Faithlife Sermons

Last Supper and Garden Prayer

Life and Ministry of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Learning about Jesus and following Jesus through the experience of the Last Supper and the Garden Prayer

Matthew 26:17 ESV
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

The Passover lambs were killed (Mark 14:12) on 14 Nisan (Mar./Apr.). That evening, the Passover meal was eaten. The Feast of Unleavened Bread followed immediately after Passover, from 15–21 Nisan. The entire time was often referred to either as “Passover” (Luke 22:1), or as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore the first day refers to 14 Nisan.

The Passover lambs were killed () on 14 Nisan (Mar./Apr.). That evening, the Passover meal was eaten. The Feast of Unleavened Bread followed immediately after Passover, from 15–21 Nisan. The entire time was often referred to either as “Passover” (), or as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore the first day refers to 14 Nisan.
The image of the Passover is significant in in the Crucifixion of Jesus.
On the 10th day each family chose a year-old lamb.
At twilight on the fourteenth day they killed this unblemished animal and spread its blood on the lintel and door posts.
The meat was roasted and eaten on the same night, with any remains burnt thereafter.
The bones of the lamb were to remain unbroken.
Along with the meat, the family was to eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs, all the while dressed for a hasty departure as commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.
On the next day began the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which continues for seven days.
From the fifteenth to the twenty-first no leaven was consumed.
The first and last days of Unleavened Bread were days of rest and worship.
The Supper that Jesus had with His disciples was not Passover—but pointed to the ultimate fulfillment of Passover. For Jesus would be Crucified on the 14th day, just as the Passover lambs would.
1 Corinthians 5:7 ESV
7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.


Matthew 26:20–25 ESV
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Matthew 26:20

The Lord’s Supper

Matthew 26:26–28 ESV
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Matt 26:26-
John MacArthur Jr., ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), 1444.
Jesus’ body will be the once-and-for-all fulfillment of the ceremonies surrounding the Passover lamb and other OT sacrifices, as he will become the sacrificial atonement for the sins of the people.
Most likely the third of four cups at the Passover—the cup of blessing, or the cup of redemption—corresponding to God’s third promise in : “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.”
Blood of the covenant
The cup foreshadows the shedding of Jesus’ blood and the absorbing of God’s wrath, which opens the way for the redemption of all peoples through the new covenant relationship with God that was promised to the people of Israel (cf. , ).


Matthew 26:30–34 ESV
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
Matt 26:30-
Not just Peter, but all the disciples will forsake Jesus and run (v. 56). They will not cease being his disciples, but they will fail to stand with him in the face of persecution.

Prayer in Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36–37 ESV
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.
Mat 26:36
Gethsemane means “oil press,” indicating a garden area among the olive groves on the Mount of Olives where olive oil was prepared. The traditional location of Gethsemane is now marked by the modern Church of All Nations, which was built over a fourth-century Byzantine church.
The value of intercession (from Jesus’ perspective).
Matthew 26:38-
Matthew 26:38 ESV
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
Jesus asks his inner circle of disciples (Peter, James, and John) to share with him this agonizing time of anticipation and sorrow as he faces the cross.
Matthew 26:39 ESV
39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
In this typical posture of abject humility in prayer, Jesus lays his life before his Father in complete honesty and surrender. Jesus is facing the most severe temptation of his life, at the moment when he is ready to accomplish the culmination of his life’s mission—to bear the sins of the world—which is what this cup signifies.
Matthew 26:40–41 ESV
40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matt 26:40-
Their temptation was to succumb to physical sleep and so fail in their responsibility to support Jesus. It may point also to the temptation to deny Jesus when he is led away to the cross (cf. vv. 31–35).
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