THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XXX: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Last Passover Meal
A. Matthew's Gospel was written in part to answer the question raised by Jewish readers: "If Jesus was the Messiah, why did He fail to establish the promised kingdom? Will it ever be established?" (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew."
B. The twofold theme of His death at His first advent, yet of the establishment of His literal Messianic Kingdom in His Second Advent, is clearly presented in Christ's last Passover Meal, with a practical application for us:
II. Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Last Passover Meal, Matthew 26:17-30.
A. When Jesus planned for His last Passover, He mentioned His coming death, not His Kingdom, Matt. 26:17-19:
1. Matthew 26:17 reports that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Passover Eve, Jesus' disciples came to Him, asking where He wanted them to prepare for Him to eat the Passover, Matt. 26:17.
2. Jesus replied that they were to go into Jerusalem and tell a certain man that the Master's time was at hand, that He would observe the Passover with His disciples in his house, Matthew 26:18.
3. The "My time it at hand" phrase foretold His coming death, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matt. 26:18.
4. The disciples did as Jesus said and made preparations for the Passover, Matthew 26:19.
B. When Jesus began to eat His last Passover meal, He taught on His death, not His Kingdom, Matt. 26:20-25:
1. As they sat down to eat, Jesus gave the startling, tragic news that one of them would betray Him, Matt. 26:20-21. The disciples were very sorrowful at this, and each began to ask, "Is it I?" (Matt. 26:22)
2. When Jesus replied that he that dipped his hand with Him in the dish, the same would betray Him, He added that the Son of Man, referring to Himself as the Daniel 7:13 Messiah, would go as it was written of Him, Matthew 26:23-24a. By "go" Jesus meant He would go unto death as predicted in the prophets like Isaiah 53:4-8 had predicted; Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T.
3. However, the man who betrayed Jesus, though fulfilling Scripture in events leading to Christ's death, would be eternally condemned, so that it would have been good for him not to be born, Matthew 26:24b.
C. However, while instituting the Lord's Table at His last Passover, Jesus anticipated His literal Kingdom that would occur after His death and implied resurrection due to His death's remission of sins, Matthew 26:26-30:
1. A clear shift in Christ's theme occurs in Matthew 26:26-30, a shift we know from John's Gospel occurred when Judas Iscariot had left the Passover meal and had left into the night to betray Him, cf. John 13:26-30.
2. That shift was the direction of the attention of Jesus' disciples not only at His impending death, but at His literal Messianic Kingdom that was to follow His death and resurrection, Matthew 26:26-30:
a. After Judas was gone, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take, eat; this is my body," clearly prefiguring His future death on the cross for sin, Matthew 26:26.
b. Then He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, saying, "Drink of it, all of you," Matthew 26:27 ESV. He explained the wine represented His blood to be shed to form the new covenant predicted in Jeremiah 31:31-37 when God would remit man's sins and put a new heart within him to do God's will, Matt. 26:28; Ibid., p. 83; Romans 8:3-4. Once again, the focus was on His coming death.
c. However, continuing His discussion on the cup, Jesus said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the day He drank it new with them in His Father's Kingdom, Matt. 26:29. Christ thus looked beyond His death to His Kingdom when the issue of man's sins would be remitted by the cross, and man could fellowship with Him in His literal Kingdom while He literally drank the literal fruit of the vine with them!
d. They finished the meal, sang a typical Passover hymn, and left for the Mount of Olives, Matt. 26:30.
Lesson: In His last Passover meal, Jesus taught that the establishment of His joyful literal Messianic Kingdom followed His sorrowful death for sin, for man's sins had to be remitted before God blessed him with the Kingdom.
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ to be saved, John 3:16. (2) If God in principle handles sin before blessing us with His Kingdom, may we by grace prepare for the Kingdom by overcoming sin in our walk, 1 Jn. 3:1-3. (3) If sorrow exists because sin has to be handled, and joy occurs only as it is handled, may we by grace overcome sin to escape the realm of living a sorrowful life to live in the joy of the Lord!