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30
Luke 22:14-23. Good Friday Communion Message
March 30, 2018

On the Thursday night of Passion Week, the last week of Christ’s life on earth, it was the beginning of the eight-day-long celebration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was also the night before Christ’s crucifixion, and His final gathering with the apostles before His death, since He would be arrested later that evening after the Passover meal. This section of Luke’s gospel marks the major turning point of redemptive history. Jesus brought the Old Covenant to an end and inaugurated the New Covenant. Thus, He and the disciples celebrated the last legitimate Passover, and the first Lord’s Supper. Jesus culminated the celebration looking back to God’s miraculous historical deliverance of Israel from Egypt and inaugurated a new memorial, looking to the cross and the eternal deliverance accomplished for His people there. He does this first with the final legitimate 1) Passover Remembrance (Luke 22:14–18) followed by the institution of 2) The Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19–20)

 

1)      Passover Remembrance: (Luke 22:14–18)

Luke 22:14–18 14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (ESV)

 

The message of Passover is that God delivers through the judgment of sin by the death of an innocent substitute. All the Old Testament sacrifices were symbols of that reality. But those animal sacrifices were not, in themselves, sufficient substitutes, or such offerings would have ceased (Heb. 10:1–2). No person has ever been delivered from divine judgment by the death of an animal (Heb. 10:4). Through the centuries, the people of Israel waited for the sacrifice that would be satisfactory to God, the one to which all the countless animal sacrifices had pointed. That long-awaited sacrifice would be offered the next day, Friday, while countless thousands of lambs were again being sacrificed on the Passover. At that very time, God offered His sacrifice. He poured out His wrath against sinners on an innocent substitutethe “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus was the perfect, final, and complete sacrifice for sin, making this the last Passover approved by God. Symbolic animal sacrifices pointing to the true sacrifice were no longer necessary once the Savior had been offered. Luke’s treatment of Passover and the Lord’s Supper is brief, since the Old Testament contains a lot of information about Passover, and Paul had already described the Lord’s Supper in detail at least five years before Luke’s gospel when he wrote 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 10, 11). The hour they commenced this Passover meal was sunset, the time when Passover always officially began. Between three and this hour (about 6 pm) the lamb was killed (Ex 12:6 (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 123). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

 

As was customary, Jesus reclined at table, and the apostles with Him, lying on cushions with their heads near the table and their feet away from it. The famous painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in which Jesus and the disciples are portrayed as sitting at a table is a beautiful sixteenth-century rendition of the event. It is not true, however, to the biblical account, in which the meal was eaten reclining.( Stein, R. H. (1992). Luke (Vol. 24, p. 541). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

 

That Jesus and the Twelve reclined in such a manner indicates that this was a prolonged meal. By the Second Temple Period, the Passover itself had evolved from the hurried meal described in Exodus 12–13, just as it has evolved since (Green, J. B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke (p. 757). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.).

 

Christ’s words to the disciples in verse 15, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,” likely were spoken just after the men had reclined at the table. They are intensive and forceful; the Greek text could be translated, “With desire I have desired.” These words indicate that this final Passover would be the fulfillment of a most powerful, emotional longing in the heart of the Lord. In a few hours He would go from eating again a sacrificial lamb to dying as the one true Lamb of God to validate the New Covenant. His whole life He had anticipated this hour, surely with increasing emotion. The construction “I have earnestly desired” carries the sense of ardent, passionate longing. These revealing words invite all believers of every time and place to consider how passionately Jesus longs for communion with us at His table (MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1450). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).

 

The Lord’s next statement in verse 16, “For I tell/say to you, I will not/shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God,” reveals that although this was the final Passover of His life, there will be another time when He celebrates the Passover with His own. That will take place in the kingdom of God (cf. vv. 18, 28–30; 1 Cor. 11:26). Jesus’ promise was wonderful news to the apostles. He had taught them the previous evening on the Mount of Olives what would happen in the future (Luke 21:7–36). Now in this reference to His kingdom He reassured them that His death was not the end of the story. He will rise and return to establish His promised kingdom in which His true followers will join with Him. According to Ezekiel’s description, Passover will be celebrated (Ezek. 45:21)—not remembering the exodus, but the cross. Until then, there are no divinely authorized Passovers. The regular celebration of Passover by the Jews is an expression of their rejection of their Messiah. Christ promises a day in the consummation of His kingdom to end all strife, conflict and hunger. The Almighty reigns throughout history, but here in Revelation 19 (as in 11:15–17) he is praised for establishing his reign without rival or resistance at Christ’s return (Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2491). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.).

 

Jesus’ taking a cup and giving thanks in verse 17 uses the word: eucharisteō, from which the English word “eucharist” derives. This event marked the beginning of the Passover celebration. This cup, which He then commanded the disciples to take … and divide/share … among themselves, was the first cup, called the cup of blessing. The apostle Paul referred to it in his instructions to the Corinthian church regarding communion (1 Cor. 10:16). The head of the table praised God for His goodness, mercy, and provision through the years. Traditionally, he would also extol the glory and righteousness of Israel. But Jesus in all likelihood did not do that, since Israel’s apostasy had reached its apex in eagerness to crucify the Messiah. Often a host would give his cup as a special honor to a banquet guest. Jesus appears to share his own cup with all the family, rather than each drinking from his own cup. This symbolized their unity in facing what lay ahead and in looking forward to the final appearance of the kingdom of God.( Butler, T. C. (2000). Luke (Vol. 3, p. 368). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

 

His words in verse 18, “For I tell/say to you, from now on I will not (ou mē; the strongest form of negation in Greek) drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes,” emphasize once again that this was the final Passover. These were words of comfort and hope for the disciples. The fruit of the vine is a symbol of fruitfulness, blessing, and joy, reflecting God’s goodness to His people in delivering them from bondage. There will be a future salvation for the believing remnant of Israel (Rom. 11:1–32), when they and all believers will celebrate the Passover with Christ and extol the goodness of God. The cup of blessing here looks past the judgment that would fall on Jerusalem in the holocaust of a.d. 70, in which the Romans would utterly destroy both the city and the temple and scatter the people, to Israel’s ultimate salvation and blessing.

 

Time of Self Examination. In our remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice today on this Good Friday, He desires that we would remember why He needed to die for His people. In order to deliver them from the penalty and power of sin, He went to the cross. It was our sin, that separates us from God, that necessitated this. Let us now take a moment consider how our sin drove Christ to the Cross and to privately confess our sins before God.

 

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2)   Communal Remembrance (Luke 22:19–20)

Luke 22:19–20 19 And he took bread, and when he had 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 likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (ESV)

It is impossible to overstate the monumental change the few simple phrases of verses 19-20 introduce. Christ’s words signaled the end of the Old Covenant, with its social, ceremonial, dietary, and Sabbath laws, and installed the New Covenant. With these words, Jesus marked the end of all the old rituals and sacrifices, the priesthood, the holy place, and the Holy of Holies, the curtain of which God would soon split from top to bottom, throwing it wide open (Mark 15:38). All that the Old Covenant symbolism pointed toward would be fulfilled in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus reinterprets the symbols of the Passover and gives them new, interim meanings. Such meaning resides in the symbols until he returns. In fact, the symbols are a reminder that he is returning (Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke: 9:51–24:53 (Vol. 2, p. 1724). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.).

 

Jesus’ taking of the bread and giving thanks took place after the singing of the first part of the Hallel (Pss. 113, 114), followed by the second cup of wine, and the explanation of the meaning of Passover, while they were eating the main meal (Matt. 26:26). The unleavened bread was equated in the seder with bread of affliction because it reminded them of their persecution in Egypt as mentioned in Deuteronomy 16:3. This unleavened bread was now given greater significance—it represented Jesus’ body and the affliction he would endure on the cross (Hughes, R. K. (1998). Luke: that you may know the truth (p. 317). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.).

 

Having taken the bread, Jesus then broke it and gave it to them. With the breaking of the loaf, in relation to the death of Christ, none of His bones were broken (John 19:36; cf. Ex. 12:46). The disciples’ all partaking of the same loaf symbolized the unity of the body of Christ.

 

Concerning the intent of Jesus’ reference to the bread as My body the disciples themselves would have been astonished that anyone would even think of taking Jesus literally here. The very idea would have been alien to their whole way of thinking about Jesus or the sacraments. By this time they were well used to their Lord speaking to them in figures of speech. When Jesus said,I am the door” (John 10:9), they did not start looking for his hinges, and when he said,I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), they did not assume that his dough was made from scratch! The disciples instinctively recognized that Jesus was not speaking literally at all, but using metaphors to make a spiritual comparison (using everyday items). Undoubtedly one of the reasons Jesus chose bread to serve as this sacramental symbol is that bread was so basic to life itself. (The disciples would have understood that they could not) live without their daily bread. So when Jesus tells us to take and eat the bread that signifies his body, he is giving us something we cannot live withoutsomething we need to nourish our souls. (Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 466). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.)

 

Bread pictures things that are earthly, fragile, and subject to decay, symbolizing the reality that the Son of God took on human form and became subject to death.Notice that the lamb is not mentioned. This meal has a completely new relevance for the church and is not linked inseparably to an annual Feast of national Israel. It symbolized a new deliverance (exodus) from sin (cf. Jer. 31:31–34) (Utley, R. J. (2004). The Gospel according to Luke (Vol. Volume 3A, Lk 22:19). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.).

 

The phrase which is given for you introduces the most important truth in the Biblesubstitutionary atonement. As Passover conveyed the twin truths that divine wrath and justice can only be satisfied by death, but that death can be the death of innocent substitutes for the guilty. The millions of lambs that were slain throughout the centuries were all innocent. Animals are incapable of sinning, since they are not persons, and have no morality or self-consciousness. Jesus, however, is both innocent and a personfully man as well as God. Therefore His substitutionary atonement death was acceptable to God to satisfy His holy condemnation of sin.  Isaiah wrote, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isa. 53:5; cf. v. 12). Peter wrote that Jesus “bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds [we] were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Paul explains the New Covenant reality effected through the Substitutionary Atonement of Christ in 2 Cor. 5:17-21.

 

Regular observance of the Lord’s Supper is to be a constant reminder to Christians of the Lamb of God, chosen by God, sacrificed for sinners, whose death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, and whose life was poured out on our behalf so that our sins can be fully and forever forgiven. In this remembrance, Christ is present here spiritually, with and in the believing recipients of the bread and wine, strengthening faith and fellowship in him, and thereby feeding souls (cf. Matt. 18:20; 28:20). Since this is the case participation in the Lord’s Supper is only for those who have made a personal commitment to follow Jesus (Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2208). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.).

  • If you have not, Christ invites you to repent of your sin and put your faith in Him so you can participate. If not, observe this remembrance and see His testimony.

 

(SERVE THE BREAD)

 

Jesus commanded His followers to:do this in remembrance of me”. This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. This is not an optional memorial but one of commanded action for remembrance (Utley, R. J. (2004). The Gospel according to Luke (Vol. Volume 3A, Lk 22:19). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.). The notion of “remembrance” is pivotal to the celebration of Passover (Cf. Exod 12:14; Deut 16:3; ) and cannot be limited, as it often is in English usage, to the idea of cognitive recall of a prior occurrence. In the biblical tradition, … “remembrance” is often employed with the sense of “the effect of the recollection of the past for present or future benefit.”( cf. Num 5:15; 1 Kgs 17:18; Ezek 33:13–16; et al.) This is a memorial meal, not a resacrifice. It calls to mind what Jesus did and declares one’s identification with that act (Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke: 9:51–24:53 (Vol. 2, p. 1725). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.) With the repeated celebration of Passover as precursor, and with this linguistic background for the understanding of remembrance, we may understand Jesus as instructing his followers not only to continue sharing meals together, but to do so in a way that their fellowship meals recalled the significance of his own life and death in obedience to God on behalf of others(Green, J. B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke (p. 762). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.).

 

(EAT THE BREAD)

 

(SERVE JUICE)

 

Then likewise/in the same way (that is, with thanks; cf. v. 19) verse 20 concludes with the statement that Jesus took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” The cup was the third cup, which came after the meal. This final cup, following the sequence of several refillings during the Passover, signifies the “new covenant” (v. 20) in Jesus’ blood. The disciples would have been reminded of the “blood of the covenant” (Exod 24:8), i.e., the blood used ceremonially to confirm the covenant. The new covenant (cf. Jer 31:31–34) carried with it assurance of forgiveness through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross and the inner work of the Holy Spirit in motivating us and enabling us to fulfill our covenantal responsibility. (Leifeld, W. L. (1984). Luke. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke (Vol. 8, p. 1027). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.)

 

That it was poured out for youfor forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28) is another declaration of Christ’s death as a substitute for all who would believe. Sin can only be forgiven when satisfactory payment to God in the form of the death of the perfect sacrifice has been rendered. The Lord Jesus’ death was that payment. As the infinite God incarnate, He was actually able to bear the sins of and suffer God’s wrath for those sins on behalf of all who would ever believe, rescuing them from divine judgment by fully satisfying the demands of God’s justice. That this all was: “poured out for you” reflects the ot imagery of the cup of wrath and affliction (Jer 25:15–29). (Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 22:20). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)

 

(DRINK JUICE)

 

His death inaugurated the new covenant which, like the Old Covenant, was ratified by the shedding of blood (Ex. 24:8; Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:18–20). The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31–34; cf. Ezek. 36:25–27) is a covenant of forgiveness (Jer. 31:34) and the only saving covenant. Since it was ratified by the blood of Christ, as an innocent substitute, in His death satisfied the demands of God’s justice. (cf; 2 Corinthians chaps. 7 and 8.)

(Format Note: Outline & Some base commentary from MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 277–284). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.)

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