John T. Willis

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Jesus Initiates the Lord's Supper--Luke 22:1-20

Luke concludes his Gospel with three chapters describing (1) the persecution, suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus on the cross (22-23) and (2) the resurrection and ascent into heaven of Jesus (24). The first major event is Jesus' initiation of the Lord's Suffer. This paragraph consists of Luke 22:1-20 and falls into four parts.

I. Jewish leaders attempt to devise a plan to put Jesus to death. Luke 22:1-2.
   a. Luke focuses on the annual celebration of the Passover and Unleavened Bread. Exodus 12; Leviticus 23:4-8; Numbers 9:1-14; Deuteronomy 16:1-8 contain lengthy descriptions of the combined festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread. This occurs every year in March-April, the first month of the Hebrew calendar and extends from the fourteenth to the twenty-first day of that month. 22:1.
   b. Jealous of and angry with Jesus, the chief priests and scribes in Jerusalem looked for a way to put Jesus to death.  This is clearly a heart issue. 22:2.

II. Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus. Luke 22:3-6.
    a. Luke explains that SATAN entered into [the heart of] Judas Iscariot. This is closely connected with the account of Jesus' conflict with Satan in the desert in Luke 4:1-13, which is parallel to Matthew 4:1-11. Throughout the centuries, many people deny or avoid the reality of the existence and activities of Satan. Even today, some scholars attempt to reject or "reinterpret" Satan so that He is not an evil personality, but a servant of God. Such attempts are not surprising at all. Millions of people still believe and argue that God does not exist. The Bible repeatedly affirms that Satan is very much alive, and that his activities are dangerous and devastating. The present paragraph declares that Satan is responsible for putting Jesus on the cross, and the same is true of Judas Iscariot. 22:3.
    b. Judas Iscariot knew very well the intentions of the Jewish chief priests and officers of the temple temple police, and thus he went to them confer with them how he might betray Jesus and turn him into their authority. 22:4.
    c. These Jewish leaders responded by giving him money. Luke does not give the amount, but Matthew 26:15 says it was thirty pieces of silver. Judas Iscariot struck this agreement and then went away to look for an opportunity to betray Jesus to the Jewish authorities when no crowd was near Jesus. 22:5-6.

III. Jesus makes preparations for the Passover. Luke 22:7-13.
      a. On the day when people slaughtered the Passover lamb, Jesus made preparations so he and his disciples would keep the Passover. Exodus 12:6; Deuteronomy 16:6 describe the slaughter of the Paschal lamb. This must be done before sundown on the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, which is Nisan 15. That year, the Passover preparation evening coincided with the Sabbath. Passover then began after sundown on 15 Nisan. 22:7.
      b. Jesus sent Peter and John, son of Zebedee, to enter Jerusalem and find a man carrying a jar of water, follow into the house he enters, and tell the owner of the house that The Teacher [that is, Jesus] will go into a large guest room upstairs already furnished to share in the Passover. Peter and John followed Jesus' instructions and prepared the Passover meal. This preparation involved buying the lamb, slaughtering it, and roasting it; then preparing the other victuals like bitter herbs, etc., and arranging the upper room for the fifteen men present. At this point, Judas Iscariot did not know where this would happen. Again, see Exodus 12 carefully. 22:8-13.

IV. Jesus initiates the Lord's Supper. Luke 22:14-20.
      a. At sundown 14 Nisan, the Passover began on 15 Nisan. Following the common practice of sharing a meal, Jesus and his twelve disciples reclined on couches leaning on their left elbows to prepare to eat the meal. 22:14.
      b. Jesus then does FOUR very important things for his disciples.
          1. Jesus reminds his disciples that he must suffer, but in preparation for this momentous events he wants them to know how intensely he wants to eat this Passover with them. Any time God's people share the Lord's Supper, Jesus is always present, intensely interested in sharing with them in this important event. 22:15.
          2. Jesus then declares that he will not eat this meal again until the kingdom of God comes. Apparently, in this context the coming of the kingdom of God is the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus as described in Acts 2. 22:16.
          3. Jesus then took a cup of wine and divided it among his disciples, and took a loaf of bread and broke it and gave it to his disciples, and told them to eat the bread and drink the wine. The bread is the BODY of Jesus given to his disciples, and the wine is the BLOOD of Jesus poured out for them. They were to do this IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIM. "Remembrance" in this and similar contexts means "reliving" the events under consideration. Drama clearly involves in partaking of the Lord's Supper. 22:17-20.
          4. When doing all this, Jesus "gave thanks." The Greek word is euchariteo. This is why we call the Lord Supper the Eucharist. Jesus gave thanks to his Heavenly Father, always reminding his disciples that above Jesus is his Heavenly Father who is submissive to Jesus and all of Jesus' disciples. 22:17, 19.

The Lord's Supper is pivotal in Christian living. It is inseparably connected with the Passover, which is a remembrance of Yahweh [God our Father] when he delivered his people from Egyptian bondage. Reread Exodus 11-14 to study the entire account.

Share YOUR inclinations and remembrances and experiences and concepts and reversals with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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