Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
In Luke 22, the dramatic movement toward the death of Jesus increases. No longer is he teaching the people in the temple. Now Jesus walks forward on the path to the cross.
One essential part of this path is a Passover meal. In fact, Jesus explains to his disciples that he has been “very eager” to share in this commemorative feast with them. But this is not just because he wants one last good meal with his friends before he dies. Rather, Jesus longs to share the Passover with his disciples because it affords him one more chance to help them—and us—understand the meaning of his approaching death.
Jesus told his disciples he was eager to eat the Passover with them, “For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God” (22:16). The original Greek of this verse reads more literally, “I will not eat [the Passover meal] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” The Passover points, not only backwards to what God did in saving the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, but also forward to the coming kingdom of God.
How is the Passover fulfilled in the kingdom? In several ways. First, the Passover commemorates the saving of the Israelites from Egypt. The kingdom of God represents the fullness of divine salvation. Moreover, the Passover commemorates the time when the Lord “passed over” the homes that were identified by the shed blood of lambs. The kingdom of God will come as the Lamb of God offers his life for sinners, so that we might be forgiven, our sins “passed over.”
In tomorrow’s reflection, we’ll look further at how Jesus refocused the Passover to elucidate his imminent death and its meaning. Today, I’d encourage you to take time to reflect on your experience of God’s salvation and how this has impacted your life to this point.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways have you experienced God’s salvation in your life? How do you yearn to experience more of his salvation in the future kingdom?
PRAYER: Thank you, dear Lord, for giving us many different ways of understanding your saving work among us. Today, I thank you in particular for the Passover, which not only points back to your salvation of your people from Egypt, but also points ahead to the salvation offered through Christ.
Help me, dear Lord, to remember all that you have done for me, all the ways you have saved me. Most of all, may I remember and live my life in the freedom of knowing that you have saved me from sin and death.
All praise be to you, my Savior, Savior of the world. Amen.