for the death angel to PASS OVER them

c.     Then shouting and praising God for the declaration that they as a nation are FREE now!


E.   Revealing the Betrayer (Matthew 26:21-25)


1.    While everyone was celebrating the power of the substitutionary death of the Passover lamb…

2.    It was right THEN, that Jesus interrupts the Celebration

3.    And He reveals that something terrible is about to happen to Him


a.     He was going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies

b.    He would be tortured and killed


4.    EVERY disciple was shocked by what Jesus revealed! And EVERY disciple was quick to examine the possibility that it could have been THEM (Mt 26:22)! We will come back to this in a few minutes

5.    Judas, was surprised, and acts like he was innocent. Just acts like everyone else


a.     The truth is…

b.    Judas was a FAKER, a fraud, a con, a thief, a swindler, a backstabber, a sham, a devil (John 6:70,71)  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

c.     Judas was UNMOVED by the seriousness of what he was about to do

d.    He was beyond help!


6.    Jesus carefully exposes Judas as His betrayer


a.     Jesus was revealing who was guilty of the coming murder of the Messiah

b.    Revealing who was not worthy of being at that table

c.     But all the while, not letting any of the disciples off the hook – Judas’ heart was in every other disciple!!!


7.    This is why we take time to EXAMINE ourselves


a.     Are you even a little like Judas?

b.    2Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

c.     Are you even Saved? Truly born again?

d.    How about this question… Are you Carnal? just like the world around you (Revelation 3:14-19)


1)    Revelation 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

2)    Revelation 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

3)    Revelation 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

4)    Revelation 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

5)    Revelation 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

6)    Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


e.     Those are words to a CHURCH!!!

f.     Are you Apathetic about the Bible, about souls? Flippant about the things of God? Unmoved by the effect your sin has on you?

g.    Any of the above qualifies you for being Unworthy


8.    This Remembrance Supper is for REAL Christians ONLY!


a.     It would be a mockery if someone tried to remember an event that has no meaning to them


1)    Like remembering the day you got married… when you never got married!

2)    Like celebrating winning the soccer championship… when you lost!


b.    This supper is for Christians who are “worthy” serious about Jesus being the Lord in their life


1)    Who is worthy?

2)    All of us are unworthy of God’s kindnesses, yet He gives it.

3)    But here, Jesus is exposing Christians who are “unfit”


a)    Not failures – that is okay

b)    But quitters who have decided to live for the world, and not for Christ


c.     God wants ALL Christians to participate and celebrate - but not when they are not serious about their Christian life

d.    When you treat Jesus Christ flippantly, without fear, (like you can take Him or leave Him) … you are acting just like those who CRUCIFIED Him!


1)    Are you living a lie? Calling yourself a Christian, but not honest? not saved yet? Don’t eat until you settle your own eternity!

2)    Are you living in sin as a Christian? Rejecting what you know God has said do or not do, and holding on to something that you know is against God? Don’t eat unless you are willing to turn away from it

3)    Are you serious about Jesus beiong Lord of your life? Or, is He just a convenient Genie that you turn to for impossible situations?


e.     Don’t feel like you have to put on a show here. If you can’t participate, you have my respect because you are being honest!

f.     But every Christian ought to use this time as an opportunity to get their life cleaned up right here and now, and then start fresh for this week - walking with God and His Son Jesus Christ


9.    So out goes Judas. He gently pulls away from the supper, and heads out the door. With no one the wiser. They all just thought he had to take care paying of some bill


F.    Then, amazingly, Jesus introduces a Greater Event for them to Remember from now on (1Corinthians 5:6-8)


1.    Greater than the death of the Passover lamb… The death of the Lamb of God Himself


a.     1Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

b.    1Corinthians 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

c.     1Corinthians 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


2.    The Lord’s Supper is a Serious presentation of what the Son of God did on the cross - being the FINAL Lamb, and FINAL sacrifice


III.         The Supper to Remember Christ By (Matthew 26:26-30)


A.   He Took the Bread (Matthew 26:26)


1.    What KIND of bread?


a.     Passover Bread

b.    Unleavened Bread – just plain, almost tasteless bread


2.    Yet, He blesses it – makes it special, not magical

3.    Then, He BREAKS it in front of them

4.    And then gave it to every one of them in that room

5.    Not one person understands what is going on!

6.    Jesus asks them to experience the tastes, the texture of the bread, the plainness of the bread as he tells them that that bread is just like His body, which would be broken for them in less than 24 hours.


a.     Jesus does not magically transform that torn piece of bread into His own body – it was just a picture of His body

b.    Sinless

c.     Broken

d.    Shared

e.     Must be accepted as a gift


B.   He then Took the Cup from off the Table (Matthew 26:27-28)


1.    This was a simple cup filled with UNLEAVENED wine – not a fancy chalice or goblet

2.    Nothing special about the wine – it was just fresh fruit juice from grapes - fermentation


3.    Jesus bowed His head and thanked God for what was about to happen to Him in a few hours

4.    He thanked God that a substitution was about to be made, the innocent dying for the guilty – Spilling out His own blood for theirs!


5.    And then gave that cup to all of them

6.    It was all happening just like it was supposed to (Acts 4:26-28)


a.     Act 4:26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

b.    Act 4:27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

c.     Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.


d.    Jesus explains that a whole NEW Testament was starting tomorrow!

e.     Matthew 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

f.     The Old Testament was about to die on the cross, and a new relationship with all mankind (Jew and Gentile) was about to being! A relationship with God based only on our faith in Christ and not on our faith in ceremonies and sacrifices anymore


7.    And they all drank of that cup


a.     They were Stunned at what Jesus was saying and doing

b.    What had been a wondrously joyous celebration was now a sombre and serious and sad moment in that upper room!


C.   But Jesus then promises that it wasn’t over! (Matthew 26:29)


1.    Matthew 26:29  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

2.    Even though Jesus was being betrayed at that very moment into the hands of the Pharisees…

3.    And even though He would soon be cruelly mocked and beaten for hours by the Romans

4.    And even though He would end up being crucified on a cross like a hardened criminal

5.    Jesus promised that He would live again, and that they would all REALLY celebrate in the kingdom of God (Mark 14:25) Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.


D.   If Jesus is who He claims to be

E.   If Jesus actually died in your and my place

F.    Then He should be able to ask us to live for Him, as living sacrifices, holy, clean, washed, forgiven, soft, and yearning to serve!

G.   So, let’s remember that last supper


IV. Let’s Remember The Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-34)


A.   A Simple Procedure (11:23-26)


1.    Based upon the Bible alone - as first given by Christ - recorded in Scripture - continued by Bible-believing Christians

2.    Just as Jesus Christ took simple bread (11:23,24)


a.     And Broke the bread - The price of our sin (Isa 53:5,6)

b.    And Gave thanks - thankful to be able to give


c.     Remember, this is Symbolic bread - “this is my body” - a PICTURE! Not a “sacrament” - not a “sacred means of salvation” - but only a picture of the type of death He was about to die - Suffering


d.    Gave the bread to everybody – gave Himself

e.     Explained that this bread pictures His BODY which was “broken” for sinners

f.     Encourages Christians to best remember His death this way! NOT to re-sacrifice him (Hebrews 10:11,12,14,26) - Don’t try and re-crucify Him!


3.    Christ then took a simple cup (11:25)


a.     Explains that the New Testament is found IN His blood (Heb 10:16-20)

b.    This cup only represents (pictures) His blood shed for sin. God forbids drinking blood (Lev 17:10-12; Act 15:28,29)

c.     This cup represents the New Testament! The bringing in of eternal life - salvation!

d.    Asks everyone to Drink the cup - the contents representing HIS PURE blood, that had no sin in it

e.     Again encourages Christians to remember the shedding of His blood for you this was - don’t go and try and shed His blood again!


4.    Remembering Christ Jesus’ death until He returns (11:26)


B.   A Serious Memorial (11:27,29,30)


1.    For REAL Christians ONLY! It would only be a mockery if someone tries and remembers an event that has no meaning to them - like remembering the day you got married, when you never got married!

2.    For Christians who are “worthy” - serious about the Lord in their life - Compare to Olympic athlete, election of politician


a.     Unworthiness - All of us are unworthy of God’s love. But here, dealing with Christians who are “unfit” as servants of the Lord. Living for the world, and not for Christ

b.    When you treat Christ flippantly, or without fear, you are acting just like those who CRUCIFIED Him!

c.     God wants the Christian to participate - but not when they are not serious about their Christian life

d.    You reap what you sow - Gal 6:7 - damnation to SELF (11:29,30)


1)    Brings sickness

2)    Brings an early death


C.   A Time of Examination (11:28; Ps 66:18) - Let the word of God, and Spirit of God speak instead of YOU always talking - let God show you where YOU are a mess, and then REPENT!


1.    Are you living any kind of a lie? Calling yourself a Christian, but not honest? not saved yet? Don’t eat until you settle your own eternity!

2.    Are you living in sin as a Christian? Rejecting what you know God has said, and holding on to something that you know is against God? Don’t eat unless you are willing to turn away from it

3.    Are you serious about the Lord? Or, is He just a convenient Genie that you turn to for impossible situations? Become His servant!

4.    Don’t feel like you have to put on a show here. If you can’t participate, you have my respect because you are being honest!

5.    But every Christian ought to use this time as an opportunity to get their life cleaned up right here and now, and then start fresh for this week - walking with the only God and Saviour Jesus Christ


D.   A Time to Remember (11:24,25) - So Let’s Remember Him Now


1.    Let’s take bread together (11:23,24)


a.     Give thanks for it - time of silence

b.    Brake it - remembering His suffering

c.     Eat it - YOU are the reason for His death - HE is the reason for your life!


2.    Let’s take the cup together (11:25)


a.     Give thanks for it - the precious, sinless blood of Christ

b.    Remember it brought us the New Testament - Salvation

c.     Drink it


V.   Conclusion


A.   Then, they all sang one more hymn, and went out to Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30)
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

B.   If you would like to talk with me about being born again, talk to me today