My church finished its Bible study on Luke last night. We were going through Luke: Gospel of Reassurance With Michael Card. Because my pastor and his wife will be away next week, we went through two lessons last night. In this post, I'll have three items: two about Lesson 7, and one about Lesson 8.
verse that stood out to me was Luke 22:15-16, which states (in the NIV):
"And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with
you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it
finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
How will the Passover be fulfilled in the kingdom of God? What does that mean?
John MacArthur states: "fulfilled. Christ’s
death on the following day fulfilled the symbolism of the Passover
meal. Passover was both a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, and a
prophetic type of the sacrifice of Christ."
According to MacArthur, if I am understanding him correctly, the
Passover found fulfillment in the Kingdom of God when Jesus died on the
cross. I thought for a long time, however, that its fulfillment in the
Kingdom of God would relate to Christ's second coming. John Gill's
interpretation is similar to that of MacArthur, but he also believes
that there is eschatological significance: "it will also be fulfilled in the kingdom of heaven, or eternal glory,
when there will be a perfect deliverance of the saints from sin, Satan,
and the world; which the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt was
typical of, commemorated in the passover; and therefore then will be
sung the song of Moses, and the Lamb; and then will Christ, and his true
followers, eat and drink together in his Father's kingdom, and spend an
endless eternity in never fading joys and pleasures."
sense, while the deliverance of the world from sin and Satan commenced
with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, it will be completed, or
fulfilled, after Christ's second coming. Within early Christian
thought, the Passover is relevant to this eschatological occurrence, for
the Book of Revelation mentions the Song of Moses in reference to it.
I have to admit that this
biblical passage puzzled me somewhat. Why were the disciples
sorrowful? Did they know that Jesus was about to die? Did they feel
heavy around Jesus because they could sense that Jesus was feeling
I had problems with the idea that
the disciples at that moment were aware that Jesus would die. I didn't
think that they had that kind of understanding of God's plan at that
point. Obviously, they knew that Jesus was about to encounter trials,
since Peter affirmed in Luke 22:32 that he would not deny Jesus but
would go to prison and death for him, so Peter was aware that troubling
times were ahead. Could that be why the disciples were sorrowful when
they were praying? I had long assumed that they were clueless about
what was about to happen to Jesus when they fell asleep.
looked at commentaries, and the only explanations I found were that the
disciples were sad because Jesus was sad, or because Jesus had told
them about his imminent trials and death. Why would they stick with
Jesus, if they knew that he was about to die? Was it out of loyalty,
love, and admiration for Jesus? Did they expect for God to deliver
Jesus and usher in the Messianic era at the last minute? If that was
their expectation, why were they so sad?
The Gospel of Luke makes a big deal about Jesus' innocence. That was
noted when I was taking New Testament classes as an undergraduate. The
curriculum my church was using last night highlighted this point.
Michael Card said that Jesus' innocence in Luke's Gospel foreshadowed
Paul's innocence in Acts. But what is the big deal about Jesus being
innocent. Innocent of what? The charge that he was a blasphemer, or an
insurrectionist Messianic wannabee? The impression that I got from the
group, and that I get from many Christians, is that Jesus' innocence in
Luke's Gospel means he was sinless. But one doesn't follow from the
other, in my opinion. One can be innocent of charges, yet still fall
short of sinless perfection.
Perhaps Luke is simply trying to
convince the Romans that Jesus was innocent of being an
insurrectionist. At the same time, I have the feeling that his
innocence has a deeper meaning than that in Luke's Gospel.