For Easter Week we are going to take a brief pause in our devotional walk through Unfolding Grace, as well as our worship schedule, to focus on Jesus’ last days. We’ll gather on Friday evening for a special Good Friday service where we will trace Jesus’ journey to the cross through Luke. Then on Sunday, we will celebrate Jesus’ victory over death as recorded in Luke 24. Today as we further prepare our hearts for this celebration of redemption, let us look to Luke 22 and Jesus’ last supper with the disciples.
Wednesday, March 31st
Larger Portion of Scripture - Luke 22:1-38
Focused Passage for Reflection - Luke 22:7-23
Reflecting on the Text:
Events seemed to be swirling around Him. His enemies were conspiring against Him. His disciples were jockeying for positions of power, and as God the Son, He was fully aware of it all. And yet on that night, Jesus’ focus was on the meal.
Knowing what was happening behind the scenes and what would soon transpire, Jesus took the time to be present with His disciples. Don’t you find that striking? Pressed for time, Jesus didn’t rush. He ministered to His friends, knowing at the time they couldn’t comprehend all that was taking place.
This meal was the Passover. It was their "July 4th" and "Thanksgiving" wrapped into one. It was the Redemption celebration for Israel, and that night, Jesus took the time to celebrate. But as Luke shares with us, there was more taking place on that night than mere remembrance. There was a meaningful foreshadowing.
In the Exodus, the purchase price for a family’s redemption was a lamb. It was to be a choice lamb, but it was simply chosen from the flock. It was one among many. So each family took a lamb, slaughtered it, wiped its blood over the doorpost, and then ate the meat. Then every year thereafter, the people celebrated the Passover with a feast. They remembered the night when a lamb took their place in death, and in return, they were set free.
That was in Exodus, but in Luke (as with all the gospel accounts) Jesus celebrated the feast by revealing its true meaning. The true Passover lamb was not to be taken from the flock. The true Passover lamb was the Son of God. He was crucified and His blood was shed as the purchase price for our redemption. So Jesus sealed the occasion by instituting a new feast…the Lord’s Supper.
This feast was to be the redemption celebration for the Church. But it is not merely a general celebration for all of the church. It is also a very personal celebration for each child of God. In verse 20, Jesus captured the personal nature of His sacrifice by telling His friends, “This cup that is poured out for YOU is the new covenant in my blood.”
Amid the chaos, Jesus was present with His disciples. He loved them to the end, communicating His love in clear and tangible ways. And He does the same for us. Every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper we hear the same words from Jesus, and they are directed to us…personally. So I ask you, have you come to embrace His sacrifice for YOU? Have you allowed that question to land in your heart? Have you lingered over it as Jesus lingered with His friends? As events swirl around you this week, take some time to reflect on Jesus’ words…and His actions…for YOU.
Questions for personal reflection:
How does the Passover shape your understanding of Good Friday and Easter?
How does the Last Supper shape your understanding of Good Friday and Easter?