Sermon: Jesus Celebrates the Last Passover with His Disciples Matthew 26:17-30

Truth Taught- Jesus establishes the Lord’s Supper to be taken by His followers and finished at His second coming


The Passover Meal is the highlight of the holy week in Israel.  Passover commemorates the events in Exodus 12.  The original Passover was when the Passover lamb was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nissan, which as we learned in Exodus is now Israel’s first month of their year.  

There are differing views as to the timeline of this last Passover meal Jesus would share with His disciples.  There are many different opinions as to exactly when Jesus and the twelve ate their Passover Meal together.
The timeline is probably something like this…
Exodus tells us that the lambs would be killed on the 14th day of the month at twilight.  Jews in Jesus’ day took their lambs to the priest who killed them and sprinkled blood of the lamb on the alter and this was traditionally done between 3pm and 5pm on 14th of Nissan.  This is also why in Jesus’ day; the sacrifice and the meal took place in greater Jerusalem which gave them access to the temple and to the alter.  With the sacrifice of the lamb on the 14th of Nissan between 3-5pm, the actual Passover meal would be celebrated the next day which is that evening of Nissan 15 which by Jewish reckoning is just a few hours later because, remember, their days begin in the evening at 6pm.  

So, Jesus and His disciples eat their Passover Meal the day before in the evening which began the 14th Nissan…the first day of Unleavened Bread as Matthew reports.  The reason for this is because Jesus knew He would not be available on the actual Passover day.  He would be on the cross dying as God’s Passover Lamb.

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Disciple Hour: Exodus 12:14–28 (ESV) 

1.  Passover, a Memorial Day

14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

One very wise Christian historian commenting on these verses, told his students that the Christian life is a combination of amnesia and déjà vu…He said, I know I have forgotten this before.  He’s right.

If we are not careful, we can forget even the most basic components of the Christian life.  God’s people have always been somewhat forgetful.  We can easily be guilty of spiritual amnesia.  This is why, by God’s grace, He commands us to remember.

Forgetting God and His power can cause us to be afraid…

Nehemiah 4:14 (ESV) 

14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” 

Remembering what God has done will give us confidence in the future when we face trials…

Isaiah 46:8–10 (ESV) 

“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 

remember the former things of old;  for I am God, and there is no other; 

I am God, and there is none like me, 

10  declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, 

saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 

God has set the Passover as a memorial feast for Israel so that they will not forget what God did for them in the Land of Egypt…remember.

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Sermon: Mary’s Extravagant Worship of the Messiah Matthew 26:6-16Sermon:

Truth Taught- Jesus is worthy of extravagant worship

Occasionally the Gospel writers will stop reporting events chronologically and drop accounts in theologically at a place where the meaning of certain events become even more clear to us the reader.  Here before us today is such an account.
This event, according to John’s Gospel took place two days before.  The anointing of Jesus in Matthew takes place two days before Passover in the town of Bethany at Simon the leper’s home.  This would prove to be a very special time for Jesus, His followers, Lazarus, Mary and Martha and the others present there in Simon’s home celebrating Jesus.  This was a meal in His honor.

Each night during the last week of His life Jesus is staying in Bethany, a village about an hour’s walk from Jerusalem (Matt. 21:17), probably because the Holy City, filled to the brim with Passover worshippers, has few vacancies. According to John 12:1–8, the event described in today’s passage takes place in the home of Simon the Leper.  Lazarus, Mary, and Martha are present, they also lived in Bethany and friends of Simon the leper. 

Here’s John’s account…

John 12:1–8 (ESV) 

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Disciple Hour: Exodus 12:1–13    God’s Instructions for the Passover

Before we begin to look at God’s instructions for the Passover, we must realize that God was about to display His righteousness and power by destroying ALL the firstborn of Egypt and He also had the sovereign right to justly judge and destroy ALL the firstborn of Israel as well.  As He is going to bring about the death of the firstborn of Egypt, He is also that same night, going to visit every house of the Israelites.  

13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

Because the wages of sin is death, God claimed the right to visit and destroy all the firstborn even of the Israelites too.  The previous plagues had not affected them but here they too were in danger. 

As they watched the plagues from the safety of Goshen, they may have been led to think that they were somehow better than the Egyptians or more righteous than they were.  They may have begun to think they were immune to God’s pestilence and judgement.  However, the absolute truth was that they too were sinners and they too deserved death. 

God provided a way for them to escape His judgment.  This way was detailed and fixed.  We might call the Passover, salvation by substitute.  That’s the way God would do it.  They would not die because a lamb was killed in their place as a substitute.  

The great OT scholar Alec Motyer writes, When the wrath of God is applied in its essential reality, no one is safe.  There were two nations in the land of Egypt, but they were both resistant to the Word of God; and if God comes in judgement none will escape.  

When people understand that they are in the sad situation that God is just and right to judge all sinners including them and then they hear that God has made a way of escape there is no arguing over the details they take God’s offer. 

The Bible does not say that the Israelites were complaining about God’s offer of salvation by substitution.  But many complain today.  They don’t like God’s offer.  So many think they can somehow improve on God’s Gospel.  They are gravely mistaken.

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Sermon: The Son of Man Will Be Delivered Up to Be Crucified Matthew 26:1-5

Truth Taught- Jesus died according to God’s purpose and timing, not man’s

As we continue through Matthew’s Gospel we come now to a transitional point.  Jesus’s major times of teaching are over.  His focus now is on completing His Messianic Mission.

Our Lord has announced His mission to His disciples already.  On one occasion He told them very pointedly what was going to take place.

Matthew 16:21–23 (ESV) 

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

Jesus had also told them on other occasions what was going to happen and how He would give His life and how He would be raised on the third day.  Jesus tells His disciples and the Gospel writers record these prophetic declarations with a purpose in mind.  God wants us to realize all the events surrounding the cross and the resurrection are divinely planned out and will be divinely carried out exactly as God desires.

In Matthew Chapter 24 we read that Jesus had left the Temple after condemning it and it’s leadership.  He and His disciples went up onto the Mount of Olives where He taught them about the destruction of the Temple, Fall of Jerusalem and His Second Coming.  Now, in Chapter 26 He returns to the reason He came the first time.  He will now teach them that He will be murdered by crucifixion and on the third day rise from the dead.

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