This is an on-going series that provide an “overflow” of information or application from my weekly preaching. A preacher cannot, nor should not, get everything into a sermon. These will be posts that give some direction and resources related to the sermon that will help people better understand and apply the passage.
Luke 22 is a passage that not only binds our Bible together, as Jesus explains his fulfillment of the old covenant in the new, but a passage that sets before us the basis for one of our most cherished Christian practices—the Lord’s Supper. It begins with Jesus celebrating the Passover with this disciples. This was a meal that pointed back to the seminal event for Israel’s existence as God redeemed them from slavery in Egypt. This exodus brought them to Sinai where they became God’s covenant people. The old covenant between God and Israel was ratified with a blood sacrifice. In Exodus 24, we see Moses standing before the people of God at the base of Mount Sinai. He’s just received the Law from God and they’ve agreed to obey and enter into covenant with God, become their people. He sends out young men to offer burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. And after they slaughter oxen, Moses sprinkles half of the blood on the altar and the other half on the people. And as he sprinkles the people, he said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Ex 24:8). But the people failed to keep this covenant. This is why God promises a new covenant that will not be broken by his people. He promises to send a Messiah who will bring about this new covenant. Furthermore, Isaiah says the messiah will be one who “sprinkles many nations,” even as he “pours out his soul” for many, “bearing their iniquities that they might be accounted as righteous” (Isa 52:15; 53:10-12).
Towards the end of that meal, Jesus is no longer just looking back to what God did for Israel. Now, he is looking forward to his own sacrificial death on the cross. Through the bread and cup, Jesus explains to his disciples about the importance of what his impending death will accomplish. This is why Jesus offers his body and blood—as a substitute for sinners. So, Paul can say in 1 Corinthians 5, that “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7). Just as the blood of the Passover lamb caused God’s wrath to pass over Israel as it swept through Egypt, so now the blood of Jesus—a man without moral spot or blemish—causes God’s wrath to pass over us. When we put our trust in Jesus to be our Savior, then like the apostle Paul, we say “the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Jesus picks up the Old Testament themes of covenant and redemption saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (22:20). Jesus says that he will be the blood sacrifice by which God will ratify a new covenant with his people. Jesus says his own blood he secure an eternal covenant between God and the Church. He accomplished this on the cross. Now, at his Table, with bread and cup, we eat and remember.
This week’s sermon will be uploaded and available for you to download or listen to here.
Juan Sanchez describes six ways believers reflect on our new life in Christ when we come to the Table.
Though I argued in my sermon that Jesus celebrated a Passover meal with this disciples, some dispute this fact. They see the chronology of the Gospels pointing towards a different meal at the Last Supper. However, I think Andreas J. Köstenberger has convincingly shown that the Last Supper meal was indeed a celebration of the Passover. You can read his article “Was the Last Supper a Passover Meal?” in The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Returns. Click here for a free preview of the book that includes this chapter.
Finally, if you think about putting yourself into the drama of the first Passover, you can hardly do better than Shai Linne’s “Passover” song:[youtube.com/watch?v=Njnd-B3j8YI]