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Bible Commentaries
Luke 22

Wells of Living Water CommentaryWells of Living Water

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Verses 7-23

The Lord's Supper

Luke 22:7-23

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

Preceding the Lord's Supper came the Passover. We will give, therefore, first of all, some words about the Jews' feast, and then a few upon the Supper given as an ordinance to the Church.

I. THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER

When the Children of Israel came out of Egypt they came out by virtue of the sprinkling of the blood of the slain lamb upon the two side posts, and the upper door post. The Lord had given them command that the lamb, the firstling of the flock; a lamb without spot and without blemish, was to be kept up from the tenth to the fourteenth day of the month. At the going down of the sun on the fourteenth day, the lamb was to be slain, the blood was to be sprinkled, and the carcass was to be baked with fire and eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread.

Slowly, however, the significance of the feast was lost. In the early chapters of Luke, Christ is described, at His twelfth year, as He went up to the Feast of the Passover. He knew the meaning of that feast. He knew and therefore said, "I must be about My Father's business." After His baptism Jesus went up again to the feast. Again the next year the Lord went to the feast.

As the last Passover approached the Lord Jesus was again in Jerusalem. Then it was that He gave command to the disciples saying, "Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat."

When the hour was come that Christ sat down with the Twelve, He said unto them, "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." To us there is nothing more soul-stirring in the life of Christ than this scene, with these anticipatory words, spoken by the Lord. He, who was the true Passover, the Lamb of God, destined to be slain; He, who was the fulfilment of the Passover type, partook of the Passover with desire, before He, the true Paschal Lamb, was led as a Lamb to the slaughter.

II. THE LORD'S SUPPER

When the Passover was completed, and Judas had gone out, Christ instituted the Supper which was to be done in remembrance of Him, in the Church. The Passover Feast was then and there set aside for an age.

How solemn was that hour. Christ took the cup and gave thanks. The cup He took was the cup of the New Testament of His own Blood, which was shed for us. It contained, in symbol, the foregleams of His passion. How marvelous, then, that Christ, as He took the cup, gave thanks!

After the cup, Christ took the bread and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you." Our hearts are strangely stirred as we, in our mind's eye, see the Lord breaking that bread and graciously giving thanks.

There are some things we should never forget.

1. The Blood signified by the fruit of the vine, and in line with the Blood of the slain Lamb, designated salvation and redemption by the Blood of the Cross.

2. The bread which was broken signified His Body which was broken for us. The bread, in the Lord's Supper, symbolized the strength which we obtain as we daily eat of Him. He was the Bread that came down from Heaven, which gave food to the wandering Children of Israel. He was not only the giver of life through His Blood, but He is the sustainer of life through His Body.

3. The remembrance of the supper should always be in anticipation of the Lord's second advent. We are to eat and to drink, "until He come." This expression "until He come," shows the final all-glorious fruition of His Calvary work. When Christ gave thanks for the cup and for the bread, He must have been looking beyond the hour of His Calvary anguish, and unto the hour of His exaltation with the Father. Yea, He looked even beyond, unto the hour of His Second Coming, as with a shout He shall descend and see of the travail of His soul satisfied.

I. COMRADESHIP WITH CHRIST AT THE LORD'S TABLE (Luke 22:14 )

The verse before us says, "And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve Apostles with Him." Here was a comradeship that we should never break. As Christ sat with the disciples, and took the bread and broke it, and the cup and poured it forth, we feel that He was suggesting two things.

1. We may have comradeship with Christ in His suffering. We do not mean to teach that we can suffer the vicarious death that Christ suffered. We do mean that we can go with Him outside the camp, and bear His reproach. Has God not said through Paul; that "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him"? Truly it is given unto us, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.

2. We may have union with Christ in His death. Remember that when Jesus died, we died. When He arose again, we arose. This is what the Book of Romans tells us in chapter 6: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?" When we look at our Saviour dying upon the Tree, we know that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.

II. CHRIST'S CONSUMMATE DESIRE (Luke 22:15 )

As Jesus sat down with the Twelve, He said unto them, "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer."

1. In these words we see Christ's steady march to the Cross. The shadows of Calvary hung over the Lord Jesus from before the foundation of the world, inasmuch as it was then that He was given by the Father to die. He was indeed the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.

When Christ was born, the shadow of the Cross lay before Him. When Christ was baptized, the shadow of Calvary deepened along" His pathway. As Christ came to the close of His earthly ministry and sat with His disciples at the Last Supper, the shadows of Calvary lowered heavy about Him.

2. In these words we see Christ's longing to complete His Calvary work. There are some who teach that Christ drew back from dying as the passion week fell across His pathway. To this we cannot agree. Having loved His own, He loved them to the end. With the Passover Feast completed, Christ took the bread and broke it, knowing that that bread stood for His broken body. He took the cup and poured it forth, knowing that that cup pre-figured His own shed Blood. Knowing all of this, with the details of the anguish that it entailed, Christ said, "With desire I have desired."

How we should worship Him as we think of His unspeakable love! How much more should we worship Him when we remember that all that He suffered was in our behalf!

III. CHRIST'S PURPOSE IN DEATH (Luke 22:17 )

1. "Others" is the motto of Calvary. In nothing did Christ ever live for Himself alone.

We remember how He told Peter to cast in a hook, and to take up the first fish, and, that opening its mouth, he would find a piece of money. With this command given, Christ uttered those remarkable words, "That take, and give unto them for Me and thee."

When Christ faced the Cross and prayed the marvelous prayer, among other things He said, "The glory which Thou givest Me I have given them."

Thus, as we view Calvary, we are prepared for these words: "Divide it among yourselves." Christ seemed to say, "All the results of My Calvary work are for you and for Me." Calvary was for Him in its work, because it was with His precious Blood that He bought us unto Himself. Calvary was for us, because it is, by the way of the Cross, that we have approach to Him.

2. "Take this" is the call of Calvary. The death of Christ is no profit without it is appropriated by faith. As they took the cup, so also must we take the blessings of Calvary and make them ours.

And yet that Cross becomes my salvation, only, when by faith, I take my place beneath it.

IV. MY BODY MY BLOOD (Luke 22:19-20 )

As we hear Christ saying, "This is My Body," and, "This is the New Testament in My Blood," we have no doubt that He grasped, to the deepest depths, every meaning of His words. He was no martyr, pressed to the Cross against His will.

1. The Blood is the life. When we take the cup, we do it in remembrance of His shed Blood; and we know that in that Blood is full redemption; because the blood is the life, and Christ gave His life for us the Just for the unjust.

2. The Body, which is typified by the bread, sustains the life. We are saved by the Blood. We are made strong as we partake of the body. However, we must not think of the body of Christ apart from the Cross. The common bread, which we eat for the sustenance of our physical body, was first cut down in the field. Then it was flayed as the grains of wheat were separated from the chaff. Afterward, it was ground, and then it was cast into the fire and burned. AH of this process is suggestive of the broken body of our Lord.

V. AN AGE-LONG REMEMBRANCE (Luke 22:19 ; 1 Corinthians 11:26 )

How fitting it is that the Lord gave us something so simple and yet so sublime, which we may do in remembrance of Him!

1. The present day remembrance. Some one has described the Lord's Supper as a mighty rainbow scoping the whole Church age. One end of the rainbow rests upon the Mount called Calvary, where Jesus died. The other end of the rainbow rests upon the Mount called Olivet, where His feet shall stand when He comes again. Under the arched glory of the rainbow, that lifts its vaulted head across the centuries, the saints sit at the table, showing the Lord's death till He come.

2. The eternal and heavenly remembrance. Twice, Christ stated that He would not eat of the bread until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. That He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God should come.

We do not hesitate to say that the Calvary work of Christ shall be, not alone the message of praise and song, but, that somewhere and sometime over there in the Kingdom of God, the Lord will once more take the bread and break it, and take the cup and pour it forth. In this all-glorious hour every eye will be turned not forward, but backward to the Calvary work of the Son of God.

VI. THE PRESENCE OF THE BETRAYER (Luke 22:21-23 )

As Christ ate the supper, He said, "Behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table."

It seems inexpressibly sad that in this hour of supreme sacrifice and love on the part of the Saviour, there should have been one numbered with the Twelve, one who had been with Christ, who would lift up his hand against Him. Yet, this was part of the bitter cup which Christ had to drink.

1. Christ's unerring knowledge. One thing stands out in the limelight with us just now, that Christ knew who would betray Him. He had known it long before He was born of the virgin. He had known it long before the Prophet David had written, "Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up his heel against Me."

Oh, how marvelous was our Lord! How wonderful in compassion! How tender in mercy!

The Lord Jesus truly exemplified the message of Romans twelve: "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

The truth is that Judas was reckoned by Christ as His own familiar friend. Reckoned thus because of the intimacy of his comradeship with Christ. Reckoned thus because Christ loved him.

2. The disciples' ignorance. When the Lord said, "One of you shall betray Me," they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. There was no pointing of the finger at Judas. There were no looks of accusation cast toward the one who was to be guilty.

Judas had so conducted himself in the presence of the Twelve, that not one of them suspicioned him. Matthew tells us that when Christ said, "One of you shall betray Me," every one of the disciples began to say unto Him, "Lord, is it I?" Judas, likewise chimed in and said, "Master, is it I?" We should deal in love, unbiased, full and free, with every man, even as Christ dealt with Judas.

AN ILLUSTRATION

The young often have a clearer understanding of the Gospel than those of riper years. "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise."

At the close of a Gospel meeting a young girl, C B , was asked, "Are your sins forgiven?"

"Yes," was the quick reply.

"What has God done with your, sins?" was asked.

"They are covered." was the bright answer.

"How has God covered them?" was the next question put.

"With the Blood," was the happy response.

Yes, with this dear young soul the Blood, the precious Blood of Jesus, was everything. God had covered her sins with the Blood, and who could find them?

She had accepted the blessed truth of Psalms 32:1 : "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." The Life Line.

Bibliographical Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Luke 22". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lwc/luke-22.html.
 
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