Day 17

The Lord’s Supper

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 14:1-72, Isaiah 53:2-3

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Mark 14:1-72, Isaiah 53:2-3

Waste not, want not. Right?

When the woman at Bethany cracked the expensive jar of oil and poured it over Jesus’ head, her relatives flared their nostrils and demanded, “Why has this fragrant oil been wasted?” It seemed like a good question because the jug of oil was worth 300 denarii (Mark 14:4-5). Considering a day’s wages in Palestine at that time was one denarius (Matthew 20:2), this woman poured out a year’s wages on Jesus’ head, and all she had to show for it was oily hands.

But Jesus wiped His eyes and celebrated her gift, announcing that she had anointed His body in advance for burial. Indeed, in this chapter, the longest in the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus in the center of several kinds of preparation as He walked through the days that led Him inexorably to the cross.

The preparations began with a plot to kill Jesus (v. 1), followed by the parenthetical anointing to prepare His body (v. 8). This led to the disciples’ preparation for Passover (v. 12) and concluded with Jesus’ prediction of betrayal (v. 18). And in the middle of all this preparation and betrayal, Jesus stopped and instituted the Lord’s Supper. He was preparing them for life without Him.

It makes sense that this indelible sacrament—one of His dearest gifts to us—was given as He was surrounded by betrayal on one side and suffering on the other. But the gospel is only realized in suffering. In fact, there is no gospel apart from Christ’s suffering.

As He broke the bread and offered up His body, Jesus was really giving us His whole “person” (Aramaic), His entire “being” (Greek). He then took the cup and said to them, “This is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many” (vv. 22-24). The Last Supper is the truest representation of our fellowship with Christ, and in this meal we see that His gift to us was complete.

The guests at Jesus’ final table would go on to betray Him—and not just Judas. In the end, they all deserted Him (v. 50). But even the most evil plots of men are within the scope of God’s providence. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3), and so it is fitting that the Lord’s Last Supper was attended by traitors.

The Lord’s Supper is not a table of virtue; it is a table of grace. Even on our best days we cannot earn His gift. He invites us to partake just as He invited the disciples—in spite of our betrayals and scheming against Him. Apart from Christ’s suffering, there simply is no gospel.

None of these preparations or promises made sense until He went to the cross. The great mystery of the gospel is revealed in Jesus’ death.

The jar that was broken to anoint Jesus was a complete gift. No one could pick up the shards and piece the pottery back together for another use later; the jar was smashed and irrevocably given (Mark 14:3). Christ was crushed for us, and His sacrifice is also freely, entirely, and totally given. We remember this every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper (Isaiah 53:5). His extravagant gift to us was not wasted and has changed the world forever.

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Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "The Lord’s Supper"

  1. Maiya H says:

    Not my will, but Your will Lord.

    This continues to be my prayer as I prepare for this big move to Spain as a missionary with YWAM. So much has been happening in this season of preparation, but through it all, God continues to show His perfect love for me, as well as His perfect timing and faithfulness.

    I am ever grateful for His gift that He freely gave to us. I am ever grateful for His grace for us as well. I am also thankful for the example He has left for us.

  2. Loving this study so much!! “The Lord’s Supper is not a table of virtue; it is a table of grace. Even on our best days we cannot earn His gift. He invites us to partake just as He invited the disciples—in spite of our betrayals and scheming against Him. Apart from Christ’s suffering, there simply is no gospel.” It’s all about God’s grace.

    1. Lindsay Prater says:

      Yes, love that.

  3. Angela says:

    The last thing Jesus did with his disciples was to established the Lord’s Supper. Body broken for us; blood shed for the remission of our sins. It occurred to me that the chief purpose of Him coming to this earth was this : to die on the cross. If he had not done all that he did – teaching, healing, casting out demons – but only died on the cross for us, it would have been enough. If He had done all that He did except to die on the cross for us, we would still be in our sins today and all that He did on earth would be pointless. The Lord’s Supper really is for us to remember that one chief thing that He did.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and FORGET NOT all His benefits : Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases. (Psalms 103:1-2, emphasis mine).

  4. Naomi says:

    I have always love the song “Broken and Spilled Out” by Steve Green. If any of you get a chance to YouTube it, you would be blessed by it I’m sure!

  5. Frieda says:

    As always, I am reading this much later in the day than y’all so this may not get read but I wanted to share something that struck me as i was reading the text. Jesus goes away to pray and comes back and finds Peter asleep. He calls him out and what struck me was in verse 38 he told him to “watch and pray so that you may not fall into temptation.” And I thought wow, could Peter been able to have withstood the questions about being. “one of those” if he had spent the time doing as Jesus had advised him to? And then my next thought turned right around to me… how much less able I am to withstand temptation when I have failed to spend time in the word and in prayer. My/our time with God is SO IMPORTANT!

    1. Churchmouse says:

      Yes!

      1. RSG says:

        Thanks for sharing! Love your post.

    2. Nancy says:

      Excellent point!!!

    3. Lindsay Prater says:

      Preach! ;)

  6. Janis says:

    TRUTH! GRACE! LOVE! SERVICE!

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