Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #7 Matthew 26:26-30 – Keep Doing This in My Memory
|| Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20
MT26:26 But as they were eating [the Passover meal], Jesus took some unleavened bread and having blessed it he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: “Take. Eat. This is my body.” MT26:27 Next, Jesus took a cup and after giving thanks he gave it to his disciples, saying, “All of you drink. MT26:28 For this is my blood of the covenant [Exodus 24:8] about to be poured out for the forgiveness of many sins. MT26:29 But, I tell you: From now on I shall not drink from the vine until the day that I drink a new fruitage with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” MT26:30 And having sung [Hallel] hymns they went out into the Mount of Olives.
 As they were eating: By inspiration Paul clarifies at 1 Corinthians 11:25, “… after he had the evening meal.” Traditional they have eaten from a roasted lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. There were usually four cups of wine at certain moments in the celebration. The disciples would have life long experience that the lamb was emblematic of that deliverance out of Egypt 1,500 years before.
 This is my body: Or, MOF: it means my body. Luke 22:19 adds, “… which is to be given in your behalf.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 adds, “… which is in your behalf.” The Nazarene means his perfect human body is to become a redemptive sacrifice. On the body of Jesus compare Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:5,10; 1 Peter 2:24.
We note in Matthew’s account there is no indication of a command to continue this observance. However, note Luke 22:19, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” Paul states on the basis of inspiration or a personal message from the glorified Lord the same words of Luke with regard to both the loaf and the cup. Paul summarizes the reason for the observance: “For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)
There are several opinions on how often the Memorial (Eucharist, Communion, Lord’s Supper) was to be observed. The historical evidence seems strong that for a very long time Christians observed Nisan 14 as the annual date for the commemoration. It is likely that as the Church wanted more control over the laity the Mass was celebrated more often until it became daily.
 This is my blood of the covenant: The KJV reads: “This is my blood of the new testament,” but other Greek texts omit this here though the phrase is in Luke. The phrase here is an allusion to Exodus 24:8 when the first, or “old” covenant was instituted with Israel. 1 Corinthians 11:25 has this, “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood.” Research the phrase blood of the covenant and new covenant for related texts.
 About to be poured out for the forgiveness of many sins: Or, PME: to set many free from their sins. The next historical reference to the blood of Jesus is by Paul at Acts 20:26. Paul goes on to use blood in relation to Christ at Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:25, 27; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:20. Other books refer to the blood: Hebrews uses the word 23 times; 1 Peter 1:2, 19; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 5:6-8; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11.
 Until the day that I drink a new fruitage with you: Or, RIEU: a new kind of wine with you in the Kingdom; BECK: drink it with you in a new way; LAM: drink it anew with you. He may be referring to the new yield from the vine a new and better vintage.
 My Father’s Kingdom: This is not the “kingdom of the heavens,” or, the Realm of Heaven, but the actual celestial government and realm of the Father. Compare notes on Matthew 13:43.
 Sung [Hallel] hymns: Traditionally the Hallel Psalms 112-118 were sung during and at the end of the Passover meal. These are interesting psalms to read within the context of Jesus’ life at this moment, particularly Psalm 118. During Memorial season these are good psalms on which to meditate. Or, NEB: after singing the Passover Hymn.
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