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The Last Supper

14:17-26

v17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the 12 *disciples. v18 While they were eating at the table, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth. One of you who is eating with me will hand me over to my enemies.’ v19 The *disciples began to be sad. They said to Jesus, one after another, ‘Is it I?’ v20 Jesus replied, ‘It is one of the 12 *disciples. It is the man who puts his bread into the same dish with me. v21 The Son of Man will go exactly as *Scripture says about him. But how terrible it will be for that man who hands the Son of Man over to his enemies. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.’ v22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread and he gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and he said, ‘Take it. This is my body.’ v23 And he took a cup of wine. When he had given thanks, he gave it to them. They all drank from it. v24 Jesus said to them, ‘This is my blood of the new agreement between God and people, which I will pour out for many. v25 I tell you the truth. I shall not drink the fruit of the *vine again until I drink it in God’s *kingdom.’ v26 Then they sang a song to praise God. And they went out to the *Mount of *Olives. Verse 18 To share a meal was a sign of friendship. To hand a friend over to his enemies is especially wicked. Jesus was probably thinking about the words of Psalm 41:9. ‘Even my close friend has turned against me. He was the man that I trusted. He shared my food.’ Verse 19 The *disciples did not suspect Judas. Their question to Jesus meant, ‘I am sure that you cannot mean me.’ They did not expect Jesus to say which *disciple he meant. Verses 20-21 The words ‘one of the 12 *disciples’ emphasise again that Judas should have been a loyal friend. There was a dish that contained a mixture of fruit and nuts. People usually put their bread into it in order to eat it. Jesus’ words were a last appeal to Judas to change his mind. Jesus was also warning him. The fate of the man who handed him over would be terrible. Jesus could have stopped Judas. If the other *disciples knew, they would have acted at once. They might even have killed Judas. But Jesus knew that his death on the *cross was in the plan of God. However, Judas was responsible for his actions. Nobody forced him to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Jesus knew what Judas planned. But that did not make Judas carry out his plan. To know that something will happen does not make it happen. Verse 22 Jesus probably used the words of thanks that the head of a family would use before a meal. ‘Thanks be to you, *Lord our God, King of the World, who brings food from the earth.’ He broke the bread as a picture of the fact that he was going to give his life for them. He told them to ‘take it’. They were free to accept what Jesus would do for them by his death. God would forgive them because Jesus died. Verse 23 They all drank from the same cup of wine as a sign of their unity. There were four cups of wine at the *Passover meal. Jesus probably used the last one, at the end of the meal. Paul says that Jesus took the cup ‘after supper’ (1 Corinthians 11:25). Verse 24 Jesus said that the wine was the sign of his blood. He also said that he would pour it out. The old agreement was between God and the *Jewish nation. The *Jewish people had to obey God’s laws (Exodus 24:3-8). But the *Jewish people had spoilt that agreement with God. Jeremiah spoke about a new agreement (31:31-34). Men would want to obey God because of his love for them. The blood of an animal ‘signed’ the old agreement. When Jesus gave his li fe for men, he would have ‘signed’ the new agreement. It was ‘for many’. The old agreement had been between God and the *Jews. The new agreement was for everyone.

Verse 25 In the *Passover ceremony, *Jews gave thanks that God created ‘the fruit of the *vine’. Jesus used the picture language of the *Messiah’s splendid dinner. He would drink wine again when he shared in the joy of the new age of the *kingdom. So, his final words were words of hope. He knew that death was not the end. Verse 26 The song was one of the Psalms that the *Jews used at *feasts. It may have been Psalm 118. They ‘went out’ from the safety of the upper room to the trouble in the world outside. Christians go out from their *worship to the world. In the world, they suffer troubles and *temptations.