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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus

April 10th, 2022: Passover with the King- Matthew 26:17-30

We are coming upon the very special season of Easter. Last week the lesson discussed the King entering Jerusalem as a humble servant, riding a donkey. This week the lesson starts with preparation for the Passover meal and the explanation of the purpose of this particular holy holiday. This lesson reminds us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that salvation was the plan from the beginning.

Passover Background

Passover was instituted when Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. The last of the 10 plagues was the death of the firstborn. The only way to have this particular plague pass over an Israelite household was to sacrifice a spotless, blemish-free lamb and sprinkle the blood over and on the doorposts. This was a type and shadow of a future lamb, Jesus Christ, slain from the foundation of the world, that would also save men and women from death.

The Passover holiday is celebrated by the Jewish faithful every year in remembrance of the freedom from the bondage of slavery and protection from death. The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover are often used interchangeably. However, Passover is one meal overlapping in the midst of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Passover meal is called a Seder. Everything on the plate represents Jesus just as everything in the tabernacle and the temple represents Jesus. Many also see symbolism for the sufferings of the nation of Israel prior to leaving Egypt. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites are told to eat this meal with their shoes on (ready to leave) and their staff in their hand (ready for action). The bread they walked out of Egypt with had no leavening, meaning nothing to make it rise, they did not have time for it to rise before they baked.

The feast of Unleavened Bread is all about removing sin both hidden and obvious. This is symbolized by removing all leaven (stuff that makes bread rise and swell up -yeast) from the household. Scripturally, yeast and leaven represent sin. A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:9). For the seven days of this feast, every corner of the house is cleaned out to remove all uncleanness and leaven. Snacks and meals are all prepared leaven free as a reminder of how different things are without leaven and if leaven represents sin, how easily it can hide and overtake our lives. A very literal teaching of an extremely important spiritual principle. 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:(1Corithians 5:7)

17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

So much has happened already in this chapter. Jesus has told his disciples that during this Passover he would be delivered up to be crucified. The chief priests and Judas have made the arrangement, but they do not wish to get rid of Jesus during the Passover holiday. Mary of Bethany (Lazarus' sister) has anointed Jesus with the alabaster flask of costly fragrant oil. Remember that Mary sat at his feet and listened when Jesus taught. Scripture teaches that Kings and priests were anointed with oil. Jesus stated that she had done this for his burial. Here was someone that maybe did not fully understand what was happening but out of great love, gave great expense, in her gift for Jesus.

Jesus has taught them. He has been the disciples' mentor/teacher/rabbi. He has shown them His authority through miracles of healing, raising the dead, and feeding the thousands. However, the purpose for His coming is now at hand. Do the disciples understand the extent of what is going to happen? Their actions over the next few hours suggest that they do not- at least not fully.

Notice that Jesus is in control. They needed a place to eat Passover. He told them how to find a place. He needed a donkey to ride, He told them what to say to get the animals. The chief priests don’t want to kill Him during Passover, but that is exactly what they do. Jesus wasn’t tricked. He didn’t get caught. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10: 17-18) He has the power to lay down His life and to take it back up again- this has never been done. Just so we don’t miss it, this is all done in obedience to the Father.

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Can you feel the mood in this room change? Jesus has been talking about crucifixion and death. They are trying to maintain some normalcy following the commandments of Moses in keeping the Passover, and then Jesus says one of them will betray Him. I suspect that they all had dipped their hands into the dish with Jesus. I suspect Jesus is saying this more to the point of, it is a friend that will betray him. 9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9) Judas is recorded as having asked though we know his deal has already been made with the High Priest. Jesus’ answer may have been with eyes of love begging for repentance. Regardless, the consequences for Judas are spelled out.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

A very wise person will understand that when the Bible interprets itself, there is no room to question what something means. Jesus is demonstrating as He explains the fulfillment of Passover. The unleavened bread his sinlessness. The bitter herbs, the hardship and bitterness of rejection and the shame of the cross. The roasted lamb- cooked in the fires of torture and trouble. The perfect lamb is here. His body broken and beaten for our sin is the bread of life. His blood, the one without sin blemish or faults, is the ultimate sacrifice. Herein is a new testament. A new agreement between God and Man built on the covenant between God the Father and God the Son. The freedom from Egypt created a nation of people representing the one true God looking forward to a day of redemption. The freedom brought by the sacrifice of Calvary creates a people wholly given to Christ in the forgiveness of sin and for a relationship with God, who are then permitted entrance into Heaven. By His stripes we are healed from the affliction of Sin. Through His blood, we the undeserving have a covering of protection and are washed clean. When God sees me, He sees the blood of his lamb. 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

The book of Revelation speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb. Many believe that this is where Jesus will drink with us in His Father’s kingdom. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Revelation 19:7-9)

Jesus sang. On the night of His arrest, knowing the scourging and cross were just ahead, He sang with His disciples. During the Passover meal tradition has it that Psalms 116, 117, and 118 are sung. That is too much to include here but read these Psalms. Also, not included in this lesson but of importance, Jesus prayed for them. You can find that prayer in John Chapter 17. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (John 17: 17-20) His prayer included us!


I always find something new and important when studying Christ’s fulfillment of the law. It is very personal to me knowing that people mocked Him, beat Him, pulled out His beard, and killed Him, crucifying my Savior. He is my redeemer, my friend that is closer than a brother. I can let myself be very downhearted over these events. I can humbly recognize that many times I have done things that did not bring him glory or glorify his name at all. I am guilty and need his sacrifice for forgiveness. There is a saying among church members that things are bad right now, but Sunday's coming! Jesus defeats death. His resurrection from the grave proves who He is and that everything He said is true. I can believe him. I can trust him. I am humbled by His love and rejoice in His grace and mercy. If you don’t know Jesus in the forgiveness of sin, what better time! This lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, steps forward to open the seals on an important book in Revelation. All of Heaven rejoices in my savior. Let Him be your savior also. 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Revelation 5: 12-13).

-Older Christian

Oh, what a Savior! When I’m in pain or if I’m anticipating trouble, my thoughts are almost always turned toward myself. It’s a selfish human response to want my friends to help me, to encourage me, to sympathize with me. Jesus in these final hours among the disciples ministers to them so tenderly. He serves them, He washes their feet, He prays for them, He worships with them. Before the pleading hours in the garden, before the beatings, before the nails, my Jesus shows selfless compassion and authentic concern for all of them-even Judas. One of the most common comments I’ve heard from those who haven’t yet accepted Christ is, “why would he want to save me?” They say,” ``I've gone too far, I am not worth it.” Or they fear they can’t live it, they’ll never be able to keep their salvation, and God shouldn’t waste His time on them. I want to remind you of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. John, who rested on Jesus during this precious time of communion, wrote these words.

I John 3:1

Behold what manner of Love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.

He bestowed upon us His son- Jesus. In the Gospel of John, the forerunner of Christ proclaims: “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” Oh, the love of Jesus! You can trust Him, you can be rescued by Him. He will carry you all the way to Heaven.

-Slightly Younger Christian

Thank you for studying with us! God Bless!



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