Questions for Littles: What day was it in v12? What did the disciples want to know? Who had already arranged with a man to have a large upper room furnished and prepared (v13-16)? What did they do that evening (v17-18)? What did Jesus tell them that one of them would do (v18)? What did each one of them want to know (v19)? What two things did Jesus say about His betrayer in v20? What does v21 say happened just as was written? What does Jesus say would have been better for His betrayer? What did Jesus do during this meal (v22-24)? What did Jesus say He wouldn’t do again until He did it new in the kingdom? How did they conclude their time together at the last supper (v26)?In the Gospel reading this week, we see how Jesus was executing a plan to save sinners.
From v12, it is plain that the disciples thought they were going to serve Jesus—that they would make plans and arrangements and carry it out in service of Him. But the Scripture piles it on to demonstrate that it is Jesus who has done all of the planning and arranging.
Jesus has already arranged with the master of the man carrying the pitcher of water. The “guest room” is a large room. It’s already furnished. It’s already prepared. What do the disciples do? They find things just as Jesus had said, and they “prepare” the already-furnished and already-prepared room.
Then there’s the betrayer, who is supposed to be the one making all the sneaky arrangements. But Jesus blunts it by stating plainly “the Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him.” It’s not Judas who is arranging the cross. God has been arranging it since history began.
And Jesus makes clear that He is intentionally offering Himself in the Supper. They had seen Him distribute bread many times. But this time, He takes that distribution as an opportunity to explain what He is doing on the cross the next day. He’s not being trapped by His enemies. He’s intentionally handing over His body for them.
Indeed, the reason that the New Covenant requires the shedding of such precious blood is because Jesus’s covenant people are made exclusively of sinners. They’re such bad sinners that, when Jesus says that one of them is going to betray Him, every one of them know that it could be himself.
And each of us knows that about ourselves, don’t we? We are those for whom He has given His body. We are those to whom He gives the cup of blessing, exchanging it for the cup of wrath that we deserve.
Was Jesus’s death plotted by His enemies? Much more than that, Jesus’s death was plotted by Jesus for us sinners! That’s what this passage is announcing to us in flashing neon lights! When we are tempted to worry, let us remember not only that the Lord Jesus rules and overrules in all things, but that He does so in the same love in which He intentionally, determinedly, went to the cross for us.
What are you going through that you need to remember is controlled by Christ in His self-sacrificing love for us? Whom do you know who is going through something in which they desperately need to remember this? What are you going to do about this?Suggested songs: ARP191 “I Love the Lord” or HB448 “Twas on That Night”