PASCHA - Fulfilled in the Kingdom of God Print E-mail

PASCHA – Fulfilled in the Kingdom of God

Sunday, April 9, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

On the evening of the day corresponding to our Thursday, the Lord of Glory at the close of the Paschal supper, in the small upper room on Mount Zion, instituted in the presence of His disciples, the great New Testament memorial feast.

 

Luke 22: 14-20:  When the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.  He said to them, with desire I have desired to eat this Pascha with you before I suffer.  For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, take this, and divide it among yourselves.  For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come.  He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them saying, This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you.

 

That the Resurrection is the kingdom of God is plainly evident.  The Resurrection is the overthrow of death.  Death had reigned as king from Adam until Christ---then death was overthrown, conceding victory and kinship to the Lord.

 

O death where is your victory?  David says, The Lord is King, and then to explain what kind of kingship He has, adds, He is clothed with majesty.  Man’s body has shed its corruption and has been adorned with divinity.  He is fair in His apparel, and mighty strength.  The Lord Himself said after His Resurrection, all authority has been given unto Me.  When the Resurrection came which the Lord here calls the kingdom of God, it overthrew the reign of death. 

 

Peter says to Cornelius, We did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.  The Lord then will drink a new drink with those who will receive His life.  Luke’s gospel is the only one which mentions two cups.

 

The first cup, when the Lord says, Take this, and divide it among yourselves, might explain a type of the Old Testament and the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb; the second cup, after He has broken and distributed the Bread, He Himself distributes to His disciples, calling it the Cup of the New Testament, and He says that it is initiated with His Blood, The Lamb of God.  

 

At the time of the Old Testament, when the law was given (and put into effect), there was the blood of irrational animals.  Now, when God the Logos has become Man, blood is the seal of the New Testament, putting it into effect for us.  When the Lord says, which is given for you, and which is shed for you, He is speaking for all who will receive Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Passover Lamb.

 

The old Pascha was performed for the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and the blood of the Lamb was shed for the preservation of the first born.  But the new Pascha is celebrated for the remission of sins and for the preservation in us of pure and holy thoughts, consecrated to God like first-born sons.

 

The receiving of the Passover cup of the New Testament is the separation between those who believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah and those who do not.

 

John 6: 35-37:  Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life; he that comes to Me shall never hunger.  He that believes in Me shall never thirst.  But I said unto you, that you also have seen Me, and do not believe.

 

When Jesus declared that he was the Bread of Life and the Passover Lamb at the beginning of His ministry in Capernaum, the crowd and his disciples left him except for the twelve.

 

Jn. 6:66-67:  From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away?

 

The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith.

 

The Lord makes the disciples responsible for the decision to follow Him or not.  He does not want them to succumb to human weakness and become arrogant thinking they are doing him a favor by continuing to follow Him.  He wants them to follow Him as Messiah, not out of shame and pity, but in anticipation of the glorious grace of His Kingdom.

 

68-71:  Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and we are sure that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus answered the, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is of the devil?  He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon; for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve.

 

Jesus revealed at Capernaum at least two years before this day in Luke 22, that one of the disciples was of the devil.  22:2-3: The chief priests and scribes (captains) sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.  Then entered Satan into Judas…

 

Luke 22: 21-27:  Behold, the hand of him that betrays Me is with Me on the table.  The Son of Man goes as it has been determined; but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed!  The disciples began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.  There was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.  He said to them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.  You shall not be so.  He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as that serves.  For who is greater?  He that sits at the table, or he that serves?  Is not it he that sits at the table?  I am among you as He that serves.

 

Jesus by his actions has just served all of the disciples.  He Himself distributed the Bread and the Cup to them.  If I am willing to serve you, how can you dare to esteem yourselves highly and to strive with one another for the privilege of being first and for-most?  It seems the Lord purposely mentions their sitting at a table and His serving them, to remind them of a truth:  If you have all eaten from one Bread and have drunk from one cup, the one Table unites you all as One Body.  Why then do you have such unworthy thoughts?  For I did not serve only one of you and not the others; I was the servant of you all.

 

22:28-24:  You are they which have continued with Me in My temptations.  I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed unto Me; that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  The Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and when you turn back, strengthen your brethren.  Peter said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with you both into prison, and to death.  Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, the crock shall not crow this day, before you shall deny three times that you know Me.

 

The twelve continued with him after the other disciples and crowd left him at Capernaum.  They stayed with him through the persecutions and rejection of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Chief Priests. 

 

In the kosmos, those who are the supper companions of the king are considered to hold first place in the king’s esteem.  The Lord is showing the apostles that they will all be honored by Him.  Just as the Queen of Sheba (because of her great faith) will judge the generation who rejected Jesus, likewise the apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel who did not and have not believed.  The apostles, too, were Israelites, yet they believed.

 

Then in case they should get puffed up, Jesus warns Peter.  The devil has pressed hard against you seeking to cast you outside Christ’s love, and to reveal you as traitors.  Though you will be shaken for a short time, you have stored up within you the seeds of faith. 

 

The strong man assailing---the stronger than the strong beating him back! 

 

When you turn back, O Peter, you will become to all a beautiful example of repentance.  No one who believes in Jesus will despair for himself when he looks at you and sees the apostle who denied the Lord. Then by repentance, he received back the place of honor.  You will become for all the faithful, a type and figure of repentance, and the avoidance of despair.  “Although he fall, he shall not be cast down utterly; for the Lord upholds us with his right hand.

 

The willingness of man is not enough without the help of God.  By the same token, the help of God is not enough without the willingness of man.  Judas received no benefit, although the Lord did everything to gain him.  Let all of us tremble when we understand that the plots of the devil prevail over those who are slack. 

 

Thanks be to God, who does not abandon those who wholly seek after the Lord with good in their hearts.  Let the intent of our heart be righteous though we may fail in our good intentions.  The Lord will always see the intent of our heart.

 

22: 35-38:  Jesus said to them, when I sent you without purse, satchel and shoes, did you lack anything?  They replied, nothing.  The said He, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his satchel.  He that has no sword let him sell his garment and buy one.  I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me; and He was reckoned among the transgressors.  For the things concerning Me have a fulfillment.  The disciples said, Lord, behold, here are two swords.  Jesus said to them, It is enough.

 

I don’t know how to interpret this section of scripture; nor did I find a commentator who did so in a way that witnessed to me.  We dare not be wise above what is written or what is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.   Danger and bloodshed are upon Jesus and the disciples.  The Lord speaks of swords.  Yet the Lord forbade Peter to use the sword to defend him.  Many say it is only metaphorical.  I say, No!  The disciples remember what he said about the swords.  They wrote it down.  Yet, he voluntarily gave himself over to His Passion for the salvation of mankind.

 

Jesus knew they would now feel the pains and sorrow which would accompany their efforts to save others.  He is warning them there are wars and dangers to come.

 

I could spiritualize this and say the Lord is speaking of the Sword of the Spirit as some have.  However, I do not believe that is honest.

 

22: 39-46: Jesus came out, and went as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him.  When He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that you do not enter into temptation.  He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father if you be willing, remove this cup from Me.  Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.  There appeared an angel unto Him from heaven; strengthening Him; and being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  When he rose up from prayer, and came to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow.  Jesus said to the, Why are you sleeping?  Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.

 

Gethsemane is the earth’s most sanctified scene of anguish and suffering.  Redeeming Love is in His deepest agony and most glorious triumph.  The garden was the scene of the first conflict between Satan and Adam.  The Second Adam again wins the conflict of the ages in a garden.

 

The disciples fell asleep in their sorrow, but a bright angel from the mansions of heave is now seen by His side---an angel “strengthening Him.”  What that angel did or said is unrecorded.  We can believe the celestial multitudes were directed on the spot where their great Lord was bowed in anguish; and this glorious angel was sent down to assure Him, all Heaven was watching in silent expectancy.  One thing we may well believe the angel did not tell Him that he was sent to answer the prayer that Jesus had uttered three times.  If it be possible let this cup pass from me. 

 

If so, the disciple representatives of the Church on earth might well remain outside the gates’ sleeping with sorrow---sunk in the slumbers of everlasting despair! 

 

Surely the angel strengthened Jesus with the good news of the crown rising above the cross---the resurrection morning---the triumphal ascension to Heaven, as Conqueror over sin and death---the glories of the second Advent---the everlasting joy and triumph of His ransomed church through eternity. 

 

At last the conflict is ended.  At least the conflict of the soul.

 

Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?  I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.  Wherefore are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him that treads in the wine-fat?  I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me? (Isa. 63:1)

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

I entered into the labors of Most Blessed Theophylact, (1050-1107) Gospel of Luke and Memories of Olivet by John Ross MacDuff. (18181-1895)

 
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