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Issue No. 24 13 - 19 June 2011
From disciples to family? By Mickey Chiang

As Christians we are familiar with the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples. Years ago I wrote a Thinking Points article about how secretive Jesus was in not revealing to his disciples where the meal would be eaten. He then used his “Sacred Secret Service”, which included a man carrying a water jar, a chore normally left to women and girls, who led Jesus’ disciples to a house whose owner had already furnished a large room where the Last Supper would be held (Luke 22:10-12).

Now, realizing how thoroughly the Last Supper has been examined and researched, I come back to the subject with trepidation, bearing my two cents. Please forgive me if what I say below is nothing new to you.

But looking again at the Last Supper, I wonder how Jesus managed to make those secret arrangements and keep them from his disciples, who, after all, were with him night and day. Jesus works in mysterious ways.

The Last Supper was in fact a Passover meal. Just before God brought the Israelite slaves in Egypt out of bondage, He instituted the Passover meal of roasted lamb eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, one lamb per household, unless the household was too small, in which case two families could share a lamb. The blood of the lamb was to be put on the sides and top of each house’s doorframe, so that when God passed through Egypt to strike down the firstborn of humans and animals He would pass over the Israelite houses marked with lamb’s blood. The Passover meal was subsequently eaten every year to commemorate God’s passing over the homes of Israelites and sparing their firstborn from death.

So Jesus and his disciples reclined at the same table and shared the Passover meal. But didn’t Jesus do several mysterious new things at that meal? First, he broke brittle unleavened bread and said “This is my body given for you; do this (break bread) in remembrance of me” (Luke 24:19). Later, he took a cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (Lk 24:20). Did the disciples understand what Jesus meant at that time? Probably not, though they understood after his crucifixion, death and resurrection. The most recent books of the Bible are called the New Testament, or Covenant.

Unlike the first Passover where an unblemished lamb was sacrificed and roasted over flames and its blood was used to save the Israelites from physical death, Jesus became the sinless Lamb sacrificed once and for all to save everyone who believed in him, not from physical death but from eternal death and the flames of Hell.

Thus, Jesus and his disciples ate that momentous Passover meal. But wait a minute, didn’t God say at the first Passover that the meal was to be eaten by family units, one lamb to be shared by one household? I wonder if by the time of Jesus it had become normal for groups other than families to share the Passover meal. If not, then was Jesus not declaring to the world that his disciples were now members of his family? After all, was it not Jesus who had earlier asked a crowd, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? … Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:48-49)?

More than needing an annual reminder that God once saved the Israelites from death, Mankind needs God himself, for with God comes eternal life. Today, Christians normally do not eat the Passover meal, but instead partake of the Holy Communion sacrament of bread and wine, in remembrance of Jesus Christ who gave his life that we might live forever. We eagerly await his return with the eternal life he promised to all who believe in him.

By the way, why was it called the Last Supper when we know that Jesus ate other suppers with his disciples and others after his resurrection? Who called it that?

Introducing Our Graduates from 20th Convocation

20th convocation

GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CHRISTIAN STUDIES

Chew Soon Lee
Soon Lee worked for the Ministry of Education for five and a half years before moving on to the Information Technology sector. Currently, he is serving as an elder in Woodlands Evangelical Free Church. His life verse is Colossians 1:10: ‘...so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God...’

Bernard Chng Chun Yong
Bernard attends Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, where he is involved as youth ministry head, worship leader and church school teacher. He works for MTU Asia Pte Ltd. After graduation he intends to continue his studies at BGST.

Jane Gan Guan Ni
Jane spent eight years working in Christian organisations and fourteen years in the marketplace. God willing, she intends to complete a Masters degree at BGST. The verse that speaks to her heart is Matthew 6:33: ‘seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...’

Lau Hoong Chuin
Hoong Chuin is Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Singapore Management University, and holds an adjunct director appointment at TLI Asia Pacific, a collaboration between NUS and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Zion Bishan Bible Presbyterian Church, serving in the Action Groups ministry. He intends to pursue the MCS at BGST. His life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.’

NinaNina Immanuel Kanagala
Nina has worked as a Tel Sales Executive with HBL Global and with Gold Shield Health Care. After marriage and since returning to India, she has been serving as a full time worker in rural ministries with the Immanuel Gospel Ministries of India. She intends to obtain certification as a teacher in an English medium primary school which IGMI hopes to start for the less privileged children. Her life verse is Proverbs 30: 7-8: ‘Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die. Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.’

The rest of the graduates will be introduced in the next issues.

Book Corner
June Sales
Announcement

Please note that there will be no BGST Chapel for the month of June.

Faculty News

Dr Edwin Tay will be speaking at the Berean Conference in Sibu, Sarawak, on 17/6 (Fri) and 18/6 (Sat).  As the main speaker of the conference, he will be lecturing and preaching on the topic, “Roots that Refresh: Appreciating the theology of the Protestant Reformation.”

BGST is invited to participate in the “Journey@Grace,” a missions exposure event organized by Grace Singapore Chinese Church (June 18). Dr Ng Peh Cheng and Ms April Sim (Alumna) will be there to present the importance of Theological Education in preparation for missionary service. Please pray for the Lord’s blessings on the event and the participants.

Courses Commencing
COUNSELLING & APPLIED THEOLOGY
Counselling & Community (CO240, 1.5cr);
Guest Lecturer: Dr Rod Wilson (President of Regent College)
Jun 11 (Sat 10am-12pm, 12.45pm-3pm),
Jun 21, 22, 23; (7.20pm-10.10pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
The course schedule for Semester I, year 2011-2012 is now available.
For more information, please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events
TENT 2011 Modules
TENT
Tentmakers Equipping 'N' Training

 

Understanding Culture & Country Profile Studies
Tues. Jul 5, 12, 19 & 26; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitators: Dr Ng Peh Cheng & Miss Valerie Lim

Religions of Asia
Tues. Aug 2, 16 & 23; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Dr Jeanette Hui

Personal Ministry Skills: Practical Considerations for a Tentmaker's Ministry
Tues. Sept 6, 13 & 20; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Toh Kai Hua

Tentmakers & Ethical Issues
Sat. Oct 8 & 15; 2011 (9.30-11.30am; 12.00-2.00pm)
Facilitator: A Former Singaporean Tentmaker

Coping with Stress
Tues. Oct 11, 18 & 25; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Yam Keng Mun

All TENT courses will be held at 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Blk B Clarus Centre (former Union Industrial Building)

For more information on TENT courses, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/tent

Church-Based Lay Training Modules
2011 Modules offered at
Yishun Christian Church (Anglican)

Reformation Theology: Its Significance & Relevance for Christians Today
Wed. Jul 6, 13, 20, 27 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay

The Message of the Song of Songs
Wed. Sep 7, 14, 21, 28 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

2011 Modules offered at
Mt Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church

The Message of the Song of Songs
Thu. Jul 7, 21, 28, Aug 4 (New Date) (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

Beginnings: Opening the Gospels
Thu. Sep 1, 8, 15, 22 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming

For details about the modules & registrations, please visit:
http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/church-based-lay-training
or contact
 Biblical Graduate School of Theology
Tel: 6227 6815 Fax: 6255 3686

Email: cblt-ycca@bgst.edu.sg (Yishun Christian Church)
cblt-mcbpc@bgst.edu.sg (Mt Carmel BP Church)

37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
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