Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The
Greyed-out text was edited from the 40-minute version of the sermon.
26:26 Now, while they were eating, Jesus,
after taking [the] bread and giving thanks, broke it, and He was giving it to the disciples and said,
“Take; eat; This is my body.”
26:27 Then after He took the cup and gave thanks, He gave it to them saying,
“Drink out of it, all of you,
26:28 for this is the blood which is mine,
of which is the New Covenant,
[and] which is being poured out for the many for the purpose of forgiveness of sins.
26:29 But I’m telling y’all that from now on, I shall never drink of this produce of the grape-vine
until that day whenever it is that I shall be drinking with y’all anew in the kingdom of my father.
26:30 and after hymn-singing, they went out to the
· Most of the commentaries I read on this passage said that what Jesus was doing here had nothing to do with the Passover, that it was something totally new to replace the Passover.
· However, I have observed a number of Passover liturgies in both Jewish and Messianic contexts, and I think that what Jesus is described as doing here fits exactly with parts of the Jewish traditional Passover ceremony. And although I don’t believe it is necessary to know the Jewish traditions to appreciate the Lord’s Supper, I am going to interpret Jesus’ actions as being part of the Passover liturgy.
26:26 Now, while they were eating, Jesus, after taking [the] bread and giving thanks [saying the blessing], broke it, and He was giving it to the disciples and said, “Take; eat; This is my body.”
· First off, it was traditional to set the table at the Passover meal with three pieces of flatbread folded up together in a napkin:
flatbread was unleavened – like a big cracker; they call it Matzoh. In the
context of the Passover, leaven represents sin. Jesus said of the bread, “This
is my body.”
Like this un-leavened bread, Jesus was sinless.
And every good piece of matzoh is pierced through with holes and has
stripes on it from the cooking process – kinda like a grilled hot dog gets a
striped pattern on it.
Jesus, likewise, would be whipped the very next day, creating stripes on his back, and He would be pierced in His hands, feet, and side, to pay for our sins.
o The middle one of the three pieces of bread gets broken and half of it pulled out of the napkin before the meal. This piece is hidden somewhere for the kids to find later – it is called the Afikomen. Just as the second piece of bread is pulled out of the napkin, so Jesus, the second person of the Trinity was revealed to us in this world as a man, then broken in death. He was also hidden in the earth after His death, like the afikomen was hidden, then Jesus was raised from the dead.
o Finally, after this piece of bread from the Passover ceremony is hidden and then found and brought back to the table, it was the tradition for the host to distribute it to everybody at the table to eat a piece. This, I think is what Jesus was doing here in v. 26.
o By the way, it was not a basket of pieces handed out to the disciples but rather one piece of Matzoh. Paul comes back to this later in 1 Corinthians 10, saying that the one piece of bread represents the fact that we are part of the one body of the church.
o I believe that, through the gift of prophecy, these Passover traditions were developed so that, at this supper, Jesus could point to the bread and say, “This is me!” and a rich set of parallels would unfold in the understanding of His followers.
· In the traditional Passover liturgy, the head of the household chants a prayer separately over the food and over the drinks. For the bread it goes, “Blessed are You, Lord God, King of the World, who brings forth bread from the earth.” [Sing it in Hebrew.]
· The Parallel passages in Luke and 1 Corinthians add, “This is my body given instead of [or “on behalf of” or “for”] you. Be doing this for the purpose of my memorial” (NAW, or “in remembrance of me” KJV).
· Most Greek manuscripts of 1 Cor. 11 also add the word “broken” – “This is my body broken for you” – although it doesn’t appear in any Greek manuscripts older than the 9th Century, and for that reason, you’ll only find the word “broken” in 1 Cor. 11:24 if you’re looking at it in a King James Version.
o Brokenness is a result of the wrath of God against sin. God vented His just wrath against our sin upon Jesus, who was broken for us so that we do not have to be broken. I believe that this is why the bread of the Lord’s Supper was broken as a symbol.
o 1 Corinthians 10:16 “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a fellowship of the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a fellowship of the body of Christ?” (This passage, by the way, is where we get the name “Communion” to describe this ordinance.)
o The phrase “break bread,” however, is not used exclusively in the Bible to describe the Lord’s Supper; many times it just means serving bread up as a meal.
· A study of other passages in the Greek Bible with this same word “memorial/remembrance,” is instructive:
o Leviticus 24:5-9 And ye shall take fine flour, and make
of it twelve loaves; each loaf shall be of two tenth parts. And ye shall put
them in two rows, each row containing six loaves, on the pure table before the
Lord. And ye shall put on each row pure frankincense and salt; and these
things shall be for loaves for a memorial (LXX
αναμνησιν), set forth before the
Lord. On the sabbath-day they shall be set forth before the Lord continually
before the children of
§ I find the symbolism in this fascinating. Twelve loaves
of bread were always kept in the holy place in the temple, and they’re called a
“memorial.” There the bread represented the twelve tribes of
§ Here in the Lord’s Supper, it’s the other way around, it is God-in-flesh represented by bread and placed before His people, and this is called a “memorial,” that we will always remember Him!
o Likewise, the Old Testament sacrifices are called by the same word in Greek, “memorials” in Hebrews 10:3. Twice a day, year after year, sacrifices were made which reminded the Israelites that they had sinned and that they needed a savior from sin, now, when Christians gather for the Lord’s Supper, it is a reminder that our savior did come to die for our sin, and no more sacrifices need to be made!
· I also want to mention that Jesus did not say, “This is my flesh,” but rather He said, “This is my body.” “Flesh” and “Body” are two different words in Greek.
o Jesus is not condoning cannibalism – actually eating meat from human bones; He is introducing a metaphor. “The bread which you have always used at Passover points to me in my physical body; let it always remind you of me because of the similarities; think about it!”
o The only place Jesus talks about eating His “flesh” is in John 6, which sounds like cannibalism until you notice the parallel statements and realize that “eat my flesh” is a metaphor framed and defined by the parallel statement “believe in me,” which He says both before and after He says “eat my flesh:” John 6:28-64 (NASB) Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent… I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe... 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day… 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life... [and now for the metaphor for believing] 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. [Wait, He just finished saying that he who believes in Him has eternal life and will be raised up on the last day. Which is true? Both are true, because they are one and the same thing. Eating is a metaphor for believing.] 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him... [and now to complete the chiasm, Jesus leaves the metaphor and talks about belief again] 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe...
· Furthermore, the word “is” can mean different things in Greek, just as it does in English.
o Often we will look at a picture and tell someone else, “Look, that is me!” Of course you don’t really believe that you are a set of pigments on a piece of paper or a set of pixels on a screen; what you really mean is that the image in the photo is a representation of you.
o Likewise, when Jesus says, “This is my body,” He cannot be saying that His body is chemically equivalent to cooked wheat flour or that His human form is actually in the shape of a flat, crunchy cracker.
o The literal body of Jesus couldn’t be both the bread that was being passed around and at the same time also the muscles and bones that were passing the bread around.
o At other times Jesus said that He was a door (John 10:9), a vine (John 15:5), and a road (John 14:6). None of these were literal; they were metaphors – comparisons with familiar objects to teach us more about who He is and what He does.
o So when Jesus says He is bread, we think about how bread provides nourishment for living and remember that Jesus, in a similar way, provides us with the word of God so that we can have eternal life.
· Now we come to the other element in the Lord’s Supper:
26:27 Then after He took the cup and gave thanks, He gave it to them saying, “Drink out of it, all of you,
26:28 for this is the blood which is mine, of which is the New Covenant, [and] which is being poured out for the many for the purpose of forgiveness of sins.
26:29 But I’m telling y’all that from now on, I shall never drink of this produce of the grape-vine until that day whenever it is that I shall be drinking with y’all anew in the kingdom of my father.
26:30 and after hymn-singing, they went out to the
Και ‘υμνησαντες εξηλθον εις το ορος των ελαιων
Now, as we conclude our worship service with the Lord’s Supper,
John Chrysostom: “He did not appoint the sacrament until the rites of the law
were to cease. And thus the very chief of the feasts He brings to an end,
removing them to another most awesome table.”
John Calvin “I do not take these words to mean that the new and far more excellent meal was mixed in with the Passover, but rather at this point an end was put to the former feast. This is expressed more clearly in Luke, when he says, “the cup in like manner after supper.”
William Hendriksen: “Jesus instituted the new sacrament that was to replace the old. A few more hours and the old symbol, being bloody – for it required the slaying of a lamb – will have served its purpose forever, having reached its fulfillment in the blood shed on
 Although the majority of total Greek manuscripts (including A and W) includes the definite article here (followed by the Textus Receptus and Patriarchal editions of the Greek New Testament), the majority of the oldest manuscripts don’t have it (followed by the Critical editions), and neither do the KJV, ESV, NAS, or NIV translations or any of the parallel passages in the Bible. Although probably not of consequence, I think it is referring to a particular piece of bread called the afikomen, which carries many symbolic parallels to the body of Christ, not just any piece of bread, so I prefer to keep the definite article.
 Over 80% of Greek manuscripts (including A, K, W, Γ, Δ, f1, f13) say that Jesus “gave thanks” (ευχαριστησας), so this is the reading of some of the Patriarchal editions of the Greek New Testament and, oddly enough, of the NIV. This is the word in the parallel statement about the cup in the next verse and also the reading of the parallel accounts in Luke and 1 Corinthians. However, a significant minority of Matthew manuscripts (including P45, א, B, C, D, L, Z, Θ, 074, 0160, but practically no miniscules), read that Jesus “said the blessing” (ευλογησας). The latter reading is followed by both the Textus Receptus and the Critical editions, and thus of the KJV as well as the ESV and NAS English translations. It’s also the reading of the parallel passage in Mark. The two terms are synonymous, however, and the traditional prayer is well-known, so it’s no real problem.
 Several of the oldest Greek manuscripts (P37,P45, B, C, L, Z, Θ – plus a handful of the miniscules, including both families 1 and 13) read the Aorist Participle δους instead of the Imperfect Indicative εδιδου, and thus the former is the reading of Critical editions, but the latter is well-supported by the vast majority of Greek manuscripts – including some of the most ancient (א, A, C, W, 074) – and by the Textus Receptus and Patristic editions of the Greek New Testament. Though no different in meaning, the Indicative would require a kai to read smoothly, and we indeed find that in almost all the manuscripts with the Indicative, as well as in the parallel passages of Mark and Luke (which use an Aorist tense of the verb, however, instead of an Imperfect). The Imperfect tense in Matthew here is surprising, since the four other verbs in this sentence describing Jesus’ actions are Aorist, and the parallel use of “gave” in v. 27 about the cup are also Aorist. It’s also surprising that the KJV and NKJ, which normally follow the T.R., translate “gave” as though it were Aorist rather than Imperfect. More surprising is that the NAS and ESV, which normally follow the Critical editions, included the “and” before “said,” even though the Critical editions do not include an “and” there.
 Although it does show up as early as the 5th Century in the majority of Syriac translations, and in the D manuscript, which reads the synonym thruptomenon.
 1Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces | Job 38:15 And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken. | Psalm 3:7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. | Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
 Compare this Greek phrase across all its uses in the Greek Bible: Jer. 16:7; Mat. 14:19; 15:36; 26:26; Mark 8:6, 19; 14:22; Luke 22:19; 24:30; Acts 2:46; 20:7-11; 27:35; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:24
 Cf. use of “memorial” in Numbers 10:10, Psalm 38:1 and 70:1
 Hebrews 10:1-3 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. (NASB)
 Or, as John Calvin put it, “metonymy.”
 Just as the definiteness of the bread is questioned by variants in the manuscripts, so it goes with the definiteness of the cup. The NIV and KJV render “the cup,” and this is supported by majority of Greek manuscripts (including P45, A, C, and D) and the Textus Receptus and Patriarchal editions of the GNT (as well as the parallel accounts in Luke and 1 Cor. and the majority of the Greek manuscripts of Mark). On the other hand, the NAS and ESV render “a cup,” and this is supported by Critical editions of the GNT, which follow a handful of other Greek manuscripts (א, B, L, W, Δ, Θ, 074, and a few miniscules and ancient versions). Once again, I think it is referring to a particular part of the Paschal liturgy, namely the Cup of Salvation poured after the meal, and therefore it is more appropriate to refer to “the cup.”
 This “and” is omitted in A, C, L, Z, and Δ, but is included in Patriarchal, T.R. and Critical editions of the GNT.
 Critical editions do not include the extra definite article (“the”) which is in the majority of total Greek manuscripts, because it is not in the majority of the oldest Greek manuscripts. This “extra” definite article (which is in A, C, W, 074, and practically all the minisules) is neuter and singular in Greek, matching the neuter and singular word for “blood.” It’s presence divides the phrase neatly into three phrases: 1) “the blood” which is “mine” 2) “the [blood] ” which is “of the covenant,” and 3) “the [blood]” which is “poured out for many…” As you can see from this literalistic rendering in English, it does not change the meaning to remove the second “the.”
 Due to its omission in three ancient Greek manuscripts dated to the 4th Century (P37, א, Β - plus L, Θ), Critical editions of the Greek New Testament do not include the word “new” here, and the NAS, NIV, and ESV therefore call it “the covenant” rather than “the new covenant” as the KJV does. The point of dispute, as is often the case, is not whether Jesus said “new,” for it is undisputedly in all the Greek manuscripts of Luke and 1 Corinthians, but whether Matthew and Mark recorded Jesus as saying that the covenant was “new.” The word “new” is found in the vast majority of Greek manuscripts of Matthew and Mark, some of them dating back as far as the 5th Century (A, C, D, W), plus practically all of the translations made at the time – and earlier (into Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian), and it’s also in the 2nd Century Diatessaron, so I think it’s quite legitimate to consider the word “new” as part of the original text of all the Synoptic Gospel writers (although Mark doesn’t have the support that Matthew does from C, D, and W). Regardless, the phrase “the covenant” and the phrase “the new covenant” are not talking about two different things, so this is not a variant in meaning even if it is a variant in wording.
 Without citing any manuscript support, Critical editions of the GNT deviate from the majority of Greek manuscripts by spelling this word with a doubling of the middle letter εκχυννομενον, but it is merely a spelling variation, not a difference in meaning or parsing.
 The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, under the heading of “wine,” demonstrates from rabbinical writings that this was so. It is my understanding that grapes were harvested in the Fall, and Passover was in the Spring, so it was not possible to preserve grape juice all winter without it becoming alcoholic by Passover.
 This is the only place where the phrase
“new covenant” occurs in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are
coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of
Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with
their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land
of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,”
declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house
 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1, NASB
 which equates “regarding as unclean the blood of the covenant” with “trampling under foot the Son of God.”
 The other passages mentioned are as follows (all from the NASB):
2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, He says, "BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
Hebrews 8:13 When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Hebrews 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
 Exodus 29:12 “You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar.” (NASB, cf. Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34, 8:15; and 9:9)
 A.T. Robertson, in his Harmony of the Gospels places Judas’ departure before the Lord’s Supper, a position shared by Hendriksen, and I think it is a reasonable position, but I think it is just as reasonable to follow Luke’s sequence, which Chrysostom (Homily LXXXII on Matt. XXVI. 26-28) and the writers of the Belgic Confession (art. 35) did, and say that Judas was there. I think I side with the latter.
 Regarding discerning the body and who should take the Lord’s Supper and the punishments threatened for improper use, see my sermon on 1 Cor. 11:23-34 That You Not Come Together For Judgment at http://www.ctrchurch-mhk.org/sermons/1Cor11_23_34.htm .
 There is some division in the Greek manuscripts across all of time, some with the word “that” and some without. The Critical editions don’t include it, and the T.R. and Patriarchal editions do. It is indisputably in the parallel account in Mark. It doesn’t really matter because the context is clear enough that a quote follows.
 Omitted in a few ancient Greek manuscripts (P37, א, C, L), but retained in T.R., Critical, and Patriarchal editions. It seems a bit redundant, but doesn’t hurt.
 The majority of Greek texts double the letter nu, but Critical editions and my 1904 Patriarchal text do not have this doubling. My UBS and Nestle-Aland critical texts do not cite manuscript support in the critical apparatus for their spelling. It makes no difference in meaning, however, and the majority sides with the single nu in Mark’s parallel passage.
 There appears to be only one passage in the Greek Bible where this word for “vine” is not referring to a grape vine, and that is the one that bore poisonous gourds in 2 Kings 4:39.
 A few ancient Greek manuscripts (P37, D, and Θ) give the Aorist spelling (piw) instead of the Present, indicating a single action, rather than a repeated one, but neither the Critical nor the T.R. nor the Patriarchal editions follow that variant.
 Jameison, Fausset and Brown were the only commentators I saw who interpreted it as the inauguration of the kingdom during Jesus’ earthly ministry rather than the eschatological heaven. “It was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals, the one about to close for ever, the other immediately to open and run its majestic career until from earth it be transferred to heaven.”
 Leviticus 10:8-9 The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die--it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations—(NASB)
 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he *said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he *said to me, "These are true words of God." Revelation 19:7-9, NASB
 Vincent was the only commentator I read who said that “drink it new” meant that the wine itself would be new – as in fresh before any fermentation set in.
 Hymns are also what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego sang in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:23) and what Paul and Silas sang in the Phillipian jail (Acts 16:25), and what Jesus sings to God (Prov. 1:20, 8:3, Heb. 12:2).
 “Christ, to teach us that He alone is sufficient to give firm supply of all that belongs to our salvation, makes Himself our food and drink: this is a wonderful and shining goodness, that wills to assist our faith in lowering itself to the simplicity of our flesh.” ~John Calvin