1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of  Luke, Preparation for the Passover - Lesson 228

 

Luke 22:7-23,  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19And 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. 20Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.21But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

This account of the last supper given by Luke is quite brief for it does not include many of the events which took place.

It was quite a lengthy supper for if you read the other gospels you will find a number of things Luke does not mention.

John tells us that the supper event was begun by the Lordís washing of the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-20).

Being the Passover supper we can be sure that the meal included the traditional Passover elements.

In addition, this is the beginning of the Lordís Supper which we observe in the church.

Jesus Christ expounded upon that with words that the disciples had never heard at a Passover meal (Luke 22:19-20).

Johnís gospel includes an extensive message known as the "upper room discourse" (John 14-16), concluded by the Lordís "high priestly prayer" of intercession for His followers which is thought to have been given at this supper.

Three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke report the disciplesí argument about who would be the greatest, along with our Lordís response.

After the supper was concluded the Lord and the disciples sang a hymn and departed to the Garden of Gethsemane, where our Lord prayed, with little help from His disciples (Luke 22:39-46).

The arrest of Jesus then follows, concluding in His being handed over for crucifixion.

Reflecting on all of these event tells us that the meal was a lengthy one.

It was a time which showed the great transaction between the old economy and the new, the old covenant and the new covenant.

The Passover of the old covenant was remembered, and the Lordís Supper of the new covenant was begun.

The Passover was one of the feasts of memory that God instituted so that His people would not forget from whence they came.

The Passover itself began at the exodus of the Israelite nation from Egypt.

Remember the contests between Moses and the Pharaoh.

Moses challenging words were "Let my people go."

Pharaoh retorted with "Who is this God, that I should obey Him?"

God did not let Pharaoh wait long for an answer, for he sent many plagues upon the people, but it took the final plague, that of the smiting of the eldest son of the Egyptians, to convince Pharaoh to yield to Moses.

The first-born sons of the Israelites who believed, were spared by means of the first Passover.

Godís instructions were to slaughter an animal and place some of the blood on the door posts.

When the death angel saw the blood on the door posts, he "passed over" the house, thus sparing the first born.

This celebration was commanded by God to be an annual feast for the Israelite nation, and its celebration is what is reported by Luke in our passage for today.

You can read the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and find many stipulations and regulations governing the observance of the Passover.

First, the Passover is to be partaken of only by those who have embraced the faith of Israel.

No "uncircumcised" male could eat of it.

This did not exclude foreigners who had accepted the faith of Israel, as evidenced by circumcision.

Second, the Passover was to be observed on the 14th day of the first month, at the time when the Israelites first partook of the Passover lamb in Egypt.

The animal was to be slain on the evening of the 14th, and the meal to follow shortly thereafter.

Third, no bones of the animal were to be broken, and no leftovers were to be kept until the next day.

Fourth, the Passover celebration also commenced the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

No yeast was to be used, and all leaven was to be removed from the dwellings of the Israelites on the first day of the celebration.

Finally, the Passover animal could only be slaughtered at the place which God would designate (Deuteronomy 16:2, 5-6), which would later in scripture be specified as Jerusalem.

This of course tells us that the blood of Christ had to be spilt in Jerusalem for Jesus is our Passover lamb.

Only by His blood are we passed over.

So Luke writes of this day in Luke 22:7-13,  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

This passage describes a confluence of events.

The Passover lamb which had first been killed in Egypt, sparing the lives of the first born, was a forerunner of the true Passover lamb.

This lamb, at the time Luke describes, had to be sacrificed and eaten at the appointed time.

Matthewís Gospel describes it this way:

Matthew 26:18-19,  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Note how Jesus equates himself with the Passover lamb, My time is at hand!

He will participate in the celebration of the original Passover however this Passover will witness the true Passover lamb who will allow His blood to flow so that all those who apply the blood will be passed over.

So Jesus sent two of his most trusted disciples to make the necessary preparations, Peter and John.

These were two of the three who were in the "inner circle" of the three disciples (Peter, James, and John), whom Jesus sometimes separated from the others.

The instructions to Peter and John were instructions similar to those given the two unnamed disciples who were sent to obtain the ass on which Christ rode into Jerusalem.

There is a sense of mystery in these instructions for they allow Peter and John to find out where the supper will be held but they do not allow Judas, the betrayer to know the location prior to his arrival.

Judas was looking for a place apart from the multitudes to betray the Master but Godís time was not right and Jesus did not allow him to know where the supper would be held.

So the disciples were sent to find an unspecified place by going into the city and being found by a man who would be identified only by the fact that he was carrying a water pot.

It is not even said that the man would speak to them, but they were to follow him to the house he entered.

There, the good man of the house was to be asked where the guest room was where the Master could eat the Passover with His disciples.

Only Jesus could issue instructions like these for coming from anyone else they would only be met with derision.

But Jesus does all things decently and in order and his time was not yet.

He was in charge at all times.

Had Judas known in advance the place where the Passover was to be eaten, he could have arranged for the arrest of Jesus.

And this would have been an ideal time, for everyone would be off the streets, eating the Passover meal with their own families.

Jesusí gave instructions which assured that this meal would not be interrupted, and that his arrest would take place in the garden of Gethsemane, later that night.

There is a lesson here for all times.

Obey the word of God even if it seems strange and unreasonable.

God may call on you to do that for which you believe you are unprepared or that others are unprepared for, but as we see in this example the way was prepared by God.

The man with the pot of water on his head knew the way, and the good man of the house had the house prepared.

Peter and John found things to be exactly as Jesus had described them.

While the disciples may not have been confident that things would work out well, things did work our well.

They found out that when God instructs us to do something that He intends to come to pass, He will always have gone before us, preparing the way for us.

All we need to do is to obey, trusting that things will work out as He has planned.

If God is in it you can be confident He will do his part.

It is a wonderful thing to walk in obedience to His will and His word, and to watch Him open the doors before us, preparing our way.

Many times God does not tell us everything for He has so ordained that we are to walk by faith.

And we are to know that what God has not told us, is for our own good.

Luke 22:13,  And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

Luke 22:14-23,  And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19And 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. 20Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

21But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! 23And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

As I have said previously Luke only gives a brief outline of what took place at the last supper.

The emphasis in the Gospel of John is less toward the supper and more toward the upper room discourse of Christ.

This passage introduces the ordinance of communion which not until the book of Acts and the epistles of the New Testament, is the full meaning of "communion" seen.

Not until after the cross can this act be fully understood.

It is clear also that this supper ended the dispensation of the old covenant and began the dispensation of the new.

Many argue about the actual beginning of the church however this last supper was the beginning of a church ordinance, that ordinance of communion.

The church will go back to this Passover celebration as the beginning of its celebration of "communion," but the disciples had no grasp of the newness of this celebration at the time.

The disciples were unaware of this for they were too busily engaged in thinking about the identity of the betrayer, their own sadness, and who was the greatest among them.

It was not a glorious occasion for it was a time of confusion, of fear, and of self-seeking on the part of the disciples.

The disciples did not know what was about to take place, but there was a sadness, a heaviness, in their spirits, knowing that something foreboding was about to occur.

Jesus was the only one present who knew the meaning of what He was doing.

The reason why Jesus was in the upper room was to celebrate the Passover however Christ consciously changed it to the first act of communion remembering that which was soon to come, the shedding of his blood and the death of his body.

They began the supper by eating the Passover lamb but they ended the supper by eating and drinking of the true Passover lamb, the bread and the wine symbolizing the body and blood of Christ.

But in spite of the sadness, and heaviness of the discipleís spirits, Jesus approached this meal with eagerness: 15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

This joy was a joy that the job was almost finished.

This supper was what was to take place before the cross.

He would drink this cup and eat this bread no longer on earth after this last supper.

He will not eat of this bread nor drink of this cup again until its fulfillment in the kingdom of God

The joy set before Him is the kingdom, and the suffering of the cross is the way this joy will be realized.

Therefore Jesus focused on the joy of the fulfillment of the Passover and was encouraged and enabled to endure the cross because of it.

Jesus saw this particular Passover as prophetic, as a forerunner of the coming of the kingdom, and in this He could rejoice.