The Last Supper
Bible Study on Jesus last Passover Celebration

Father we bless you and praise you tonight in the Name of our Lord Jesus tonight, the Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. Tonight is the night As we keep your feast together tonight we pray that you will give greater understanding to us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Father God, we humble ourselves under Your mighty hand, and ask that you will cleanse us of any sin. We long to be more like you in Jesus Name.

satan, we declare that you are a defeated foe - that the cross put a stake through your evil heart and that your days are numbered. satan, you must bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ! We bind you and rebuke you and cast you out in Jesus Name!

Holy Spirit we ask you to be our teacher and lead us into all truths. Help us know more about the marvelous plan of our salvation! Praise your name Lord Jesus! AMEN and AMEN.

The Lord put it on my heart that since this is the night He celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples - that we should discuss this tonight. Can anyone tell me what feast that Jesus was celebrating this night?

BSoC - 1 NOW before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

And what is Passover? It is a feast to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. The Jews have celebrated it ever since, for about 3500 years!!!! To fully understand what it meant, let's go back a bit. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the penalty was death. But they didn't die, why?

God made the first sacrifice and covering for their sin. It was the first time that an innocent animal died in place of a person for their sin. Then God promised mankind a savior - he said that the serpent would strike at His heel, but He would crush the serpents head. Then Abel's sacrifice was accepted and Cain's was not, why?

Genesis 4:2-3 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.

Because Abel offered the proper offering - an innocent first born animal -probably a lamb or a goat - that was a covering for his sin.

Genesis 4:4-5 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

A lamb had to be offered for a sin offering. The bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. It's a principle from the very beginning: only the shedding of blood can cover sin - sin demands death and the animal was their substitute. At this time the law had not yet been given at Sinai - but evidently this was something that God had taught Adam and Eve.

Genesis 7:7 shows God speaking to Cain "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door.

How would Cain known what was right if God hadn't told him? Or told Adam and Eve to tell him?

It is true that Cain offered what he did out of the pride of his heart and he was mad because God didn't accept it. So two things were wrong here - WHAT he offered and his ATTITUDE about it.

What we're focusing on is that from the beginning, sin demanded death, and a substitue (lamb) had to shed it's blood to pay the penalty.

Now when the people of Israel became slaves in Egypt, God heard their cry. And you remember how He sent the 10 plagues to Egypt because Pharaoh would not let God's people go. The LAST plague was the killing of the first born of every man and animal in Egypt.

Let's look for a minute at what God told Moses and Aaron should tell the people to do.

Exodus 12:2-4 "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.

Okay the first month of the Jewish year is Nisan and roughly corresponds to our month April. We determine our calendars differently, so that varies. But this year [1998], they coincide exactly. So we are celebrating Passover when the Jews are!

On the tenth of Nisan (Tues. Apr 7 I think for us) a lamb was chosen without spot or blemish. The Jewish Day begins at sunset and ends at sunset, so although the calendar says Passover begins on the 11th for us, it is here for them.

They take this little lamb INTO THEIR HOMES for four days and tend to it. I bet a lot of them got attached to the lamb. And then on the fourth day, it was taken to the temple to be slaughtered.

In the same way, those who loved Jesus had Him in their homes and became attached to Him. This seems cruel, but God was trying to show them that any life is precious and make them realize the value of the sacrifice.

When Jesus was making His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, that's when the fathers of the households were taking their lambs into their homes on the 10th day. The Lamb of God and the little lambs entered at the same time.

Exodus 12:6-7 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.

This is where they put the lamb's blood on their door posts, roughly in the shape of a cross.

Exodus 12:8-10 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.

A little later (12:46) it says that they had to roast the lamb whole and not break any of its bones.

Exodus 12:46 It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.

Recall that none of Jesus’ bones were broken when He was crucified, which was very unusual. The legs of criminals were usually broken to make them die faster because they couldn’t press down on them to breathe. Jesus died before they broke His. One of the messianic prophecies declared that none of Jesus’ bones would be broken.

What killed Jesus? No one killed Him, He voluntarily gave up his own life to pay the penalty of our sin, and He bore our sicknesses as well.

Exodus 12:11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.

The Israelites were to eat it in haste, with their coats and hats on so to speak, and be ready to go, because God was getting ready to deliver them from slavery..

Exodus 12:12-13 "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike

So the blood was a sign for the destroyer to pass over their homes and they were saved. So when the blood of Christ is applied to our hearts, the destroyer will pass over us!

Exodus 12:14-15 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD--a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.

Yeast or leavening in the Bible is a sign of sin - any amount of yeast will cause the loaf to rise. Kind of like any amount of sin will infect our whole life. So the night before Passover, every bit of yeast or old dough or any kind of leavening is thrown out. Many orthodox Jews even today scour the whole house to be sure it's all gone!

We should examine our lives for the yeast of sin – and ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse us of it. Sin will kill us spiritually – the yeast or leaven of sin brings death.

And for seven days they eat UNleavened bread - like crackers. The bread that Jesus ate at His Last Supper was unleavened. Loaf is more like cracker or matzoth bread.

Crackers are unleavened - they do not rise. And today Jews use Matzoth bread which is almost the same thing.

Exodus 12:17-19 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."

This command was so serious that if it was broken, you'd be kicked out of Israel.

Exodus 12:21-22 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.

Hyssop is an herb. I have some in my flower garden. It has a lot of tiny leaves so would be good for a paintbrush. Now if they went out of their houses, they would go out from under the protection of the blood! And be killed like the Egyptians! Jesus blood protects us! Don't get out from under it! Sinning, especially unbelief and disobedience will take you out from under the blood.

Exodus 12:23-24 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.

So PASS OVER means that when the destroying angel saw the blood on the door posts, that he would pass over and not come into the home to destroy the firstborn. In the same way the blood of Jesus protects us from destruction!

We're NOT under the blood of Jesus until we get saved or born again. Whether we can leave the covering after salvation is a matter of controversy. But the topic of backsliding is in the OT and NT, so I believe one can leave Christ and therefore His protection.

So not only does Jesus' blood save us and make us able to approach the Father, but covers us and protects us from evil. Have you ever heard someone pray " I plead the blood over so and so"?

Because Jesus blood was shed for us, we have victory over satan. We have authority over satan IN JESUS NAME. He has the authority and He has given it unto us. But we must use His Name to take authority.

Being in rebellion is a dangerous place to be, and we do open ourselves up to a lot of problems.

Exodus 12:25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony.

Like I said before the Jews have been keeping this feast for

almost 3500 years!

Exodus 12:26-27 And when your children ask you, `What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell them, `It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'"

So, Passover represents a picture to the us of that time of Christ's coming and subsequent death and resurrection, but the Jews are still looking for Messiah.

Now the Jews have a book called the Haggadah that contains their ritual for observing Passover. It is a beautiful family feast led by the father of the household. In it the youngest child asks questions about what the Passover means and the father answers.

There is a book by Martha Zimmerman called "Celebrate the Feasts" that tells how Christians can celebrate these feasts as a teaching device for their children, but with an emphasis on how they are fulfilled in Jesus! Of course we don't have to follow the law by any means to be saved!

So when Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, He was celebrating the feast of Passover, knowing that the next day He will become the Passover Lamb for all people for all time.

Luke 22:14-16 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

Of course the disciples didn't really understand what was happening. They were looking for an earthly deliverer who would get rid of the Romans. They didn't really understand that He was bringing a bigger and better salvation. In fact they even started arguing about who was going to be greatest in the Kingdom. Can't you just feel Jesus' sorrow here?

Luke 22:17-18 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

Now the Passover celebration has four cups of wine that are blessed and drank. And each cup has a special meaning. This cup is called the cup of Redemption!

Remember in the Garden Jesus prayed, "Father if it be thy will, take this cup from me?" Jesus well knew what that cup would cost Him!

Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Now the bread used in Passover is interesting. They use THREE pieces of unleavened bread, wrapped in a napkin. These THREE pieces are called the Unity. Christians know this is Father Son and Holy Spirit. The Rabbis three names for the bread are the Kohanites, the Levites and Israel. The Levites were the priests.

Now early in the meal the father takes the MIDDLE piece, representing the priests (Jesus is our High Priest), breaks it in half, covers it in a napkin and places it (buries) under a pillow behind the Father's back.

This piece is saved until after the meal, when the pillow is removed (like the rock on Jesus tomb) the bread is unwrapped and brought up to the table (as Jesus was resurrected) and shared with all. So even in the Jewish celebration there is imagery of Jesus and they don't know it or why they do those things!

Jesus understood it all, but again his disciples had their minds on earthly things. Jesus announced his betrayal and they still didn't get it. Imagine His sorrow at sharing the last meal with one who betrayed Him! What He suffered for us!

Some Christians understand what Passover means today, but some don't and I'm afraid that attitude that many Christians have had against the Jews has made this understanding more difficult.

I celebrated Passover with a Jewish rabbi once in college. It was very interesting to see where a lot of the symbols come from. We miss half because we don't know the customs, they miss half because they don't know the Messiah.

Now since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the Jews do not have sacrificial lambs to celebrate Passover with, so they include the shank bone of a lamb in the meal and just pass it around. Kinda sad, huh? Since Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us we do not need lambs from the temple. And I don't have all the facts, but the Jews are preparing for another temple to be built and are planning on re-instituting the sacrificial system.

Next time we'll talk about the crucifixion.

Father God, help us to be loving in all our ways, and to be tenderhearted towards our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. Speaking the truth in love, let us draw together in the unity of the spirit as members of the Body of Christ, encouraging one another as Your coming draws near.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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Original lesson 4/9/98
Revised: May 02, 2001