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With Jesus in the Upper Room

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2021 8:00 am

With Jesus in the Upper Room

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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May 3, 2021 8:00 am

What is the new covenant that is spoken of in Scripture and what did one quiet, simple meal in an upper room have to do with it? In this broadcast of The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice, we’ll learn how--in just a few powerful words spoken over the breaking of bread and fellowship with his disciples--Jesus effectively explained the entirety of God’s redemptive plan for mankind.


What is the new covenant that spoken of in Scripture, and what did one quiet simple meal in an upper room have to do with it. In this broadcast of the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will learn how in just a few powerful words spoken over the breaking of bread and fellowship with his disciples.

Jesus effectively explain the entirety of God's redemptive plan for mankind. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Let's listen in as Dr. Boyce walks us through the four different interpretations of the communion sacrament explains which one reflects sound theology and the meals original meaning. Not long ago a friend of mine sent me a card with the picture of a small boy. He was floating on an inner tube tranquil country pond. He was wearing a straw hat. He was at perfect peace and inside the caption on the cards that each life needs its own quiet place. Matthew 26 is like that. They are a quiet place in the midst of the storm that is about to break up on the head and body of Jesus Christ we know from the earlier verses that the leaders of the people are plotting to kill it. Know the Judas is arranged to betray him to his enemies evil is all around. Yet in the midst of this while it was gathering Jesus collected his disciples for one last final quiet moment of teaching and fellowship on the central point in all of this is the institution of the Lord's supper, which we have in verses 26 through 30, but the account is preceded by verses the tile. Jesus arranged for this last time, together with the disciples and the words of the institution themselves are prefaced on the one hand by an announcement of Judas's betrayal and followed.

On the other hand, by a prediction of Peter's denial. All this goes together and makes a whole point of the introduction is a Jesus was in charge of what was happening. It wasn't a mere puppet somehow overtaken by circumstances unable to do anything controlled his destiny.

On the contrary, he wasn't under charge of everything from the beginning to the end and in all the details what he was really doing was arranging to eat the Passover in a way that would point out the connection between his death and the Passover had all signified for Jews and for those of us who follow the dating of this meal is a bit of a puzzle and is probably worth spending a moment to talk about that Matthew says it was on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread seems to imply that Jesus ate this last supper with his disciples at the same time. All the Jews were eating the Passover meal the other hand John says Jesus ate this meal on the day before the Passover. The Passover itself would've been the 15th of Mason the Jewish month and John would be saying that actually took place on the 14th of Mason, now John indicates is dating a number of places, but the clearest is where he explains how Caiaphas and the other members of the Sanhedrin wouldn't go in the pilot's palace because that would defile them and would've kept them from eating the Passover. Presumably, according to John, this is happening earlier. John also explains the breaking of the legs of the two thieves were crucified with Jesus was an act intended to operate the deaths of these man because John 1931 the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath fact as you read those last chapters of John the over whelming problem that the leaders faced was how to get Jesus arrested, tried, crucified all of this before the Passover began, but as I say, you seem to have a different indication here is to be resolved. Liberal scholars forcibly say one of the other is wrong. Some, I suppose.

Here the majority of the evangelical people identify with the Synoptics Matthew Mark and Luke and try to understand John in a different way my judgment, the simplest solution is that Jesus knew no doubt plan that he would be crucified at the very time the Passover lambs were slight and therefore he arranged to eat this meal with his disciples.

A day early. About the only one who thinks this RT France in his commentary explains that this is his judgment as well or number of reasons to think that one thing is no mention of the Passover lambs in these accounts of an argument from silence is always a difficult argument, and yet involving all of the symbolism you would think that if the lamb was there.

It would be referred to in some way is also explains why nothing is reported about Jesus activity on the Wednesday of this week of the meal were actually on Thursday on my understanding of the chronology. This is what happened.

Jesus arranged for the meal on Wednesday afternoon and he ate it with the disciples that evening is the beginning of the 15th of decently was arrested that night. He was tried and executed by noon the next day which was Thursday and was removed from the cross and buried by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

By nightfall, which was the beginning of the Friday Passover celebration. I think the Passover Sabbath began on Thursday evening and continued into Friday. It was followed by the regular Saturday Sabbath and the Jesus rose from the dead.

Sometime before dawn on Sunday morning. Therefore, fulfilling his prophecy exactly that he would be in the great three days and three nights of the women came to after the Sabbath's plural, which is actually what you have in the 28th chapter of Matthew's gospel selects the setting, but what are we to say about Judas only. I suppose that his betrayal was predicted listed surprise Jesus either does show that Jesus was in control here as well as at other points.

Just think about Judas do this had the highest possible religious privileges was chosen apostle was a companion of Christ.

He was an eyewitness of our Lord's miracles. He heard our Lord sermons. He had lived in the society of the 11. He was a fellow laborer with Peter, James and John.

Not one of the 11 seems to have suspected them up hypocrisy because when Jesus announced in the upper room that one of them would betray him.

They didn't all automatically look at Judas and say is it him seems to of been utterly one of them got all this time his heart was never changed dollars. A great lesson and that especially if your playing fast and loose with religion and with Jesus Christ, you can come to church.

You can hear some preaching. You can volunteer for Christian work. You can support Christian causes even participate in the Lord's supper and still perish.

If you've never been born again. Judas did. Judas is in hell the day uses words teach about him very plainly that it is better never to have lived at all and the live without faith and to die without grace is possible to be as close to Jesus as Judas was still lost great encouragement to self-examination. The heart of the passage. As I said is Jesus institution of the Lord's supper. In verses 26 through 30 Jesus would probably have been following the Passover ritual was the Jews observed at the end and still do may have blessed the bread with these familiar words. Praise be to you, Yahweh our God, King of the world brings forth bread from the art. All that would be quite familiar but suddenly as he finished that he broken was something completely unexpected. Breaking the bread, handing it out and saying this is my body's words were startling. And certainly they were remembered because they are reported.

That way each of the first three Gospels.

And that's the way Paul reports these words of the institution of the Lord's supper in first Corinthians 11 well-known words accurately remembered that there are probably no words so all the Bible that a bit more fought over in terms of their meaning and those simple words.

This is my body and this is the blood of the covenant performing interpretations versus transubstantiation is the view of Roman Catholics I hold if I can use their own terminology for it that the substance of the bread but not its accidents is literally changed the substance of the body of Jesus Christ, which means that the priests literally handle Christ body with the masses. Literally a reenactment of Christ's sacrifice on that distinction between substance accidents is something that comes from the philosophy of Aristotle's philosophy was dominant during the Middle Ages the substance means the essence of the thing accidents being what you actually see we would call the visible and tangible aspects of the object they say in essence actually becomes the body of Christ in the blood of Christ go on the outside it appears as bread and wine.

The second view is consubstantiation which was Martin Luther's view, Martin Luther wanted to take these words very seriously used to quote them again and again in Latin hope, as purposed by us. This is my body want to give up on that but he was perfectly aware that the bread was bread and the wine was wine and so he had the idea that the unchanged substance of the bread is literally united with the substance of Christ body so the bread is in itself a body but the body actually is there. So he is quite close to the Catholic view but trying to make a distinction.

The third view is that the Lord's supper is a mirror remembrance of Memorial. It's a view of Ulrich Zwingli and it's held today by most Baptists.

It gets its idea from first Corinthians 1124 where Jesus says this do in remembrance of me. So this according that view was only a memorial. The fourth view is that Christ is present but is present spiritually. This is the view of John Calvin and it became a theology of Presbyterians, Methodist, most Episcopalians withholds that Jesus is truly present in the communion service, but that he's present spiritually on the physical and so the blessing of the communion service is a real blessing is linked to the observance of the sacrament, but it's to be received by faith as all other spiritual blessings are the nothing automatic or mechanical about its observance now is unlikely that anything anybody says today about the Lord's supper is going to change the tradition that these various communions of the help for centuries, but it is worth saying that it's not necessary by any means to take the words. This is my body literally the plain meaning of the words. This is my body, is that this bread represents my body and this wine represents my blood are many reasons for insisting on that one thing the disciples to whom Jesus gave the bread and the wine were Jewish Jews had been taught that it was sinful to eat the flesh with the blood in it was one thing they had to be very very careful about and so if they have taken price words literally, they would have been shocked by those words offended by the fact that there's nothing in the narratives to suggest that they didn't see any change in the bread they didn't see any change in the wind. It would not be expected to like simply understood the Jesus words were figurative, as many of his other sayings were. Second, we know that in any communion service, and even in the master bread remains bread and the line remains wine senses are true indications of what is happening at that point, the distinction that I mentioned a moment ago drawn from Aristotle's philosophy between substance and accident is artificially made since the Middle Ages. But it doesn't really make sense today fired the doctrine of the incarnation teaches that the son of God took upon himself. A real human body and it's the nature of bodies that they can only be in one place at a time and only one formative time when Jesus instituted the Lord's supper.

He was there before his disciples in true bodily form that he was present there bodily.

His body couldn't of been present in the bread and wine.

At the same time and forth statement. This is my body isn't any different from numerous similar statements that occur throughout the Bible, such as seven good cows or seven years. You are that head of gold. The field is the world that rock was Christ the seven lampstands are the seven churches. I am the gate of the sheep. I am the true vine, and someone clearly spiritual feeding upon Christ that's involved. You're not a literal reading of his body in a literal breaking of his blood. That's intended and where to do that and do it regularly, receiving Christ by faith. In some ways it's a pity that so much attention has gone into these various ways of understanding what actually happens in the communion service and less attention has been given to what is really taught as if you take those verses which Jesus institutes Lord's supper Outlook at them for the doctrines. They contain concerning his atonement to find just an absolute wealth of teaching me suggest a few of the doctrines.

First of all, of vicarious atonement. What that means is that Jesus died in our place as our substitute taking our guilt upon himself and bearing the punishment for our sins. I was the meaning of the Passover Passover lamb was killed, blood was spread upon the lintel and doorpost of the house to indicate that those within the house were being shouldered by the blood of the slain animal they deserved to die. Just as the Egyptians deserved to die. They were centers with the animal died instead of Jesus, knowing that parallel full well indicates by distributing the bread and the wine that he is body would also be broken. He would die, but not for himself, he would die for those would trust him as their Savior. Second doctrine is found here is the doctrine of the new covenant. Verse 28 of this chapter is the only verse of all gospel that contains the word covenant is a very important use of the word and is clearly a reference to Exodus 24 age where Moses said to the people. This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you since Exodus 24 records the establishing of the old covenant we can hardly miss the contrast between that old covenant and the new covenant that's now set in place by Jesus dying Matthew and Mark don't have the word new. But Luke does in his account and so does Paul when he records these words in first Corinthians 11. You know them very well.

Paul said this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. When Jesus linked the old covenant to the new competence she was making clear that he was establishing a new covenant, the did away forever for all the sacrifices and the millions of blood sacrifices that have been part of the old would be no more need for sacrifices one see the perfect substitute died for sin. Moreover, although Matthew doesn't seem to a preserve Jesus use of the word new Jesus apparently did say no, which means that he was also presenting his death as a fulfillment of the promise recorded in Jeremiah 31 again. It's a passage many of us know your is Jeremiah speaking for the Lord. The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. I will put my law in their minds and write it in their hearts. I will be there God they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor manage brother saying no. The Lord, because they will all know me in the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord, for I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sin no more. The old covenant was a gracious covenant. God didn't have to enter into a covenant with them at all. He did it was an aspect of his grace. But the problem was, the people were unable to keep it new covenant, God's people would be empowered to keep the law, which would be written on their hearts and minds. The third doctrine we find here is a doctrine of the forgiveness of sins of the very fact that Jesus mentioned that shows again that he was probably thinking of Jeremiah 31 that speaks of it clearly that these words make an additional point. They teach us is that to be forgiven of our sins is necessary because that's our big problem in our relationship to God were sinners and we need a Savior we need forgiveness of our sins. We also need to be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ himself so that we can stand before a holy God is the blood of Christ alone is able to cleanse us from sins defilement is 1/4 doctrine particular redemption because Jesus didn't say that his blood would be poured out for everyone for the forgiveness of their sins, but for many verse 20 item was not poured out for Judas because Judas was enslaved. Jesus died for him, he would have been saved since even the sin of his betrayal would've been cleansed by Christ blood. Jesus was teaching in just these few words is that his death was for his own people only and that it was effective in saving them and only them from their sins. Jesus blood rated actual atonement for their transgressions is sacrifice actually propitiated God on their behalf's death actually secure their justification by his stripes. Those who have been given to him by the father or truly healed all that is done for his own. It means that his death was not for all the same time we notice although it was not for all.

Jesus was not teaching that it was only for a few is where he actually uses as many was fermenting many of, many are yet to come. There many with whom we have yet to share the gospel and finally this doctrine of eternal security because Jesus were certainly teach that because he stated as an unchallengeable fact that one day he would drink wine with these disciples in his father's kingdom. How can Jesus be so sure.

Obviously because his death would accomplish their salvation so completely and perfect but not even Peter's public denial of the Lord would overcome which of course brings us to Peter's denial. We don't have to look and Peter's denial in detail here because were going to come to it in time when Peter actually does deny Jesus, but we can say this is no doubt that Peter really did love Jesus and that he was personally loyal was dead Ernest when he answered the Lord's predictions by protesting, even if all fall away on account of you I never will and he said again even if I have to die with you. I will never disown you Peter certainly meant what Peter didn't understand was his own weakness when the crisis came, he fled away under the darkness and when standing in the courtyard of the high priest.

He was challenged by a servant girl. He said I never knew him. I'm not one of those disciples been predicted. Of course, Jesus had predicted it on the basis of Zechariah 13 seven it said I will strike the shepherd of the sheep will be scattered. The shepherd was struck.

The sheep were scattered. Peter did deny that sin of denial as well as all Peter's other sentence all of your sentences well been atoned for by the blood of Christ was by the drawing power of Jesus glorious resurrection that they were eventually brought back together again and reestablished as the church which is Christ's true body on earth today. Should be a comfort to us to know that the Christianity is for people exactly like these weak apostles very often with a strong very often for the powerful or the rich of the successful or the self-sufficient, though there are some of the reason of course is that these people don't think they need Jesus. That's what Paul wrote about in first Corinthians 126 to 29 that we been reading it hard to get the self-sufficient people to see their need of Christ and come to him.

Christianity is most often those who are weak and ignorant, often failing, though there need to turn from sin and trust Jesus just as Peter did for you because of course that's what you're like. You may think that your wives and your power: self-sufficient, but you're not on the spiritual things are absolutely hopeless.

As far as achieving any salvation is concerned is why Jesus came and why he died for you and if you haven't done it yet. You need to become one of these people you do, you'll have ceased trusting in yourself and your love, to trust in Jesus Christ, and love him and you will discover that all the blessings of the gospel, about which the Lord Jesus Christ speaks are for you. Father, we bow before you an order in this quiet moments like those quiet moments in the upper room to search our own hearts. Jesus predicted his betrayal. The disciples didn't point to someone else. They said is it me or is it me, may we do that or we really those who know you and trust you. Probably those that we may have all the outward appearance of being religious people and your followers actually are going our own way, are not born again are more like Judas and anyone and will certainly perish in our sins, give us grace to make that helpful and necessary examination, and in addition, work in our hearts so that any who may not yet have trusted Christ might come to place their whole hope in him and that they might do it now saying you are listening to Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview.

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