The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 152

Passion Week ~ The Upper Room ~ Part 1

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post explores the events that may have occurred on Thursday.


With the plot to kill Yeshua taking its final form and with the clamor for His life reaching a crescendo, an Upper Room in Yerushalayim becomes the calm before the storm. Here Yeshua and His talmidim withdraw to await participation in the Pesach meal. Recall from our last post that Kefa and Yochanan had been tasked with preparing the room on Wednesday afternoon. After sundown and before the meal, Yeshua expresses His love for His talmidim.

Importance of the Occasion

14 When the time came, Yeshua and the emissaries reclined at the table, 15 and He said to them, “I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die! 16 For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.” 17 Then, taking a cup of wine, He made the b’rakhah (blessing) and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.” 19 Also, taking a piece of matzah, He made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of Me.” 20 He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by My blood, which is being poured out for you.

Thankfully, we know from Jewish tradition that those blessings date back to the very first Seder. For the bread:

Ba-rooch ah-ta Adonai, Eh-lo-hay-noo meh-lehch ha-oh-lahm, ha-mo-tzee leh-chehm meen ha-ah-retz. "This is my body, which is for you. Do this as a memorial to me."

For the cup:

Ba-rooch ah-ta Adonai, Eh-lo-hay-noo meh-lehch ha-oh-lahm, bo-ray p'ree ha-ga-fen.

"This cup is the New Covenant effected by my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, as a memorial to me."

Personally, I still recite these blessings in Hebrew whenever I take Communion. The literal translation of both prayers is: Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth, and Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Yeshua Hints of His Betrayer & The Talmidim Get in a Dispute

21 “But look! The person who is betraying me is here at the table with me! 22 The Son of Man is going to his death according to God’s plan, but woe to that man by whom he is being betrayed!” 23 They began asking each other which of them could be about to do such a thing.

The Son of Man is going to his death according to God’s plan, literally, “as it has been determined.” See Mt 1:22 on the significance of prophecy fulfillment; Mt 26:24 lists not less than twenty Tanakh passages prophesying that the Messiah would suffer and die for the sins of humanity and be raised from the dead. His death establishes the New Covenant, which itself fulfills a Tanakh prophecy.

24 An argument arose among them as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 But Yeshua said to them,The kings of the Goyim lord it over them; and those in authority over them are given the title, ‘Benefactor.’ 26 But not so with you! On the contrary, let the greater among you become like, the younger and one who rules like one who serves. 27 For who is greater? The one reclining at the table? or the one who serves? It’s the one reclining at the table, isn’t it? But I Myself am among you like one who serves. 28 “You are the ones who have stayed with Me throughout My trials. 29 Just as My Father gave Me the right to rule, so I give you an appointment, 30 namely, to eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom and to sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Isra’el. [1]

Yeshua resolved the argument about which of them should be considered the greatest with two points. First, the Kingdom of God functions differently from worldly kingdoms; those who would be great must be not power-seekers but servants (vv. 25–27) like Yeshua Himself. Second, those who have been loyal (v. 28) will indeed be rewarded with power (vv. 29–30). Yeshua does not condemn ambition, only its worldly aims and methods.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week and continue in The Upper Room.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 22:14–30.

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