|Jesus' Last Supper with His disciples|
Key Application: Today I want to show you what God’s Word says about Jesus our Redeemer.
Key Verse: Luke 22:37
Pray and Read: Luke 22:1-38
1. Jesus is our Passover Lamb (Luke 22:1-23)
2. Jesus is our Suffering Servant (Luke 22:24-38)
Throughout his Gospel, Luke emphasizes the importance of walking in faith and avoiding unbelief. He has made it clear that every individual who meets Jesus Christ must make a decision about Him. Christ must be received or rejected. His claims must be believed or denied. When the Gospel shifts gears at Luke 9:51, Luke urges us to prioritize faith over unbelief (Luke 9:57-11:36) and warning us to trust the Lord rather than ourselves (Luke 11:37-12:59).
Therefore, we must trust Jesus because He is worthy to be praised (Luke 19:28-40), He is the only Hope for a doomed world (Luke 19:41-44), He stands by His Word (Luke 19:45-48), He has ultimate authority (Luke 20:1-8), He is our Inheritance (Luke 20:9-16), our Cornerstone (Luke 20:17-19), our Lord (Luke 20:20-26), our Resurrection (Luke 20:27-40), our Messiah (Luke 20:41-47), and our Provision (Luke 21:1-4). Therefore, we must watch and pray until He returns (Luke 21:5-38), our Passover Lamb (Luke 22:1-23) and Suffering Servant (Luke 22:24-38).
Exposition: Note well,
1. JESUS IS OUR PASSOVER LAMB (Luke 22:1-23)
a. We have now reached the climax of Luke’s Gospel – Jesus’ Passion (Luke 22-33). Jesus, the righteous and innocent Servant will remain faithful to God’s calling.
b. Luke 22:1 – Feast of Unleavened Bread: Passover is celebrated the 15th day of Nisan (March/April) and followed by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. Large crowds gathered in Jerusalem for this festival season.
c. Luke 22:2 – Chief priests and teachers of the Law: Early on, Jesus’ opponents were the Pharisees, conservatives in the synagogues. Now those intent to taking down Jesus are the religious and political leaders, those powerful people who govern Jewish faith and nation. They view Jesus as a threat to the chief priests who control the Sanhedrin and the teachers of the law, who lead the local synagogue communities.
d. Luke 22:1-6 – The religious leaders are looking for a way to eliminate Jesus without starting a riot, and in Judas they find a willing volunteer through the work of Satan on a spiritual level and money on a natural.
e. APPLICATION: Satan can act through people who by their sin and failure to turn to God open themselves to the influence of him and his demons. From such an entrenched position he can influence people to carry out his will and oppose God’s will.
f. Luke 22:7 – The day of Unleavened Bread: i.e., the day before Passover when leaven is removed from the house. The day the lamb is killed in the Temple Court is the late afternoon of Nisan 14th (March/April). Passover begins at sunset on Nisan 15. The Torah commanded the slaughtering and eating a lamb to memorialize the lamb slain and consumed by each family the night of the Exodus from Egypt (Exod. 12:3-14). It was to be eaten with bitter herbs to symbolize the bitterness of slavery of sin and unleavened bread for the haste with which they left Egypt.
g. Luke 22:10 – A man carrying a water jar is unusual, but probably a servant of the household. It was ordinarily done by a woman (Gen 24:11; John 4:7). The text seems to suggest Jesus’ divine foreknowledge (cf. 1 Sam 10:2-8).
h. Luke 22:11 – The guest room: This is the kataluma, the same word used for the crowded inn where Joseph and Mary could find no room (Luke 2:7). It was considered an honor for a rabbi’s follower to have his rabbi request the use of his home for him and his disciples to observe Passover. In the Upper Room there was One who was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:5), the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29), who would in a few hours endure for us the bitterness of the Cross to pay for sin.
i. Luke 22:13 – They prepared the Passover: The Scripture commanded three things be part of the Passover meal: the lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread (matzah). Also known as the bread of affliction or the bread of humility, it was recognized by its dark stripes and piercings which were made in the hot oven. And of course it was unleavened or made without yeast, a Biblical symbol of sin. In the Upper Room was the Bread of Life, the Bread of Heaven (John 6:25-59), Christ himself, the Bread which would, in the greatest humility ever displayed (Phil. 2:5-8) bore our afflictions, took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4), who was pierced for our transgressions and by whose stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). And like the bread, he was without leaven, the Holy One who was without sin whom God made sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
j. Luke 22:14 – Reclined: Jesus and his disciples reclined because standing to eat was the posture of a slave (as in Exodus 14), but now they celebrate their freedom from slavery in Egypt!
k. Luke 22:16 – Until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom: Jesus at the Last Supper added considerably to the familiar symbolism of Passover. But the final and fullest meaning for Passover will be revealed after the return of Jesus the Messiah to rule in glory!
l. Luke 2:17-19 – In remembrance: Jesus interprets his death as the sacrifice that will establish the new covenant predicted in Jeremiah 31. Jesus calls on his disciples to take the bread and the cup together as a remembrance of what he will accomplish for them. These words in Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper harken back to the OT concept of zikkaron. The word, translated “memorial” or remembrance” indicated a festival or practice intended as a link for future generations with a distinctive act of God. Through the zikkaron God’s people sensed their personal participation, along with the original generation, in the act God performed for them. Thus the Lord’s Supper is a unique institution or sacrament. In observing it we are drawn back into history and realize that we truly were there at the Cross. What Jesus did then echoes throughout history, as real today as in the first century, for we appropriate by faith all that Jesus accomplished in giving His body and blood for our sakes.
m. APPLICATION: Passover is the memorial meal that was commanded to be kept forever as a memorial of Israel’s escape from slavery in Egypt. Our Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal that Christ commanded to be kept until His Return as a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to save us from our sins. As such, it is a covenant meal that is to be taken only by those who are part of the Covenant of Calvary, those who are baptized followers of Jesus Christ.
n. Luke 22:17 – A cup of wine: Luke is the only Gospel writer to mention two cups of wine, one before supper and another after (cf. Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; 1 Cor. 11:23-25; John 6:51-58; 13:1-20). The Passover meal requires four cups of wine, two before the meal and two after. Each is identified with one of God’s promises in Exodus 6:6-7. The Cup of Deliverance was given after explaining Passover and the singing of the first song of praise (Psalm 113-114). The third cup was the Cup of Redemption which followed the meal of unleavened bread, lamb, and bitter herbs. The fourth cup was the Cup of Praise following the singing of the last Hallel. This cup is one of the first two: either of Afflictions but probably the Cup of Deliverance.
o. During Passover, four cups were drunk. They were called:
i. The Cup of Sanctification: Traditional meaning: We are to be clean of yeast, a symbol of sin. Fulfillment: We are to be clean of sin. Jesus is the only provision for cleansing of our sins. During this time, there is the washing of the hands which Moses required (Exodus 40:29‑32; Psalm 24:1-6). This prayer is prayed: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to wash the hands. This is the point at which Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:4-12).
ii. The Cup of Plagues or Affliction: (Luke 22:14) Traditional: Remembrance of the Ten Plagues in Egypt. Fulfillment: Remembrance of our trials and tribulations which develop perseverance, humility and maturity in our walk with the Lord. The parsley is dipped in salt water and eaten as a symbol of trials and tears, then the middle matzah, the afikomen, is broken and hidden and the Plagues in Egypt are recounted. The cup of Affliction is given with an opening benediction over the Passover meal.
p. Luke 22:19 – He took bread, “This is my body”: Jesus inaugurates a New Passover by confirming that his body, symbolized by the bread, is the fulfillment and replacement for the Passover lamb (John 6:35; 1 Cor 5:7). His death will provide deliverance for God’s people. This is the time of eating the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs of sin. The middle piece of matzah, the afikoman. Here’s how it works in the Passover meal:
i. Matzah is unleavened bread: Three matzos (symbolizing the Trinity) are placed in a special white covering [called the Matzo Tov]. This is the Bread of affliction, the humble Bread. The Bread itself reminds us of our Lord. The Rabbis have rigid codes as to the appearance of the matzah. It must have stripes, be pierced and without leaven. Yeshua was afflicted, striped, pierced and without sin (Isaiah 53:5-6; Zechariah 12:10). The middle matzah is removed and broken. The larger piece is wrapped and hidden, it is called the afikomen meaning in Greek, “that which comes later.” The Afikomen is hidden, or buried, to be found and redeemed later for a reward. This tradition has been celebrated for thousands of years. Among the Rabbis there are differing interpretations, but for us who believe in Yeshua, it is no mystery. It is a beautiful picture of Jesus and the one and only God revealed in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son left the Holy of Holies, heaven, was broken, buried, and brought back. He who finds Him receives a great reward, Eternal Life.
ii. The afikomen is the dessert at the end of the meal. The taste of the afikomen should linger in our mouths. It was during the blessing after the meal and the eating of the Afikomen that Paul said, Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:23‑24; Luke 22:19). The Passover cannot be completed without the afikomen, nor can our redemption be complete without Yeshua, the Bread of Life, our Messiah!
q. Luke 22:20 – Cup after the meal, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood”: The third of four cups, corresponding to Exodus 6:6, the Cup of Redemption. This one inaugurated the New Covenant which redeems from the bondage to sin for all who trust in Messiah (Jer. 33:30-33). Covenants are ratified with blood sacrifice (Gen 15:9-10; Exod. 24:8). Jesus’ death will inaugurate the new covenant predicted by Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34).
i. The Third Cup of Deliverance / Redemption: (Luke 22:20) Traditionally, this cup symbolizes the blood of the Passover lamb whose blood on the doorpost saved the Israelites from death. Its fulfillment is in Jesus our Passover Lamb whose blood has saved us from death. This cup is the cup used in communion or The Lord's Supper. Jesus probably prayed this prayer at this point in the Passover seder (order of worship): Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha'olam borey pri hagafen. Blesssed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine. The apostle Paul wrote of this Cup and this Bread: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16) When you come together, is it not the Lord's Supper you eat... "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes") (1 Cor. 11:20, 26).
ii. The Fourth Cup of Elijah or Cup of Praise: Waiting for the Messiah. But Christ also fulfilled this cup when He came. So it is a Cup of Praise. The Gospel says that after this they sang a song and went out, and in the Passover meal, this cup is the cup of the Hallels, the Praises (Psalm 136), and a prayer that they would celebrate the Passover meal next year in Jerusalem. Jesus and his apostles celebrated that year in Jerusalem, but we await a Second Coming of Christ when we will celebrate this Passover with him in the fulfillment of His Second Coming on earth. Jesus instructed us to keep the Lord’s Supper until He comes, and we do so looking forward with the hope that we will celebrate with Him next year this time in Jerusalem!
r. Luke 22:21 – Betrayal: Sharing a meal indicates a relationship of friendship and trust, so the note of betrayal is shocking. Jesus’ words recall Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (cf. John 13:18). Jesus did this during the “sop,” a sandwich made of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and sweet fruit (Exod 12:8 & Num 9:11). It was the custom to give this dipped sop with affection to a loved one. It was with the dipped sop Yeshua spoke of his betrayal, “One of you shall betray me." Peter motioned John to ask who he was, and Jesus answered: "He it is to whom I shall give a sop." After he dipped the sop, Judas left to betray Him. (John 13:21‑28).
s. Luke 2:22 – Decreed: The word horismenon reminds us that from a time-bound perspective Jesus’ death was a miscarriage of justice. But from God’s point of view it was the keystone of His plan not only to provide salvation, but to set all things right.
t. APPLICATION: God used Jesus’ sacrifice to provide salvation for each one of us who will receive Him.
2. JESUS IS OUR SUFFERING SERVANT (Luke 22:24-38)
a. Luke 22:24-30 – The dispute: Jesus presents two models of greatness. As viewed by the nations, greatness consists in the least serving the greatest. In God’s view, greatness consists in the greatest serving the least. The Kingdom of God functions differently from worldly kingdoms; therefore, those who would be great must not be power-seekers but servants like Jesus Himself. Second, those who have been loyal (Luke 22:28) will indeed be rewarded with power (Luke 22:29-30). All this eating and drinking points to the Messianic Banquet (Daniel 7:9, 14, 27; Matt 19:28; 1 Cor 6:2-3)
b. Luke 22:31 – Sift you like wheat: to put you through trials as he did Job (Job 1:12; 2:6). In sifting the wheat is shaken as the chaff is separated. Jesus alludes to future testings for the Apostles (cf. Amos 9:9; Isaiah 30:28). When you have turned back: i.e., repentance, Peter’s return to the unshakable trust after denying Jesus three times (Luke 22:34, 54-62). Peter’s denial shook the fisherman as nothing else had. In no other situation do we see bold, brash Peter reduced to tears (Luke 22:62) Yet the denial was a temporary failure, and undoubtedly it served always to remind Peter that he must rely on the Lord rather than on his own best intentions. Strengthen your brothers: (cf. John 21:15-17). Peter fulfilled his commission gloriously in the early church (Acts 1-15).
c. APPLICATION: Failures hurt, but remember however great the failure, you can “turn back” and learn from your mistakes.
d. Luke 22:33 – I am ready to go to prison and even death: Peter will be jailed several times in Acts (Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:1-19).
e. APPLICATION: God has to take us through trials to so that what is good in us may be refined to be used by God.
f. Luke 22:35-38 – Jesus advises the disciples under the circumstances to be prudent and practical. Take a wallet, a pack, and a Roman short sword, which was standard equipment on the road where highwaymen were a threat to life.
g. Luke 22:37 – numbered with the transgressors: Jesus applies this phrase from Isaiah 53:12 to himself, at the end of the passage that most clearly prophesies Messiah’s first coming.
h. APPLICATION: Have you recognized that Jesus has taken your transgression and paid for it? Will you receive that free gift now and submit to Him as Lord?