December 3 - Luke 22:14-23

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Luke 22:14-23 – The Passover Meal

Because the number seven figures so predominantly in scripture, it is interesting to note that this is the seventh meal scene in Luke’s gospel.

During the Passover meal, there is a great deal of ritual. The story of the Exodus is retold with an emphasis on the Covenant people and their redemption out of Egypt. As leader of this group, it would have been the responsibility of Jesus to tell the story.

The question was asked … and is still asked, “Why is the night different from other nights?” Each of the elements of the meal are now transformed in Jesus.

In the Exodus story, God remembered his covenant. Jesus is the new covenant (Luke 22:20). They remember that the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. Matthew 26:28 says that “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” following the idea of the blood of the Passover Lamb. Luke 22:20 also tells us that this new covenant is made in his blood. This is no longer the blood of a lamb sacrificed on the altar in the temple of the Israelites, but one made for all mankind.

In commanding that these things be done in remembrance of him, Jesus transfers the Passover festival ritual to one which has become the Eucharist: a remembrance of the sacrifice he made on behalf of humanity.

Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 22:15 that he is eager to eat this Passover with them. These are the moments that will define the church until he returns. These are the memories that draw his followers together. Just as the Israelites came together as one when they offered sacrifices in the temple in order to atone for their sins, Christians come together in Communion, ritual that Jesus was eager to set forth. He is the atonement for our sin and we are to remember it forever.