This meal is now laden with gospel significance, each and every part.
- First, it points to Jesus’ coming suffering (22:15). The Lord’s Supper, when we eat it now on the other side of the cross, points back to Jesus’ death for us.
- Second, it points to the kingdom of God (22:16-18). The King of the kingdom, King Jesus, reigns when he sovereignly dies for the sins of the world. The kingdom is established, propagated, promoted, and centers on the cross of Christ. (Note: some have mistakenly thought that Jesus’ establishment of communion here in Luke is different from elsewhere because here he begins with the cup in verse 17. But this cup that he passes is part of the meal. The strictly symbolic elements occur in verses 19 and 20, and there the same order is retained: first the bread, then the cup).
- Third, the Lord’s Supper itself is a “remembrance” (22:19). The goal of the institution of communion is to cause us to remember that Jesus’ body was “given” for us. It is designed to teach us that Jesus died once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us into peaceful fellowship with God.
- Fourth, the Lord’s Supper points to the new covenant that comes with Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. God is doing something new, will pour out his Spirit, and all is in fulfillment to the promises of the Old Testament, now completed in the new covenant.
The betrayer, verses 21-23, is known by Jesus, and under Jesus’ sovereign plan (22:22). Even evil can be used by God for good.
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