Waynedale United Methodist Church
Monday, March 30, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

February 4, 2018 Sermon

“The Table of Grace”
Mark 14:12 – 26

Ted Jansen  February 4, 2018 Waynedale UMC


1.)        I want to share several objects that highlight our scripture and will lead us in Communion.  Look at a door, a table and some food; bread and juice and see how they express God’s grace!    


2.)        A door allows you to enter or exit a room, a home, or a place that people can be in.  A door marks a passage way in and out.   

            As you consider a door imagine a doorpost, the frame that holds a door up.  The frame surrounds the door and enables it to open and close.  The frame is secure and strong.    


3.)        Consider a door and hear these words from Mark 14:12 - 16.  “On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.” 


4.)        Jesus and the disciples were getting ready for the Passover during Holy Week.  This Feast of the Unleavened Bread was a feast that God commanded first Moses and Israelites to keep.  Then it was for all the Jews to celebrate this special time. 

The Passover involved sacrificing a lamb and taking the blood of that lamb and sprinkling the blood on the doorpost.  The reason for this was so that the Angel of Death would “pass over” the homes and spare the first born their lives.  This was the last of the ten plagues that God expressed to free the Jews from slavery to the Egyptians.  

The Egyptians did not know about the blood from the lamb on their doorposts and so their first born children and animals died on the night that the angel came to the land.  (Exodus 12:1 – 11)  The blood shed from a lamb on the doorpost gave salvation to all who were in the home when that night came.    

            When the Jews would eat this Passover meal they were to remember God salvation because of the blood of the lamb.  The door, and its frame, were a passageway to life.     

            When they ate this meal they remembered that all those who placed the blood of the lamb on the doorposts were spared death.   


5.)        As you think of a table what is it that happens around a table?  It is a place to sit and eat and experience relationships.  As you think of a table do you have a favorite table, a table that has been in your family for generations?  Do you have a work table, a table that never gets used, only looked at?  Do you play games at your table, do crafts at your table?  A table is where people can gather to share life and love and blessing.  


6.)        As you think of all that happens at a table listen to Mark 14:17 – 21.  “When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.  While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”

 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”


7.)        Jesus is sharing a meal and remembering the Passover with all of the disciples.  They were all welcome, even the one that Jesus mentioned that would betray Him.  Even the disciple who would deny Him.  Even the disciples that would run away and hide.    

When Jesus mentioned that someone would betray him all of the disciples were sad. They were said because they knew in their heart that they all might betray Jesus.  That is why they questioned themselves when they said, “surely you don’t mean me?”

            Jesus is at a table with His disciples, all of his closest friends and who he considered as family.  He loves them.  He is eating with them.  Jesus is enjoying food and relationship around the table.  This is a table of grace.     

            If Jesus, on this night before He was crucified, welcomed all, it demonstrates to us that each person, each sinner who needs love, hope, healing, grace, forgiveness are welcome.     


8.)        Look at the bread and juice, common foods in Jesus day.  These foods, along with some other foods were a part of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.  As Jesus was eating and as they were sharing the Passover ritual Jesus said four words that transformed an Old Testament remembrance of a feast into a celebration of a New Covenant.    


9.)        Listen to Mark 14:22 – 25.  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”   Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 

“Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”


10.)      The four words that Jesus spoke were: my body, my blood.  He transformed the Passover feast from the past and made it about new life for all in the future.  When He took the bread and wine He began a future celebration.  Jesus then said that the next time He would drink the fruit of the wine it would be new in the Kingdom of God.  This new covenant is in the body and blood of Christ.  We give thanks that Christ made the sacrifice for our sins and we can be transformed.     

            As we consider the words of Jesus in this room, they make us affirm what John the Baptist, who was led by the Holy Spirit, said about Jesus some 3 years before this moment. 


11.)      Listen to John 1:29, 35, 36.  “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” 

            “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, Look, the Lamb of God.”   

            The Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb, the one who said to the disciples in that room, the this bread is my body, and when he held the cup of wine said that this was my blood.