(7)Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.Luke 22:7
Our text today begins the closing events leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Luke.
You’ll see the context of what is happening starting in verse 1, where Luke makes clear to a non-Jewish audience what the feast of unleavened bread is. Look at verse 1.
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.Luke 22:1
In this context you’ll also see what was happening in the hearts of the enemies of Jesus. The religious leaders were actively seeking and planning how they would kill Jesus.
(2) And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.Luke 22:2
Notice as well that Satan was involved. He had actively entered into the disciple, Judas, and the religious leaders were cooperating with him to accomplish their evil schemes.
(3) Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. (4) And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. (5) And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. (6) And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.Luke 22:3-6
So, when we get to verse 7, we understand the gravity and nature of the timeframe. It is about to be Passover. Jesus and His disciples must celebrate the Passover meal. To do this Jesus is about to send Peter and John to prepare a place for them to set at a Passover table.
What was the Passover table?
It is described in Exodus 12:1-14
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, (2) This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (3) Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (4) And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. (5) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (6) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (7) And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (8) And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (9) Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. (10) And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. (11) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. (12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. (13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.Exodus 12:1-13
So, the children of Israel did exactly what God said. They took a spotless lamb without blemish and sacrificed it. They broke its body and shed its blood. They put it on the door posts of their homes. Then they ate this very specific meal at a table in their homes. They came to the table in their travel clothes, believing that God would spare their firstborn sons, and release them from slavery to enter into the promised land. They would eat this meal with their families in anticipation of what God was going to do.
God commanded them to eat this meal not just the night before they were to be freed, but as an annual meal that helped them to remember what God had done for them in freeing them from their bondage in Egypt.
(14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.Exodus 12:14
It is good to remember. There are times in redemptive history where God ordained certain practices so that the people of God will remember the work of God. And the Passover was about remembering that God took them out of Egypt and into the promised land.
- Every time they tasted the bitter herbs at the table, they were to remember the bitterness of their captivity in Egypt.
- Every time they were to eat the lamb, they were to remember the blood on the doorway that substituted for their firstborn sons.
- Andrew Peterson wrote a song called Passover Us in His Christmas album that goes like this:
Well, we all remember Moses on the banks of the river
He said “Pharaoh, you’ve got to let my people go.
You don’t want me to have to tell you this ten times over–
Denial ain’t just a river, you know”
And we all remember Pharaoh, he just wouldn’t do it
So the plagues they came upon Egypt one by one
His heart was hard and the other nine just couldn’t move it
So the last was the worst: the death of the firstborn son
But the Lord, he gave to Moses a word for the people
He said their firstborn sons would live to see another day
“Put the blood of a lamb on the
Doorway and death will pass right over”
That night all of the children of Israel prayed,
“Lord, let your judgment Passover us
Lord, let your love hover near
Don’t let your sweet mercy Passover us
Let this blood cover over us here”
So the years went by and the people they whined and they wandered
And only sacrifice atoned for the sins of the land
So you see the priest he placed upon the holy altar
The body of a spotless lamb
And he prayed,
“Lord, let your judgment Passover us“Passover Us” by Andrew Peterson
Lord, let your love hover near
So, Don’t let your sweet mercy Passover us
Let this blood cover over us here”
You see Passover was not just a celebration helping the children of Israel remember what God had done. Passover was a picture of what God was going to do. John the Baptist declared this when Jesus came when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
The Passover table was not just to be “God’s Works Remembered”. The Passover table was to be “our redemption foretold.
Our redemption from sin and death can only be found in Jesus Christ. Do you know Him as Savior?