Luke Chapter 22
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper:
(Read Luke 22: 1-30)
This chapter begins with the account of Judas' agreement to betray Jesus. Then Luke draws attention to “Passover” in this chapter. It was an important celebration of Jews. All Jewish men were required to attend Passover (Deuteronomy 16:16). During the Passover, Israel celebrates their deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. The Passover meal reminded the sacrifice of a lamb that set free Israel from death and slavery when God judged Egypt. Christ is the ultimate Passover Lamb (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Because of his shed blood, those who trust in him are protected from the judgment of God. Though Jewish leaders wanted to arrest Jesus during the Passover, they were afraid of the crowds. Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus and looked for an opportunity. Jesus sent Peter and John to seek a room to observe the Passover. Christ’s omniscience is clearly seen in their search for the room. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to his disciples. The bread and wine represent Christ’s broken body and his shed blood on our behalf. The believers are commanded to observe this to remember Christ’s death. It also reminds them of their fellowship with Christ and one another. This ordinance does not carry any special grace but helps them to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for them. There is a future element to the Lord’s Supper. It helps them to anticipate their full enjoyment of God’s kingdom when Christ returns (Luke 22:15-18). Christians look backward to the cross with gratitude and embrace Jesus' love in the present and look forward to his return (1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 10: 24-25). It gives spiritual fellowship and a sense of belonging which they don’t have in the world. The cup that is poured out for us is the new covenant in his blood. The believers now participate in the salvation aspects of the new covenant. God promised Israel in the new covenant that he would restore them to their land (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The disciples were disputing about which of them was the greatest. Jesus said, in the kingdom of God, it is the servant and the lowly are the greatest. The Christian attitude must always be that of humility. To learn more read note on Matthew 26:14-29.
Jesus predicts Peter’s Denial:
(Read Luke 22: 31-38; 54-62)
Luke gives the account of Peter’s denial of Jesus. His story serves as a warning that even the most matured believer can fail if he is not on guard. Lord predicted that Peter will deny the Lord. Peter’s unfounded confidence led him to deny Jesus. Paul warns that “If you think you are standing, take heed lest you fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Secondly Peter followed Jesus at a distance. He lacked close fellowship with Jesus. We cannot live in both worlds. Thirdly Peter was willing to be with the people who were responsible for arresting Jesus. He became cold and attracted to the comfort the world offers. When our spiritual passion begins to die, the love for Jesus will grow cold and we will look elsewhere for warmth. Fourthly Peter was not prayerful during this time (Matthew 26:41). Peter reached the final step of denial when he denied Jesus with cursing. We can be encouraged that all along Jesus was praying for Peter (Luke 22:31-34; Hebrews 4:15). When Jesus turned and looked at Peter he went out and cried bitterly (22:62). Peter repented and he was restored. God may use difficulties and failures to get our attention to him. He is always ready to help when we turn away from sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9). Our self confidence, prayerlessness, lack of fellowship and assimilation to the world can lead us to backsliding. Jesus warned the disciples of his death and said he came to fulfill the scriptures.
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane:
(Read Luke 22: 39-53)
Here Jesus models one the most important truths about prayer. Jesus shared his desires and even mourned before the Father with honesty and humility. He prayed for deliverance from the pain and suffering he was about to face. Yet Jesus prayed “Not my will, but yours, be done”. When our requests are denied, we should trust that it is not God’s will for us. A surrendered heart to God is a happy heart. Read note on Matthew 26:36-46. Judas came to arrest Jesus with Roman soldiers. He walked over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss. Jesus said “Judas, how can you betray me, the Son of Man with a kiss”. Luke records the incident of Peter cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest (John 18:10). Jesus healed the ear of Malchus. Only Christ’s providence saved Peter from becoming a murderer. They arrested Jesus and led him to the high priest’s residence. Read note on Matthew 26:47-54.
Jesus Mocked and Beaten:
(Read Luke 22: 63-71)
Jesus was violently abused, mocked and ridiculed by soldiers. He did not return the same (1 Peter 2:21-23). The only accusation against Christ was “He claims, He is the Son of God” (22:70-71). He clearly claimed that he is equal with God the Father on many occasions. Jews consider this as blasphemy and wanted to stone Jesus (John 10:30-31; 8:58-59; Luke 5:17-26; Matthew 26: 63-64). The Jewish leaders failed to understand that they were actually fulfilling God’s plan of salvation through their evil schemes. Though they intended to harm Jesus, God intended it for our good (Genesis 50:20). Jesus’ suffering for our salvation should always remind us that God ultimately rules over all events in history and works all things to fulfill his glorious purposes (Romans 11:33-36). Read note on Matthew 26:59- 68.