Matthew 26 – 28
The Son of Man’s Death: Predicted and Plotted (vv.1-5)
The Anointing at Bethany, the Lord’s Defense of the Woman (vv.6-13)
In Matt. 26 and Mark 14, Mary pours the ointment on the Lord's head. In John 12 she pours it on His feet. In truth, she anointed the whole Person... every part of Him was precious to Mary; "the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments" (Psa. 133:2). See the Lord's response, "on my body" (Matt. 26:12). But why the difference between Matthew and John? Matthew views Christ in the aspect of a king, so he writes about the ointment being poured on the Lord's head because that is how kings were anointed. John presents Christ as Divine, so he writes about the feet being anointed, because it would not be fitting for men to anoint the head of God, but rather for us to take our place of submission at His feet.
Judas’ Treachery (vv.14-16)
The Passover and the Lord’s Supper (vv.17-35)
Preparation for the Passover (vv.17-19)
Judas’ Betrayal Foretold at Supper (vv.20-25)
The Lord’s Supper Instituted (vv.26-30)
The two great Covenants have to do with Israel, not the Church, as we clearly see from Rom. 9:4; "... Israelites; to whom pertaineth ... the covenants". Covenant theologians argue that the New Covenant is with the Church; but if we look at Jeremiah 31:31 we find that the New Covenant will be made with "the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah". The covenants are with Israel and for the earth. The Church is heavenly, and called out of the earth. If we compare the two covenants we will see striking differences:
|Old Covenant||New Covenant|
|Made with:||Israel at Sinai in the wilderness||Israel and Judah in the Millennium|
|Character:||Blessings or cursings conditional upon Israel's obedience||Unconditional blessings|
|A system of:||Demand (works)||Supply (grace)|
The great difference between the two covenants is that the Old was on the basis of works, and the New is on the basis of grace. The language of the Old is "if thou shalt ... then I will...", but the language of the New is just "I will...". The death of Christ was needed to "take away the first and establish the second" (Heb. 10:9), because the guilt of breaking the Old must be cleared before the New could be established. If the New Covenant is made with Israel, why does the cup in the Lord's Supper represent "the blood of the New Covenant" (1 Cor. 11:25, etc.)? If you look at the blessings of the New Covenant you will see that we have those same blessings in Christianity, although we also have many blessings that go far beyond the New Covenant (Eph. 1; blessings "in Christ"). Therefore, it can be said that Christians share the blessings of the New Covenant, without being formally under the covenant. Paul clearly says that Christians are "competent, as ministers of the new covenant" (2 Cor. 3:6) although we are not under it as a binding contract; "not of letter, but of spirit". The spirit of the New Covenant is grace, and that is what characterizes our relationship to God in Christianity. The same blood that has secured the New Covenant blessings for future Israel has secured our blessings in Christianity today.To conclude, the meaning of the cup in the Lord's Supper: the "cup of blessing" (1 Cor. 10:16) represents the blood of Christ (1) which will formally bless Israel in the New Covenant, and (2) which has secured all spiritual blessings for believers today, including the blessings of the New Covenant.