It is Thursday of the last week of Jesus’ life on Earth. Jesus knew that tomorrow He would die a humiliating death at the hands of wicked men. Jesus was willing to endure such a death, because it means He could pay the sin debt of others and thus provide eternal life to all who follow Him. It is in this context that we encounter Jesus in Luke 22. Today, we shall look at the events of Thursday of Jesus’ Passion Week and see how much He loved us.
- The Plot – Luke 22:1-6 – Jesus is important. At Passover, the Jewish religious leaders sought a way to kill Jesus because they despised Him. They despised Him because He upset their comfortable lives and refused to allow them to continue to mislead the people. They were pleased when Judas—one of the twelve disciples—offered to hand Jesus over to them for money. The plot against Jesus successfully killed Him, but failed to subdue Him.
- The Promise – Luke 22:7-23 – Jesus is trustworthy. At the Passover meal, Jesus showed how He would provide the true “Passover” when He provides forgiveness of sins through His death. The bread symbolizes His body; which was broken for us. The cup of wine symbolizes His blood; which was spilled out for us. The promise is that all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus will have eternal life.
- The Problem – Luke 22:24-30 – Jesus is humble. After Jesus shared with His disciples that one of them will betray Him, they begin to argue. In their effort to prove that they were incapable of betraying Jesus, they praised themselves and argued over who was the greatest. Jesus told them that the greatest among you is your servant. Jesus is the greatest to ever walk this Earth and He told them: “I am among you as the One who serves.” The problem is that we seek to exalt ourselves rather than exalt Christ.
- The Protection – Luke 22:31-38 – Jesus is strong. Jesus turned to Peter and told him that Satan wanted to test his faith through adversity (e.g., sift you like wheat). Jesus told Peter that He would protect Him. He said, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” Jesus is strong and knew that His prayer would be answered because He then said to Peter: “when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” The protection Jesus offered to Peter is also offered to all Christians because Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father and intercedes for us (Romans 8:34).
- The Prayer – Luke 22:39-46 – Jesus is wise. After the Passover meal, Jesus and His disciples entered the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus told His disciples to pray that they may resist temptation. Going a little further in, Jesus began to pray that the Father’s will be done in the upcoming crucifixion and resurrection. The prayer of Jesus is wise because He knew that everything must begin with prayer.
- The Perfidy – Luke 22:47-53 – Jesus is honest. While in the garden praying, Judas came with a mob. Judas had told the guards that the One he kissed is Christ. Judas thus betrayed Jesus with a kiss. When this happened, Peter tried to kill the High Priest’s slave. Jesus rebuked Peter, healed the slave’s ear and then came willingly. Jesus rebuked Judas for his deliberate treachery (i.e., perfidy) and rebuked the mob’s cowardice. Jesus—knowing that all this would happen—reminded the group that He was honest and had nothing to hide.
- The Protest – Luke 22:54-62 – Jesus is worthy. After they seized Jesus and took Him to the high priest’s house, Peter followed at a distance. Once Peter got into position to see what was happening, three different people came and accused him of being a follower of Jesus. Peter protested loudly that he did not know Jesus. Peter was afraid that he would end up on trial with Jesus even though he previously boasted that he was willing to go to prison or die for Him. After his third denial, the rooster crowed and Peter remembered Jesus’ prediction. Peter went outside and wept bitterly because he knew that Jesus was worthy of His life and obedience.
- The Prophecy – Luke 22:63-65 – Jesus is Lord. The men who were holding Jesus began to beat Him, and say blasphemous things about Him. They mocked Jesus by telling Him to prophesy and tell who it was that was hitting Him. Psalm 22 prophesied that Jesus would be mocked, beaten, and ultimately crucified. The irony of this event is that the men did not know who it was they were abusing. Jesus is Lord and suffering in order to provide redemption and reconciliation for the world: even those who are hitting Him.
Are you praying for your friends and family who are unchurched? Commit this week to:
- Pray for all of them to become Christians
- Pray for God to bless them and help them.
- Pray for opportunities to share your testimony and the gospel with them
- Pray that God would send others to share their testimony and the gospel with them.
Pray for them and trust that God is placing them in your thoughts because He is drawing them to faith in Christ.