Let's Talk About the Messiah in the Passover

Luke 22:7-20

The Day of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John with this task: “Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.”

They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus replied, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters. 11 Say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guestroom where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 12 He will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They went and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

The Passover meal

14 When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles joined him. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” 17 After taking a cup and giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you that from now on I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom has come.” 19 After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, he took the cup after the meal and said, “This cup is the new covenant by my blood, which is poured out for you.


Key Verse:

He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” —Luke 22:15



The Passover festival was important to Jesus, who was a faithful few. So it’s helpful for Christians to understand its significance. Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover when he celebrated his final meal with his disciples. The Last Supper, as we know it today, was a Passover seder.


During this meal Jesus picked up a piece of unleavened bread and broke it. Instead of relating the bread to the story of the Passover, Jesus took a different approach, knowing that he would soon be crucified. He told his disciples that the bread represented his body being broken for them. The wine represented his blood, spilled for them. Like the Passover lamb, he would be sacrificed to save God’s people.


Jesus’ disciples probably didn’t understand all that Jesus said that night. But we have come to know the deep significance of Jesus’ final meal and of the next day’s events. We remember this Passover ritual every time we celebrate Holy Communion.


Questions to Discuss:

Why is Communion such a revered tradition for Christians? (Many Christians, including United Methodists, consider Holy Communion a “sacrament”: a rite ordained by Jesus himself in which God’s grace is present in a special way.)

What similarities do you see between Jesus and the Passover lamb?


Written by Neal Bowes

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