The Book of Mark
THE LAST PASSOVER
Text: MARK 14:12-25
1. The passage we will look at tonight deals with our Lord eating the passover with his disciples, the night before he died.
2. Our Lord ate the passover at the usual time when the other Jews did. It was on “the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover” (14:12; cf. 14:1, 2).
3. Our Lord directed His disciples how to find the place where He intended to eat the passover, reminding us once again of His omniscience – i.e., God knows all things.
4. Matthew Henry said our Lord “hereby gave such another proof of his infallible knowledge of things distant and future (which to us seem altogether contingent), as he had given when he sent them for the ass on which he rode in triumph (Mark 11:6).”
I. THE PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER
1. Our Lord sent “two of his disciples” into Jerusalem to make preparations for the celebration of the Passover meal (14:13).
2. Luke 22:8 tells us these two disciples were Peter and John.
3. Our Lord told them to look for a man bearing a pitcher of water (14:13). That would be an unusual sight in those days in that part of the world. Ordinarily it was the women who would go to the wells and carry the pitchers of water.
4. In the Bible, water is often a picture and type of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 7:37-39). Therefore this man symbolizes the Holy Spirit, who leads seeking souls to the place of fellowship and communion with the Lord.
5. Perhaps our Lord had already made arrangements with this “goodman of the house” (14:14). Tradition has it that this was John Mark’s house. In any event, everything happened precisely as our Lord had predicted, and the disciples prepared the Passover (14:14-16).
6. Mark 14:16 says, “And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them…”
7. We can be confident that everything God has revealed to us will take place exactly as He has said.
II. THE TRAITOR EXPOSED AT THE PASSOVER (14:17-21).
1. Our Lord kept secret the upper room location for His last passover, thereby insuring that the chief priests and the scribes would not disturb Him and His disciples (cf. 14:1, 2, 10, 11, 43-46).
2. Our Lord had predicted His betrayal on several occasions, but these predictions did not interfere with Judas’ free will.
3. It was because of Judas’ treachery that our Lord said, “But woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born” (14:21).
4. Luke 22:3 and John 13:27 tell us that by this time, Satan “entered” into Judas Iscariot. It would seem that at this point Judas had reached the point of no return.
5. And yet, Matthew 26:50 tells us that when Judas gave our Lord his infamous traitor’s kiss, our Lord said to him, “Friend, wherefore art thou come?”
6. The Scofield Bible says the Greek word translated “friend” means “comrade,” and goes on to say: “Perhaps the most touching thing in the Bible. The Lord does not disown Judas.”
III. THE LORD’S SUPPER INSTITUTED AT THE PASSOVER
1. After observing His last passover (14:17-21), our Lord instituted what is referred to in I Corinthians 11:20 as “the Lord’s supper” (Mark 14:22-25).
2. Mark’s account is similar to that of Matthew and Luke. John does not mention the Lord’s Supper.
3. Paul says in I Corinthians 11:23, “For I have received of the Lord,” suggesting he received his account as a direct revelation from God.
4. Judas Iscariot was probably not present when our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper (cf. John 13:21-30).
5. This is the view of the Scofield Study Bible (bottom of page 1037).
6. W Graham Scroggie said, “Perhaps the announcement of the betrayal was designed to get rid of Judas before this supper was instituted” (Mark).
7. The essential elements, bread and wine, were already on the table as part of the passover meal.
8. Personally, I believe the “fruit of the vine” (14:25) was unfermented, i.e., what we would call grape juice.
9. The bread would have to be unleavened (14:12; cf. Ex. 12:15; 13:3, 7; Deut. 16:3), because in the Bible leaven always represents sin.
10. First Corinthians 5:8 says, “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.”
11. Our Lord said in Matthew 16:6, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”
12. In Matthew 16:12, it says that the apostles then understood that our Lord was referring to “the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”
13. Regarding the Lord’s Supper, there is much disagreement among nominal Christians.
14. The RCC teaches what they call “transubstantiation.” Let me say that the doctrine of the RCC is worse than the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. It is Pharisaism and Saduceeism mixed in with idolatry and Babylonian heathenism.
15. By “transubstantiation” they mean that the elements (they use fermented wine) actually are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ. This is superstitious and idolatrous. Roman Catholics actually worship the bread.
16. Transubstantiation contradicts the Bible. For example, Acts 15:29 says we are to “abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood.”
17. Many godly Christians were burnt at the stake by the RCC during the Inquisition because they refused to accept the RC doctrine of transubstantiation.
18. The various Protestant groups that came out from Rome adopted similar views regarding the Lord’s Supper. The Lutherans teach what they call “consubstantiation,” which holds that while the bread and wine remain bread and wine, these elements are actually invested with the character of the body and blood of Christ. That is, under and around the symbols there is the real physical presence of Christ.
19. John Calvin also taught that the Lord’s spiritual presence was in the elements. Calvin did not get that from the Bible, but from Rome. Both Luther and Calvin were originally RC priests.
20. Of all the Reformers, apparently Zwingli was the only major figure who believed that the bread and wine were merely symbols, representing the body and blood of Christ.
21. Baptists did not come out of the RCC, and were around before the Reformation, tracing their history back to the apostolic church.
22. Therefore, Baptists have always believed that the Lord’s Supper was symbolic. The Bible often uses figurative language. Our Lord often used figurative language.
23. He said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).
24. He said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
25. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman” (John 15:1).
26. When our Lord said, “Take, eat; this is my body” (Mark 14:22), He was saying, “This represents my body.”
27. Just as you would show someone a picture and say, “This is my wife.” It is a memorial (cf. I Cor. 11:23-26).
28. The bread represents the Lord’s body. The bread was broken to represent the breaking of His body. The fruit of the vine represents His shed blood, “which is shed for many” (Mark 14:24).
29. Matthew 26:28 says, “shed for many for the remission of sins.”
30. Note the “new (covenant) testament” (14:24) and the new “kingdom” (14:25).
31. In I Corinthians 11:26, Paul says, “Ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.”
32. These Scriptures teach that we are to continue observing the Lord’s Supper up until He returns, and then we will “drink the fruit of the vine” with Him in His coming kingdom.
33. On the basis of this Scripture, J. Vernon McGee taught that the passover will be reinstituted in the millennium.
34. This seems probable, for it is unlikely we will observe the Lord’s Supper in the millennial kingdom. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are local church ordinances, and it is unlikely they will be observed during the millennial kingdom.
1. People often debate over when the old dispensation of law ended and when the new dispensation of grace began.
2. While the Bible does not give a precise moment, this here is a good picture of it. This final passover (and all other passovers since the cross are meaningless) closed the old dispensation. And when the Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper, He opened up the new dispensation of grace.