From the Instituting of the Lord’s Supper to Christ’s Ascension
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s SupperEdit
7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
At the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus makes the statement that He would not eat or drink of the bread and wine until the kingdom of God would come. Throughout our study of Jesus’ teachings on the coming kingdom we have noted that this coming was imminent. From the founding of that kingdom on Pentecost to the final full establishment after the conquering of the most powerful enemy, the Jews, the kingdom of God came with power. That kingdom is the church over which Christ is King and High Priest.
Two points of interest can be made from what Jesus said concerning the Lord’s Supper.
- 1) Jesus eats and drinks with us when we partake of the communion. It is not only with our fellow Christians that we partake of the feast. He does this in that He is the head of the body, and we, as the body, partake of these physical emblems so that Christ also partakes of them.
- 2) For those who view Heaven and not the church as the Kingdom of God, they must explain why they partake of the Lord’s Supper if they do, and also, how one would partake of bread and wine in Heaven, which is a spiritual realm where physical things do not exist, nor is physical sustenance necessary.
I only put Luke’s account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper because only he records the last bit of Jesus’ words concerning the thrones of the Apostles. He tells the 11 men there with Him that He is appointed to them a kingdom and the authority to rule it as the Father had appointed it unto Jesus. Again we see the image of the thrones representing the authority of the Apostles as Senechals of the kingdom. The twelve tribes here, just like in Revelation 7, are representative of the church, the new Jerusalem (Gal. 4; Heb. 12:21-22; Rev. 3:12; 21:2), spiritual Israel (Matt. 2:6; Romans 9:6; 11:26; Gal. 6:16; Rev. 21:12). It is at the time that they Apostles sat on their thrones (had authority) over the new Jerusalem, the spiritual Israel, that they would sit at the feast, the Lord’s Supper, with Christ once more. This all happened in the first century!
Jesus Before the High PriestEdit
Matthew 26:57-66 57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Mark 14:53-64 53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. 54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. 55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59 But neither so did their witness agree together. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
When the high priest of the Jews, Caiaphas brings false witnesses to testify against Jesus, he has some issues getting them to corroborate their testimony. Then a couple come in that heard Jesus speaking about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days (talking about His body – John 2:18-21). Jesus does not defend Himself in order to fulfill prophecy to that effect. He does, however, tell Caiaphas that Caiaphas would see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven, sitting on the right hand of power. In other words, Caiaphas would still be alive when Jesus came back for the dead know nothing concerning what is going on in the realm of the living, nor can they affect it (Eccl. 9:5).
A Word About the Red DragonEdit
Luke 23:12 12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
John 19:15-16 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
I listed these two passages, though they don’t specifically have anything of the apocalyptic symbolism in them. Instead, what we see is the reality of the verse in Revelation 13:2 in which the great red dragon called Satan gives the sea beast power, seat, and great authority. The seven heads of the dragon in Rev. 12:3 are the Herods. In Luke we see one of the Herod’s making nice with the Roman representative. In John, we see the Jewish leaders proclaiming Caesar as their only king (ignoring Herod, by the way), thus the Jewish leaders of both the monarchy and the priesthood were willing to submit themselves to Rome to the fullest extent, giving Rome their power, their throne, and every authority to run their nation.
Daughters of Jerusalem WeepEdit
Luke 23:26-31 26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
As Jesus heads to the cross, He sees women along the way who weep for what is happening to Him. He turns to them and says not to weep for Him, but for themselves and their children because of what is coming upon Jerusalem within that generation. We see echoed here the things said in the first half of the Olivet Discourse, the OT prophets, and Revelation (Isa. 2:19; Hos. 10:8; Matt. 24:19; Rev. 6:16; Rev. 9:6). The idea here is that the suffering in Jerusalem would be so horrible in the time of its desolation that they would want to die, but that death would not come and the suffering would linger. What suffering would there be by infants and pregnant mothers in such a situation.
We are reminded also of the prophecy of Moses in Leviticus 26:27-29: "27And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; 28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat."
[Historical reference for emphasis only: Josephus records the story of one mother, Mary, daughter of Eleazar of Bethezuba, a wealthy women trapped in Jerusalem during the siege. As the hunger gnawed at her and the zealots continued to confiscate all food to feed the fighting men, Mary chose to kill her son, roast the body, and eat half. When the roving gangs came at the smell of roasted meat to confiscate, she told them what she had done, and the left without the meat and spread the story of her abomination throughout the city.]
John Would Live Till Jesus Came BackEdit
John 21:15-25 15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Only John records this strange assertion by Jesus. Jesus says that Peter would die, but that John would remain alive until His coming. Even the disciples of that day were confused thinking that Jesus said John would never die. Instead, Jesus said that John would tarry until Jesus came again. John is dead. Jesus therefore must have come again after His ascension into Heaven. We have here one more solid, inescapable point that Jesus came a second time in the lifetime of those living in the first century.
Apostles Would Witness All Things of the Old Testament FulfilledEdit
Luke 24:44-53 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
As we bring the study of apocalyptic language and pointers in the gospel accounts, we see here the iteration by Christ that all the things of the Old Testment must be fulfilled concerning Christ. This included not only His death, burial, and resurrection, but also the spreading of the gospel, His teachings, throughout all nations beginning with Jerusalem. Herein is the identity of God’s Grace, His Son and His Son’s teachings, the gospel. Jesus told the Apostles that they are witnesses of the fulfillment of all things Old Testament. It during the time of the special office of the Apostle, which ended with the death of John, that all prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled, the law of Moses passed/vanished completely (Heb. 8:13) leaving only the New Testament in force.
In Truth and Love.