by Bill Spaans:
The central element of chapter 22 as told by Dr. Luke is Jesus instituting the Lord’s Supper. The church has since faithfully observed this for over 2000 years as symbolic of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Jesus knew of course that He would soon die. And He gave His disciples this graphic representation of what was about to happen – His blood would be shed; His body is about to be broken!
I wonder how Jesus felt sharing this meal with His disciples – His closest followers – as He looked into their hearts?
There was Judas of whom Dr. Luke wrote (vs. 3&4) “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.”
And then there were the disciples of whom Dr. Luke wrote (vs. 24) “A dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.”
And then there is Peter, full of bravado, who said (vs 33), “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” But Jesus saw his heart, and replied (vs 34) “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
What made these disciples worthy to sit with Jesus at this last supper before He died? And then there is you and me! What makes us worthy to sit at the feet of Jesus? What does Jesus see when He looks into in our hearts? Why did Jesus do all of that for us? The song writer captured it well:
It was for me He cried, for me He died,
For me He shed His blood upon a tree.
It was for me He came, for me His shame;
For me, oh praise His name, it was for me.
1. Why leave a Heavenly mansion?
Why choose a simple stall?
Why wander poor and homeless,
The King and Lord of all?
Why heal a lonely beggar?
Why cause the blind to see?
The Light of all creation,
Shining there for me.
2. Why stay in Olive’s garden?
Why spend the night in prayer?
Why suffer such betrayal,
In anguish kneeling there?
Why leave His mother crying?
Why set Barabbas free?
The spotless Lamb of Heaven
Given there for me.
3.Why climb that dreadful mountain?
Why suffer agony?
Why give His blood, a fountain
spilled and broken, flowing free?
Why He walked the road to Calvary,
gave His life so willingly,
Broken there, the Rose of Sharon died for me.
4.The King, Who came from Heaven,
To the cry, “There is no room”
Now must lay His weary body
In a cold and borrowed tomb.
But the grave it could not hold Him;
Death lost its victory.
The risen Lord of glory is living now for me!
The answer to the question “why did Jesus do this for you and for me” is of course that we have done nothing to deserve it! He did it all because He loves us. Praise be to God for His surprising love!