The bible is very rich, each line brings life in an uncountable amount of ways. I am going to try and dedicate an entire blog post for these last few chapters of Luke. That is not to say that all previous chapters are not as rich in their content, but rather I am going to experiment with this format. The final chapters of Luke take us from Jesus being welcomed as a king (chapter 21), treated like as a criminal (chapter 22) and dying as a guilty man, (chapter 23) to rising in victory (chapter 24). I will try to focus on a few key themes here also.
We start by being told it is the festival of unleavened bread called the Passover (22:1). For Passover each household must take a lamb without blemish (Exodus 12:3-5), and “the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight” (Exodus 12:6). This was originally done to save the lives of the Israelite’s from judgement (Exodus 12:12-13). God also says “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt” (Exodus 12:17). Keep this in mind.
Judas, whom Satan has come into (Luke 22:3), plots a way to capture Jesus when no crowd is present (Luke 22:6) with the chief priests, the officers and temple guard for money (22:4-5). Jesus tells his disciples to prepare a Passover meal (Luke 22:7), and that a man carrying water would take them to the place of preparation (22:10). Carrying water would have been a woman’s job (which is why the woman meets Jesus at the well in John 4), yet this man was willing to humble himself and do something not socially fitting for him to do. In the same way Jesus was about to do something not fitting for him to do, and subject himself in a way most unexpected.
Jesus then explains that there will be a new covenant in his blood (Luke 22:20). Now we read in Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 9:22 that blood must be shed for forgiveness and atonement for ones life. To clarify, the phrase ‘blood shed’, does inf-act imply death. But why would they need a new covenant when the old one still stands? Whereas an animal can pay in blood for a household, Jesus pays in his blood for all (or all those who are elect, for those who subscribe to limited atonement theory). Jesus then explains that in his kingdom the one who is greatest is the one who serves (22:25-27), as he himself is about to subject himself to the ultimate act of service, to give his life for others (John 15:13). Jesus reminds us that no act of service is too great, and whatever one’s position (whether royalty or CEO), we should always be seeking to serve.
Jesus prays that the Fathers will be done (22:42), a powerful prayer. He tells his disciples to pray lest they enter a time of temptation (22:46). Does this mean we should pray not to enter temptation, or we should pray because the act of praying means we will not enter temptation? perhaps both. Jesus took all his stress, all his worry or anxiety, his emotion, and went to pray. Though fellowship for support is good, our help first and foremost comes from the Lord (Psalm 54:4 and 121:2), who strengthens us when we submit to his will, to do even the hardest things.
Jesus commands them to buy swords (22:36), yet later when one is used He says “no more” and heals the injured party (Luke 22:49-51). When persecuted for Jesus’ sake, we should no fight with violence, even though we are equipped to do so. What is also interested about this passage is that Jesus heals one of his enemies, without asking or seeing faith displayed. Jesus is able to restore things we have done wrong or done wrong rashly. Had the disciples awaited an answer from Jesus rather than attacking, perhaps they would not have made this mistake. This passage could be used to argue for Christian pacifism, however I argue that it is simply arguing not to fight back physically when under threat for standing with God, as has been done in the past and with God’s blessing. Now there would be a sacrifice even to cover our enemies sins.
I have not yet spoken of Peter’s denial of Jesus. I will just draw attention to the place where it says ‘The Lord turned at looked at Peter. Then Peter remembers the word of the Lord… and he went out and wept bitterly’ (Luke 22:61-62). When we are in sin we often are not thinking of God’s word, if we were, how could we sin? But the Lord reminds us of his word, and his word cuts to the heart and convicts us. This is why we need the word, to guide us, to refine us and to remind us.
Finally Jesus is beaten and mocked (22:63-65). When asked if He is the son of God, He replies “you say that I am” (22:70), knowing they have no intention to listen (22:67). They take these words as evidence (22:71), though He did not [technically] confess. When people have an evil agenda, they will hear things in the way they want to for they desire to see their will done, more than they desire justice.
I hope I haven’t written anything too heretical today.
Much Love, God bless you and keep you xox