Planning the Last Supper
One of the key themes in our text today is planning or arranging. As Judas is plotting with the leaders of the Jews to betray Jesus, Jesus and the disciples are making plans for their final Passover meal together. Behind the scenes, God is orchestrating all of these events according to his sovereign plan. All the arrangements, for both good and evil, are falling into place to guarantee the desired outcome. Just a few hours after the Last Supper, Jesus would be arrested, tried, and crucified.
Today we’ll be considering a text in which Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper.
Christian churches of different persuasions disagree about a lot of things. But one thing you can expect in almost every Christian church is that the congregation will observe the Lord’s Supper. There’s a great variety of understanding about what the Lord’s Supper does for the one partaking of it, but there is almost universal agreement among all Christians that believers in Jesus should observe the Lord’s Supper.
On Thursday evening of the passion week, Jesus met with his disciples for the Passover meal, what we often call the Last Supper. This was a very important event. It was Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, and it set the pattern for a very important ritual of the Christian church—the Lord’s Supper/Communion. At the Last Supper, Jesus explains some important details regarding his imminent death and establishes a ritual to commemorate his death. It’s important for us to understand the meaning of this event and how it pertains to us today. And it gives us an occasion to examine whether we are genuine disciples of Jesus.
Let’s take a look at the planning or arrangements we find in this text.