Matthew, Chapter 26  

 

Matt. 26:26-30

Matt. 26:26 "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. 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."

 

This passage details to us the first two parts of what is commonly referred to as the communion service. The third part of the communion service is found in John chapter 13. There are two New Testament ordinances: baptism and the communion service. Both of these ordinances show forth the death of Jesus and what he accomplished for us in his death. Baptism shows forth the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

 

The communion service is divided into three parts. The first part is the breaking and eating of bread. The bread is a symbolic memorial of the body of Christ. The Lord took the bread and blessed it and break it and gave it to the disciples. He said, "Take, eat, this is my body." The bread used is unleavened bread. We know they used unleavened bread because the feast of the Passover and the next seven days was required to be observed with unleavened bread:

 

1. Ex. 12:8 "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it."
2. Ex. 12:15 "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel."

 

Furthermore, leaven is used in the scriptures to represent sin and evil:

 

1. Mat 16:6 "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Mat 16:11 "How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
2. Luke 12:1 "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
3. 1 Cor 5:6 "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 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: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

 

Unleavened bread represents in the scriptures, sincerity, truth, and purity: 1 Cor 5:7 "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: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

 

From the above we glean that Christ's sinless, spotless, pure body was offered in sacrifice and broken for us as is symbolized by the unleavened bread.

 

Next, the Lord "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." The element in the cup is wine. We know it was wine and not grape juice for the following reasons:

 

1. First, wine was the Old Testament drink offering:

a. Ex. 29:39 "The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: 40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD."
b. Lev. 23:12 "And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. 13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin."
c. Num. 15:5 "And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb. 6 Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meat offering two tenth deals of flour mingled with the third part of an hin of oil. 7 And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD."
Notice that these Old Testament sacrifices pointed to the sacrificial offering of the Lord and the meat offering was unleavened bread and the drink offering was wine.
2. The church at Corinth had misapplied the meaning of the communion and some had become drunken on the wine: 1 Cor. 11:20 "When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken."

 

Wine is used as a symbol of the blood of Christ because there is no leaven in wine. There is a natural leaven in grape juice and it will ferment. Since there is no leaven in wine, it will not ferment. Wine represents the pure sinless blood of Christ which he offered for us to redeem us from our sins.

 

The third part of the communion service is the washing of the saints feet. This is found in the 13th chapter of John: John 13:3 "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."

 

Next, the Lord taught his disciples to wash one another's feet: John 13:12 "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

 

The washing of the saints feet is a service of humility. The one who washes has humbled himself, and the one who allows his feet to be washed has also humbled himself. By washing one another's feet we are showing our willingness to humbly serve one another because of the love that the Lord has manifest to us by going to the cross and suffering in our stead and redeeming us from our sins. Now we want to serve the Lord by serving our brothers and sisters in Christ.



Matt. 26:31-35

Matt. 26:31 "Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples."

 

It is truly amazing just how closed the eyes of the disciples were to the things that the Lord was speaking to them. Yet there are times when we have already made up our minds about the things that we are going to believe that we too have our eyes closes to the plain teachings of God's word, when they contradict our preconceived notions. As we have already noted the disciples had rejected the idea that the Messiah would die. They were looking more for a conquering King more than they were looking for a Savior. Yet, according to God's amazing grace they and we got both.

 

On this occasion, the Lord pointed the disciples to the scripture which said, "I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But, the Lord continued to tell the disciples, that though he would die, that he would rise again. This should have been exciting news to the disciples, but they could never get past their rejection of the fact that Christ would die.

 

Now, the Lord told them that they would all be offended because of him that night. To this Peter vehemently objected, saying, "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." How little we know of our own sin-cursed heart and how it will react under pressure. No doubt, at the time Peter said this, he believed it to be true. Yet Peter was being boastful as he bragged that he had greater love for the Lord than any other man did. How careful we should be of our conceits. We really know little about what is in our own hearts. Yet the Lord has perfect understanding and knows exactly how we will react. The Lord knows what is in the heart of man. To this end the Lord said, "Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

 

The rest of the disciples also claimed that they would not deny the Lord. Yet the Lord knowing what was in their hearts knew how they would react to the things that would transpire on that night and told them that they would be offended and deny him.



Matt. 26:36-44

Matt. 26:36 "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words."

 

The Lord went with the disciples, except Judas Iscariot, who had gone to gather a band of men together to take the Lord, into a garden known as Gethsemane. He had the disciples to wait for him, while he and three of the disciples, Peter, James and John, went further into the garden. He had the three to sit and wait for him and to watch while he went to pray.

 

The Lord began to be sorrowful and very heavy. This is talking about the humanity of Christ and not the divinity of Christ. In his human nature, he experienced sorrow and heaviness concerning the things that he was soon to suffer. He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death."

 

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Several things can be noted here. First, the humility of Christ is manifest when he fell on his face and prayed. The picture portrayed here is not the divinity of Christ as the Son of God, but it shows the humility of Christ as the Son of Man. The events concerning the next three days are primarily set forth to show us the picture of the man Christ Jesus who came to redeem his people from their sins. In addition, we learn a practical lesson in that we should humble ourselves to approach unto our heavenly Father as Christ humbled himself.

 

Second, the prayer request was not to cast doubt on what needed to be done, or on the willingness of Christ to do it. Rather, Christ was showing to us the necessity that he drink the cup of death. If there had been any other way for the elect to be redeemed other than Christ suffering death for them, then it would not have been necessary for Christ to drink the cup of death.

 

Third, it shows Christ's subjugation to the will of the Father. The will of the Father is stated in John 6:38 "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." Jesus was reiterating this subjugated will as he said, "Not my will, but thine be done." Further we should follow the example of Jesus and couch our prayer request with "not my will, but thine be done." Above all else, we should follow the will of the Father and not our own will, when the Father's will is different from our will.

 

While the Lord thus prayed, the three disciples had fallen asleep and the Lord rebuked them and said, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Here the Lord rebukes the disciples for falling to watch and pray. He also tells us that we have a two-fold nature: the nature of the inner man or the spirit; and the nature of the outer man or flesh. When it comes to serving the Lord, the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. We who have been born of the Spirit have an indwelling spiritual inner man who indeed is willing to serve the Lord, yet we also have a fleshly outer man who does not want to serve the Lord. No doubt, the disciples were tired and the flesh wanted to sleep, yet the inner man wanted to do what the Lord told them to do. This is a constant battle that the disciple must ever fight: the flesh warring against the spirit, and the spirit the flesh.

 

The Lord admonished the disciples to: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." It is needful that we overcome and mortify the deeds of the flesh. Watchfulness and prayer are necessary deeds that we need to keep from entering into temptation. While it may not seem significant at the time that the disciples went to sleep rather than watching and praying, yet when the events transpire during the night there failure to watch and pray is very much manifest in their actions. Thankfully, the Lord does not fall asleep but is ever vigilant in all things.

 

The Lord prayed the same prayer three times. Sometimes people suggest that we should only pray for something one time, yet we have the example of the Lord that it is all right to pray for something more than one time.

 

The Lord spoke of the cup and drinking the cup. This cup was the cup of death and it was necessary that the Lord drink the cup of death in order that the elect be redeemed from their sins. Here we make a distinction between death and dying. The Lord was not praying that his body not die, but rather he was praying about death. Death is a state of being, while dying is a process. The cup of death refers to the suffering required because of God's wrathful judgment of sins. The Lord suffered on the cross the equivalent amount of suffering that all the elect deserved at the hands of God because of all of their sins. This suffering the eternal punishment of God is what we refer to as the cup of death. Christ drank it and it was necessary for our eternal redemption that he drink it.



Matt. 26:45-50

Matt. 26:45 "Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. 47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him."
What a contrast is presented to us here. While the disciples were sleeping and taking their rest, the Lord was in heaviness and an agony. Also, the Lord does not sleep while there is work to be done and to us the greatest work imaginable was about to be done of the Lord, i.e., the salvation of God's elect.
This was the hour of which the Lord had previously spoken:
1. John 2:4 "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."
2. John 12:23 "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified."
3. John 17:1 "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:" This was the hour of suffering, of death, and ultimately of redemption from sin.
There has been much speculation about the physical appearance of the Lord, yet we can conclude that Jesus' appearance did not stand out from those about him. It was necessary that Judas give the mob that was come out to take Jesus a sign as to who he was. The sign was a kiss. If he had a special appearance or otherwise stood out in appearance from the disciples, it would not have been necessary to give the mob a sign.
Once again, an Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled: Psa 41:9 "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." Judas had come and betrayed the Lord that he might obtain his thirty pieces of silver.