Read Luke Chapter 22
On Luke 22…
The whole of Jerusalem is preparing for Passover. This is a major festival in the Jewish calendar, still celebrated today, which commemorates their freedom from slavery in Egypt (The Exodus). The actual passing over was the last of ten plagues which brought about the death of the first born of any household not protected by the blood of lambs applied around the entrances to their homes. The Death Angel ‘passed over‘ those protected by the blood and the outcome was life and freedom from slavery. It is no accident of fate that Jesus chose this time for what is about to take place.
Luke 22:7 “Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.””
Jesus and His disciples celebrate Passover in an upper room which is often referred to as The Last Supper (John 13-17). It is very much a farewell meal, a time of sweet intimate fellowship where some extraordinary things are said and done. But, it is also the inauguration of a new covenant, which we still remember today in the taking of bread and wine together. The Old Covenant was full of rituals, sacrifices and offerings at the temple and Jesus was replacing all of that with the one thing: Himself – His once for all sacrifice, is only hours away.
Luke 22:19 “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
Among many other profound things which He says and does during the Passover meal, we should find Jesus words to Peter very encouraging. Jesus knows Peter will deny Him but has prayed for him and tells him to strengthen his brothers once he is back on track. We will all fail from time to time, but Jesus prayed for us too and will restore us and use us to great effect if we let Him.
Jesus is betrayed by Judas (Matthew 26:21-25), but we must not think that anyone other than the Lord Jesus Himself is in control of the situation (John 10:18). Jesus has to give permission to the power of darkness (22:53, see also Job 1:6-12). Jesus has surrendered to the will of God, knowing that what was about to happen was the only way to bring salvation to mankind, but that doesn’t mean He was looking forward to it.
Luke 22:41 “He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.”
Jesus is arrested and taken, Peter denies Him just as He had said and in the morning He was before the Council of elders of the people, namely the religious leaders where He leaves them in no doubt of who He is. In this way, He is ensuring their guilt over His death:
Luke 22: 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “ Yes, I am.””
Jesus, the Son of God will soon become the Passover Lamb. His sacrifice and the subsequent application of His blood will cause death to pass-over those to whom it is applied, freeing them from their slavery to sin and death . The Blood of Jesus covers our sin, causing death to pass-over us, in the same way that it did for the Hebrews in Exodus – for those who believe. When your sins are covered, they are no longer counted against you when you are called to account for them (1 Peter 1:17-25).