TODAY’S READING: LUKE 22-24
OVERVIEW: The wicked plot of the religious leaders to kill Jesus and to contract Judas (22:1-6); Jesus’ last Passover (22:7-13); the converting of the Passover meal into His own supper (22:14-28); prayer in the garden (22:39-46); Jesus’ arrest (22:47-54); Peter’s denial (22:55-62); Jesus is mocked, blasphemed, and beaten (22:63-71); Jesus before Pilate (23:1-7); Jesus before Herod (23:8-10); Jesus returned to Pilate (23:11-24); Pilate releases Jesus to His accusers to be crucified (23:25-49); Jesus’ burial (23:50-56); Jesus’ resurrection (24:1-12); the ministry of the risen Christ (24:13-45); Jesus’ commission (24:46-49); Jesus’ ascension (24:50-53).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The ground we will cover in today’s reading is ground that we have walked through in both Matthew and Mark’s Gospel. Though you have already read it two times in as many weeks, may God use it to minister to your heart with a fresh sense of wonder and appreciation today. This is the manifestation of God’s love for us (I John 4:9), and the revelation of the Gospel (I Cor. 15:1-4). In other words, as far as salvation is concerned, this is the heart of the Bible.
Because we have become at least somewhat familiar with this information, our comments today will be centered in chapter 22:7-20, as the Lord establishes the observance of communion, or what we sometimes refer to as the Lord’s Supper.
First of all, keep in mind that this is the PASSOVER meal that our Lord is eating with His disciples (Luke 22:7, 15). To understand the meaning of the Lord’s Supper then, we must have an understanding of the PASSOVER, because it is actually the BREAD and CUP of the Passover meal that our Lord turned into His OWN Supper.
I. The biblical and historical meaning of the Passover.
A. A general understanding of the Passover Meal The Passover meal was a commemorative feast that reminded the JEWS of what God had done in DELIVERING them out of the bondage of EGYPT.
B. The particular circumstances of the first Passover (Exodus 12) God’s people were being held in bondage in the dominant world power, EGYPT: being held captive by the will of its wicked king, PHARAOH. Day after day they labored as SLAVES under the domination of the taskmaster’s whip, as they trudged out their existence in EGYPT. God delivered them from Egypt by a series of plagues, the last of which was the curse of death upon the FIRSTBORN. The only way they could escape the death of the firstborn in their house was to kill a spotless lamb, and APPLY its BLOOD to the top beam and the two side posts of the door. When the angel of death passed through the city to execute judgment, He would “pass over” every house to which the blood of the lamb had been applied. God instituted the “passover” meal on that night, and commanded them to celebrate it each year so they would be continuously put in REMEMBRANCE of His delivering power that was manifest in bringing them out of the bondage of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb.
C. The “big picture” of the Passover
We were being held in bondage in the course of this WORLD, being held captive by the will of its wicked king, SATAN (Ephesians 2:2; II Timothy 2:26). Day after day, we labored as SLAVES under the domination of the taskmaster of SIN, as we trudged out our existence in the course of this WORLD (Romans 6:14; Gal. 1:4). God delivered us from the curse of death upon our FIRST BIRTH, because we applied the BLOOD of the true “Passover Lamb” (I Cor. 5:7), the Lord Jesus Christ, to our lives. God instituted a meal that He has commanded us to observe so we will be continuously put in REMEMBRANCE of His delivering power that was manifest in bringing us out of the bondage of this world and sin through the BLOOD of the spotless lamb of God on the cross (Luke 22:7-20; Matthew 26:17-28).
II. The biblical and historical understanding of the Lord’s Supper.
A. The transformation of the bread and the cup of the Passover
•A new meaning of the bread.
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
•A new meaning of the cup.
“Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:20)
*In other words, “From now on, don’t go back to the picture; go back to the reality.”
B. The meaning of “eating the bread” and “drinking the cup.”
• There are two basic things that a person needs to come to grips with in order to be saved...
#1 – Who Christ is.
(i.e. You must believe that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh.)
#2 – What Christ did.
(i.e. You must believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross to atone for man’s sin.)
•Jesus’ metaphor of “eating the bread” and “drinking the cup” in John 6. The religious leaders are appalled by Jesus’ claim to be God. Jesus is trying to get them to understand, that “If you never come to grips with who I am, and what I have come to do, you will never receive eternal life.”
•The connection of “eating the bread” and “drinking the cup” in the Lord’s Supper. We are brought back to the very two things that saved us…
#1 –That God opened our eyes to understand that Jesus Christ is, in fact, God in a human body.
#2 –That we placed our faith in what Jesus Christ, as God, did through the shedding of His blood for the remission of our sin.