Holy Week - Day 5

Luke 22:7-30

7 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”

“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.
10 He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, 11 say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 12 He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” 13 They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. 22 For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” 23 The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.
24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
28 “You have stayed with me in my time of trial. 29 And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30 to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Passover Lamb

Brian Kirkland | Community Groups Pastor

In Luke 22, we find ourselves in the part of the story where Jesus institutes the first Lord’s Supper (aka Communion or Eucharist, depending on your church tradition). Two observations from the text:

Jesus chooses the Passover meal as the event in which to inaugurate the Supper.

The Passover meal was a time each year where the Hebrews remembered their greatest moment in history: God raising up a deliverer, Moses, sparing the Israelite first-born sons because of the sacrificed blood of a spotless lamb, fighting a battle on their behalf against their Egyptian oppressors, and rescuing them from bondage. Over the course of centuries the Jews found themselves under the thumb of other oppressors, but every year in early Spring they would gather as family and friends, eat, and await with hope for the day when God would restore their fortunes again.
Jesus takes this meal with His disciples, but as He does so He reveals to them how He brings fulfillment to this ceremony. Consider Jesus’s words in verse 19: ‘This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In other words, Jesus is saying: “Don’t think of Moses any more; think of ME! Right before your very eyes you’ll find what the Exodus has been pointing to all these years!”

This must have been astonishing to those disciples as they watched firsthand the transformation of the ceremony, from Passover to Lord’s Supper. Jesus is making a significant demand of them, and they wisely accept the shift, recognizing that Jesus was both the true Passover lamb and the true King.

Sin is an integral part of the context.

In verse 21, Jesus very plainly states that someone at the table is going to betray him. And yet he continues to take the bread and the cup, going as far as to say in verse 14 that He has been looking forward to this meal! What does this tell us about God, that He could, in the midst of the double-crossing, in the face of treachery, in the context of His betrayal, still long to eat this meal?

God is not surprised at the sin that emerges in the midst of the first Lord’s Supper. He knows that Judas will sell Him out for a sum; He anticipates that Peter will deny Him three times; He is well aware that the disciples will argue pridefully about which of them is the greatest follower of Christ. This is not a meal for those who have ‘arrived’ spiritually. The good news is that sin does not ruin the story, for them or for us. Rather is a central component of the context: Jesus looked forward to this meal because He had a supreme way to deal with the sin surrounding Him at the table.

Post Series: Holy Week 2016

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