Preparing the Passover Lamb, Part III (Mark 14:12-21)

Preparing the Passover Lamb, Part III (Mark 14:12-21) – YouTube

I.) The Importance of “Just as”

In the portion of Scripture before us there is a statement used two times that should grab out attention and keep us focused on the point Mark is driving home. Just as the rudder of a boat determines its direction, so will these statements steer this morning’s sermon.

With that said, what is the twice repeated statement? It is “just as.” Mark 14:16 says, “16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover, and Jesus says in Mark 14:21, “21 For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him.” The reason this statement carries with it so much importance is because of Who it is associated with and what it demonstrates.

II.) The Producer of Hope

We began our study of Mark 14 talking about the sovereignty of God. The truth that the Living God, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, and forever Holy, good, just, and love, “works all things after the council of His own will.”[1] He says to us in Isaiah 46:8-11:

Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors.Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

Remember the stage that Mark has set. Two days before the Passover the enemies of Jesus Christ are seeking to seize Him by stealth and kill Him and four days prior to that Judas Iscariot has gone off to plot to deliver Him into their hands and is now waiting for the opportune time.

Mark tell us it is now “the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed.” Mark is preparing us for the fact that the evil intentions of these men are about to be carried out upon the innocent Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. What they mean for evil, God means for good to preserve many people alive through Him as our Passover Lamb.

In his exposition of the Gospel of Mark, J.C. Ryle said:

“We cannot doubt for a moment that it was not by chance, but by God’s providential appointment, that our Lord was crucified in the Passover week, and on the very day that the Passover lamb was slain. It was meant to draw the attention of the Jewish nation to Him as the true Lamb of God. It was meant to bring to their minds the true object and purpose of His death. Every sacrifice, no doubt, was intended to point the Jew onward to the one great sacrifice for sin which Christ offered. But none, certainly, was so striking a figure and type of our Lord’s sacrifice, as the slaying of the Passover lamb. It was pre-eminently an ordinance which was a “schoolmaster unto Christ.” (Gal. 3:24.) Never was there a type so full of meaning in the whole circle of Jewish ceremonies, as the Passover was at its original institution.

Did the Passover remind the Jew of the marvelous deliverance of his forefathers out of the land of Egypt, when God slew the first-born? No doubt it did. But it was also meant to be a sign to him of the far greater redemption and deliverance from the bondage of sin, which was to be brought in by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Did the Passover remind the Jew, that by the death of an innocent lamb, the families of his forefathers were once exempted from the death of their first-born? No doubt it did. But it was also meant to teach him the far higher truth, that the death of Christ on the cross was to be the life of the world.

Did the Passover remind the Jew that the sprinkling of blood on the door-posts of his forefathers’ houses, preserved them from the sword of the destroying angel? No doubt it did. But it was also meant to show him the far more important doctrine that Christ’s blood sprinkled on man’s conscience, cleanses it from all stain of guilt, and makes him safe from the wrath to come.

Did the Passover remind the Jew that none of his fore-fathers were safe from the destroying angel, in the night when he slew the first-born, unless he actually ate of the slain lamb? No doubt it did. But it was meant to guide his mind to the far higher lesson, that all who would receive benefit from Christ’s atonement, must actually feed upon Him by faith, and receive Him into their hearts.”

It is the first day of Unleavened bread when the Passover lamb is to be sacrificed, and Jesus instructs two of His disciples on where to go to prepare to eat the Passover and what to expect:

 13 He sent two of His disciples (Peter and John)[2] and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them.”

Jesus will go on to reiterate the fact that the Son of Man will go just as it is written of Him.

These statements certainly reinforce the truth that God is in control and He works all things after the council of His own will, but they also demonstrate another quality of God, which is that the One who works all things after the council of His own will is faithful. He does what He says He will do. He is faithful to bring about the entirety of His purpose that He has promised to do in His Word.

The faithfulness of God should never be overlooked, because it is His quality of being faithful that provides hope for His people. We would have absolutely no hope if God were not faithful. We would above all men most to be pitied if things do not happen just as He says they will.

Our hope is found in the Living God who is faithful and true, and who is able to accomplish everything He purposes to do. You cannot have hope in someone if they are not faithful, and you also cannot have hope in someone if they are incapable of carrying out their purpose. What makes God faithful is not merely His gracious promises to His people, but His all-powerful and sovereign ability to bring those promises to fruition.

True and genuine and lasting hope, therefore, can only ever be experienced through a diligent and accurate study of God and His promises, which are found solely in His Word. Exodus 34:6 says:

“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 says:

“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 says:

“The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”

Psalm 36:5 says:

 “Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

By this point it should be clear that I do not want our focus today to be on the faithlessness and treachery of Judas Iscariot, but on the faithfulness of God to His Word. As we will see, it is through the faithless act of Judas that the faithfulness of God is magnified in Jesus Christ, the embodiment of truth.[3] He is the way, the truth, and the life. One of His many names is Faithful and True. [4]

III.) Just As It Was Written

After establishing that the Passover preparation went just us Jesus said it would Mark directs us to the upper room where Jesus is going to further elaborate on what would happen to Him:

“17 When it was evening He came with the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.” 19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 

It is true that Jesus had told them that He would be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, but He had not told them that it would have been one of them.[5] Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him from the beginning. John 2:24-25 says:

“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

John 6:70-71 says:

 “Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”

After washing the disciples feet John 13:10-11 says:

“Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

The disciples were completely unaware of Judas’ unbelief. He had all the markings of a disciple of Christ on the outside, but He was not of Christ.

            The text says that after Jesus said this:

19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 20 And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl.”

Matthew 26:20-25 says:

20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.”

Notice that every other disciple calls Him Lord, but Judas merely calls Him rabbi. John 13:21-27 gives more clarity saying:

21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 

Judas immediately leaves to betray Him for thirty pieces of silver. Why? Jesus tells us:[6]

21 For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

            How will the Son of Man go just as it was written of Him? He will be betrayed. Psalm 41:9 says:

 “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

Psalm 55:12-13 says:

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him.13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend; 14 We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.”

Zechariah 11:12-13 says:

12 I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.”

            How will the Son of Man go just as it was written of Him? He will be crucified. Psalm 22:12-17 says:

12 Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.13 They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion.14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me.15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You lay me in the dust of death.16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me.”

Isaiah 53:5-6:

“He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

God speaks of a day in Zechariah 12:10 when, “they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

In Luke 24:25-26, Jesus said to the two men on the road to Emmaus who were grieving His death and unaware of His resurrection:

“O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”

He said to His disciples in Luke 24:44-47:

44 These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

            Jesus says:

“The Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

IV.) The Purpose of God

Notice what Mark goes on to tell us:

22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood…”

What has Jesus done here? After exposing the purpose of man, He directs His disciples to the ultimate purpose of God. In Matthew 26:26-27, Jesus says:

“Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”

Two days prior to our text, Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 26:2, “The Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

He said in the beginning of His ministry in John 3:14-15, “14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

In John 12:27,32-33, at the end of His ministry He said, “’27 For this purpose I came to this hour…32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself…’33He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.”

V.) The Focus of our Hope

Truly the greatest thing we see in this portion of Scripture is the faithfulness of the Living God, who works all things after the council of His own will.

            Since the Son of Man went just as it was written of Him, so will the true sons and daughters of God go just as it is written of them. Jesus tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.[7] He said in Matthew 11:28-30:

28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

            Jesus said in John 6:37:

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

            He said in John 14-18 says:

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

He goes on to say in John 10:27-29:

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

            He says in John 17:1-3:

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Jesus goes on to say of His disciples in John 17:12:

12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”

Since the Son of Man went just as it was written of Him, so will the true sons and daughters of God go just as it is written of them. 1 John 3:1-3 says:

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

The One who is Faithful and True tells us in 1 John 1:9 and 2:1, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…and if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” who is the propitiation of our sins.

God tells us who have turned from our sins and trusted in Christ that we will not only be saved from sins penalty, but sins power, for “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”[8] On the day of Christ Jesus we have the hope of not only being saved from sins penalty and power, but sins very presence, “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him.” Colossians 3:3-4 says to believers who have their hope fixed on Christ:

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

We could probably all quote Romans 8:28-30:

28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Considering all of this, let us close with the following verse:

1.) Hebrews 10:23 says:

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

2.) Paul reminds believers in 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 that God:

will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

3.) 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says:

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

[1] Ephesians 1:11

[2] Luke 22:8

[3] John 14:6

[4] Revelation 19:11

[5] Mark 10:33

[6] Matthew 26:15

[7] John 3:16

[8] Philippians 1:6

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