The Scriptorium

On Top of It All

Jesus is sovereign. Period. Matthew 26.17-30

Matthew 26: Arrested (3)

Pray Psalm 126.5, 6.
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

Sing Psalm 126.6.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
They who in tears of sorrow sow, and cast their seed on every hand,
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home, and bring the harvest of their land.

Read Matthew 26.1-30; meditate on verses 17-30.

1. Why makes this supper so significant?

2. How did the supper end?

We can see that Jesus is sovereign in the details that are unfolding in these final days of His earthly ministry, as we notice the way He arranged to eat the Passover with His disciples. He chose that “certain man” (v. 18) to have a room in his house, where the disciples could make ready for their meal with the Lord. He orchestrated all the events of the evening, directing them toward His arrest and crucifixion, but in a larger sense, to the salvation of the world. Jesus is descending into hell; but He remains on top of the world.

Jesus went to that supper knowing that Judas would betray Him (vv. 20, 21). It was important that Judas should know that Jesus knew, without His making a public scene. Notice Jesus’ affirmative response to Judas’ question, “Rabbi, is it I?” “You have said it” (v. 25). It’s like we might say, “You said it!” Jesus will say the exact same phrase before the high priest later in this chapter, to affirm the priest’s demand: “Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” “You said it!”

A recent poll revealed that 30% of those who describe themselves as evangelical and born-again do not believe that Jesus is God. Maybe they should let Jesus speak to them about that, or stop claiming to believe in Him at all.

Jesus taught His disciples that the bread and wine, which they took together “as they were eating” (v. 26), were His body and blood. He cannot have meant this literally, because His body and blood were intact in Him at the moment. He must have meant it figuratively or symbolically. The bread He and His disciples ate was true bread, and the wine was true wine – nothing more. But Jesus gave these powerful symbols to the Church in such a way as that, when we participate faithfully in the Lord’s Supper, we have true fellowship with His body and blood, as Paul explained (1 Cor. 10.16, 17). It is a mystery how this can be so, but it is so.

Leaving the room, the disciples and Jesus sang a hymn. Here again we see that Jesus, knowing everything that was ahead of Him, knew how to stay on top of it all. Singing lifts our souls to the Lord, bears witness to our faith in Him, fortifies our unity in Christ, and reminds us of the joy and delight that are ours in the Lord, come what may. We should follow this example more in our own discipleship.

1. Why was it important that Jesus demonstrate His sovereignty in these details?

2. Why is the Lord’s Supper so important for our fellowship with Jesus?

3. What do the elements of the Lord’s Supper represent? What are we saying by taking them?

He who was the traitor did not call him Lord but teacher, as if to have an excuse, upon rejecting the Lord, for having betrayed at most a teacher. “Jesus answered, ‘You have said so.’” The traitor was put to shame by the same response Christ would later give to Pilate.
Jerome (347-420), Commentary on Matthew 4.26.25

Lord, You are sovereign in every area of my life, so help me submit to You today so that I…

Pray Psalm 126.1-5.
Weep tears for your sins, but give thanks for the body and blood of Lord, Who takes away the sins of the world.

Sing Psalm 126.1-5.
Psalm 126.1-5 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
When God restored our fortunes all, we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled, made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done, Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Restore our fortunes, Lord our King! Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing who sow while yet they weep and wail.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore