March 3, 2022
When it was evening, and the hour came, he reclined at table with the twelve apostles. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14-16).
The phrase, I have earnestly desired, is literally, ‘with desire I have desired’, which is a Hebraism that means ‘I have greatly desired’. Why did Jesus ‘earnestly desire’ to eat this Passover with the disciples? (1) He truly loved them. He was about to leave them. Once arrested, He would no longer have these men with Him until after He is crucified. They would scatter in fear for their lives until after His resurrection. So, this is the last time Jesus would spend with these disciples in one place before His death. (2) This last Passover would allow the disciples to participate in the transition from the Old Covenant under Mosaic Law to the New Covenant under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They would be the first to enter into that New Covenant. Eating with them this last religious privilege of the Jewish dispensation would mark the fulfillment of all that the Old Covenant promised, and all the New Covenant would afford.
(3) Jesus needed this evening alone with His disciples to prepare them for His sufferings, and to impress upon them more fully the certainty that He was their spiritual Messiah, not a political one. (4) Jesus would institute the ‘Lord’s Supper’ or ‘Communion’ as His ‘last will and testament’ until He returns in glory to establish His Kingdom on earth. His sufferings were the expression of love to His followers, and He was desirous of always testifying His regard for their spiritual comfort and welfare through this ordinance.
Why will Jesus not eat it (again) until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God? In other words, ‘I will not eat it until the true Passover is ratified by My death’. Jesus would die by crucifixion within the next 24 hours. Three days later He would be resurrected. Fifty days later He would be ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. No longer would He walk with them, teach them, comfort them. There would be no future Passover meetings with them. However, the wording of this phrase indicates that He will eat it again after it has been fulfilled - after His Kingdom on earth is established and He reigns over the earth for 1,000 years. What a glorious day that will be for all the saints of heaven and on earth to be gathered around His throne in Jerusalem and to join with Him as we take the bread and the cup, no longer just symbolizing His death on the cross, but His glorious victory over Satan and sin, over death and hell - forever! Amen.