This commentary/sermon examines Luke 22:14-20 highlighting some key aspects regarding the Lord’s Supper.
If you have your Bible, open to Luke 22:14. You can also use the sermon guide in the bulletin or the screen behind me. Today, we observe the Lord’s Supper. There are many purposes for the Lord’s Supper, however the primary purpose is to remember and remind ourselves what Jesus has done for us out of His love for us.
Look with me at Luke 22:14, When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” 19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. (NLT)
As we remember Jesus and observe the Lord’s Supper there are a few things from Luke I want to highlight.
When the time came
Luke says, “When the time came….” or as some translations have it, “When the hour came….” This is a reflection of the sovereignty of God. When it came to the salvation of mankind, God was in complete control. Nothing happened until He was ready for it to happen. Jesus was very aware of this.
- At the very beginning of his earthly ministry Jesus told Mary, “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4, NLT).
- Later when talking to His brothers about a Jewish Festival he said to them, “Now is not the right time for me to go…. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come” (John 7:6,8, NLT).
- Later when Jesus was talking to His disciples about His upcoming death He said, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory” (John 12:23, NLT).
- Again, as His crucifixion drew closer the sovereignty of God grew clearer. John 13:1 tells us, “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end” (NLT).
- The arrest and crucifixion about Jesus is about to begin and in John 17:1 Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you” (NLT).
- Men did not control Jesus even when they arrested Him, beat Him, nailed Him to the cross, and mocked Him while hanging on the cross. The sovereignty and power of God was in full display through the Lord’s crucifixion. What was happening was exactly what was needing to happen for God’s plan of salvation to be successful.
Let me say there are going to be times in your life that are painful. They may not make sense to you. There are going to be valleys that you have to walk through. But you can approach each one and go through each one with confidence knowing that God is in control when everything around seems to be in chaos. The crucifixion demonstrates that life can appear to be out of control, while God is still completely in control. God is sovereign, He is in control. As you take the Lord’s Supper today remember that.
I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.
Then Jesus goes on to say, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.” Jesus is “very eager” to share the Passover meal with them.[i] He is excited about this. Why?
- For one, this is Jesus last official time with them. These are going to be His last words to them before the cross. This is the last time He gets to fellowship with them and to share His heart and truth with them.
- I believe this is also a glimpse into how much Jesus desires fellowship with us. He loves to share His time with us, to bless us, to guide us, and to love us. He is “very eager” to spend time with you.
- Another reason Jesus would have been “very eager” to share the Passover meal with them was because He was transforming it from the Passover to the Lord’s Supper. It would be a time of transforming the Passover supper of the Old Covenant, marked by the shedding of lambs’ blood, into the Lord’s Supper of the New Covenant, which would be marked by the shedding of His own blood (Luke 22:20).
Either way, this was a significant moment for the disciples. If you are familiar with the Passover I want to encourage you to think through all that happened that night and how it points to Jesus. The sacrifice of the lamb, placing the blood over the doors, the death angel bypassing all those homes with the blood over the doors. Think about how all that and more points to Jesus as you remember Him.
He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it.
Now look at verse 17 where we are told, “Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves’” (NLT). During a typical Passover Meal there were four significant cups that symbolized different things. Luke mentions two of them. This first cup is known as the cup of blessing. The word used for “gave thanks” (eucharisteo) means to acknowledge how good grace is![ii] One of the purposes of the Lord’s Supper is for you to remember that Christ died for your sins so that you have eternal life. That is good grace! That is a blessing.
But I want you to notice that Jesus says, “Take this [cup of blessing, cup of grace] and share it among yourself.” Two things.
- This cup of blessing and grace pictures the unity believers have among each other. As followers of Jesus, we have all experienced the same grace from the same Lord, the same forgiveness from the same Lord, we all have received a new heart from the same Lord, we have all become new creations from the same Lord… we have all shared the same cup of blessings. You are going to have some believers in your life that are difficult and divisive (remember Judas is sitting at this table), but one of the purposes of the Lord’s Supper is to remind you of what you have in common with other believers rather than what you are divided over. “Take this cup of blessing and this cup of grace and share it among yourselves.”
- Another thing about this cup of blessing and grace is it reminds us to be thankful. We live in a world where being critical, judgmental, unthankful, ungrateful and easily offended is popular and highlighted. As followers of Jesus we are to be thankful. Jesus took this cup of grace and blessing and “gave thanks” for it. Listen carefully, one of the significant evidences that you are growing spiritually in Christ is thankfulness. Let me prove it to you; listen to Colossians 2:6, “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (vs. 6-7, NLT). Be that person who walks into the room with gratefulness and thankfulness. Be that student who has gratitude rather than an attitude. Be that thankful spouse, thankful employee, and thankful son or daughter.
Take that cup of blessing and share it.
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.
Then in verse 19 Luke says, “He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (NLT). Jesus would often use object lessons to help people understand who He was. Jesus referred to Himself as a door (John 10:9) and a vine (John 15:5) to name two. Here, Jesus takes this loaf of bread and says, “This is my body, which is given for you.”
There is something significant going on here that we cannot see, but let’s see if we can see it. Remember, this is the Passover Meal and the bread they used was a special kind of bread prepared in a special kind of way. When the loaf was finished it would be a solid loaf of bread that had been striped (like with cuts on it), it was also pierced in the preparation process, and cooked or burned in such a way that it would appear bruised. Jesus holds this piece of bread up in front of His disciples – this bread that has strips on it, been pierced, and has the appearance of being bruised and says, “This is my body, which is given for you.”
Now listen to Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded [pierced] for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (NKJV). Jesus held up a loaf of bread that perfectly symbolized what was about to happen to Him and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
After supper he took another cup of wine (second cup)
Mark then says in verse 20, “After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you’” (NLT). In the Bible there is the Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old Covenant is described in the Old Testament. The New Covenant is described in the New Testament. The Old Covenant was a picture and pointed to the New Covenant. The New Covenant brings about a new way of approaching God.
The writer of Hebrews talks about these two things. Hebrews 10:19 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water” (NLT).
The last statement in verse 20, Jesus says that His blood was “poured out as a sacrifice for you.” Jesus became our substitute. This is called substitutionary atonement. Jesus stands in your place. He represents you on the cross. He pays for your sin debt.
These are some things we need to know and remember and reflect on as we take the Lord’s Supper. Here is what we are going to do. We want to be sensitive to those who have concerns about COVID and matters related to it.
For today, we have both the bread and cup contained in a combo set. They are up here on these two tables. While the band plays, we ask you to come and get one for yourself. Take it back to your seat and think through what Jesus has done for you and what it means. Praise Him and tell Him how much you love Him. Share your heart and let Him speak to your soul.
When the band is finished with the song, I will guide us through the cup and bread together. As the band plays, you come.
Your Lord’s Supper set contains both the bread and juice.
First of all, take the cup and peel the first layer off that only reveals the bread. Take the bread out and hold it. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:24, The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” [Eat the bread]
Now carefully peel the lid off to reveal the juice. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:25, In the same way, after supper [Jesus] took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” [drink the cup]
- Before we leave the band is going to play one more song for us. Let it minister to you and bless you.
[i] The literal rendering is “with desire I did desire to eat this Passover with you.” Jesus couples the noun epithumia (desire) with the verb epithumeo (to desire), to emphasize the depth of His desire. The Hebrew language would double up words to emphasize a point as in Psalm 1:1 which is literally “Blessed, blessed” to emphasize the greatness of the blessing of obedience. Here “with desire I desire” emphasizes the divine imperative that Jesus eat this last Passover and to do so with His disciples. It also expresses Jesus strong desire for a time of intimate fellowship (to share a meal was regarded as a time of shared fellowship). And these would have been His last words before He died and He longed to communicate these words (read John 13-16) to those who had followed Him and who would take up His baton when the Holy Spirit had come upon them (Lk 24:49+, Acts 1:8+).
[ii] Eucharisteo (eu = good + charis = grace, thereby you have good grace).