Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 14:12-26

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Preparation for the Meal - Mark 14:12

The Passover commemorated the delivery of Israel from the slavery of Egypt. Jesus used that moment to institute the Lord's Supper as the commemoration of Jesus' delivering his people from the slavery of sin.

A man bearing a pitcher - Mark 14:13-15

A man bearing a pitcher of water would have been unusual. Normally that would have been the work of a woman. Some have suggested that Jesus knew this through his divine omniscience. More likely it was a prearranged signal. Jesus took precautions to avoid arrest until the moment of his choice. Note that the disciples didn't even need to mention Jesus' name and that the room was ready for them (vv. 14, 15). Jesus and the disciples had been spending the evenings that week in Bethany. It is doubtful that they all found accommodations in any one home. To eat the Passover meal together they needed a large room.

Lying Down - Mark 14:18- 20

Lying down on a couch was the typical way to eat a meal. The guests would lean on their elbow with their heads near the low table and their feet extended toward the walls of the room. Jesus already had told them that he would be betrayed (9:31; 10:33). Jesus' announcement that one of their own small group would betray him surprised and the disciples were sorrowful. Dipping bread or meat into a common bowl of broth or sauce was typical of an ancient meal.

Betrayal by a friend - Mark 14:21

It is difficult to decide if Jesus' words, scripture says refers to the general theme of the suffering messiah (as in 9:12), or more specifically to his betrayal by a friend (Ps. 41:9).

Bread - Mark 14:22

At some point in the Passover meal Jesus referred to the bread that he broke as, my body. The broken bread would become a remembrance of Jesus' body that was sacrificed in death for his people.

Blood of the Covenant - Mark 14:23-24

Similarly the wine of the feast was the blood of the covenant. These words alluded to the blood of the Passover lamb that had been spread on the doors of the Israelites and protected them from God's judgment on the Egyptians (Exod. 12:7-13; 24:8). The connection of Jesus' sacrificial death with the imagery of Passover and Mark's use of the word covenant stress the unity of God's saving provision throughout the history of his redeeming work. Jesus seems to have taken the phrase blood of the covenant from Exod. 24:6-8. God did not spend history looking for new and different ways to save his people. Jesus' death had been at the center of it from the very beginning. The Passover and all the other Old Testament displays of God's saving grace were pointers to the greater reality of Jesus' sacrifice.

Promise and praise - Mark 14:25-26

The meal was concluded with a promise and praise. Jesus promised that their last meal would be continued one day in the kingdom of God. This is Jesus' reassuring word in the middle of all the darkness of betrayal and death. They will be united again when God's kingdom comes in all of its glorious fullness. The word new can mean again, but in this context it is more likely a reference to the newness of the new heavens and new earth. Fellowship with Jesus around the table will take place again, but in that day of resurrection the whole experience will be renewed and take on the character of eternity. The hymn they sang was probably Psalms 115–118. That was the typical way to conclude the Passover meal. Psalm 118:22 refers to the rejected cornerstone.

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