photo 57Luke 22 verses 17 & 18. “After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

The “Day” arrives on which the “Passover Lamb” had to be sacrificed. This was the Thursday, the first day of the festival. With these little clues, Luke keeps his Gentile readers in touch with the story, as well as his friend Onesimus, for whom he is writing this account.

Jesus instructs his disciple about where the Passover room was and so they make ready. For all we know the room may have belonged to a disciple of Jesus. At any rate it was provided and the feast was prepared there.

The annual Passover celebrations served two functions. It was a memorial of Israel’s original deliverance from Egypt. This was of course, a genuine historical event in its own right. At the same time it was designed as a prototype and a promise of that immensely more significant deliverance that God would bring about through the sacrifice and the shed blood of his Son.

Now the time has come to fulfil the promise. His death was not to be a sad and insignificant disaster, nor the triumph of some satanic power, but rather it was the divinely fore-ordained sacrifice for the deliverance of men and women from the bondage to sin, Satan and the coming Judgement.

But Jesus did something else too at this Passover supper. He established a New Covenant with his disciples (v20). The prophet Jeremiah spoke about this moment in Jeremiah 31 verses 33-34. It was a covenant which would bring the very Holy Spirit into their souls. They would have new lives and would be governed from within by the Spirit working with a new heart.

They did not need to wait for the Second Coming to experience His power and presence in their hearts. Nor do we. We already have eternal life if we are true believers in Jesus. But we still live in sinful bodies and therefore have a long way to go.

But now comes the betrayal. However we will look at that tomorrow.