And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying,

“This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” ”


What better way to usher in the New Year than a look at the newness of the New Covenant! To some Christians, the newness of the New Covenant is akin to a re-newal, a refurbishment, of the Old Covenant. They say that Jeremiah 31 teaches that the Mosaic Law will be written on the hearts of God’s Israel, so that it is essentially the same Law and the same covenant, but that the covenant reaches its climax in Christ. In effect, it is the Old Covenant given an overhaul by Jesus; it’s the same covenant but it reaches its zenith in him. As an illustration, the New Covenant is like an original Ford Mustang that has been complexly and completely overhauled and rebuilt, as it were, into a modern Ford Mustang, with EcoBoost technology. Oh, it’s the same general Ford-vehicle, but utterly and completely different. It’s the new old-covenant!

I maintain that the above view completely misunderstands the newness of the New Covenant, for it is entirely, and completely, ‘brand, spankin’ new!’. The contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is the difference between a model-T Ford and a spaceship built from the technology of a superior ET civilization! There are similarities, or continuities, between the original Model-T and this spaceship (both are machines, both have an ‘engine’, both convey passengers, both have drivers, both require fuel, both utilize physics, both require technological expertise, and so on). Yet, when all is said and done, the spaceship is an entirely different machine to the Model-T and not merely a super-duper, extra-fancy, version of the same machine. It is this similar-but-completely-different-and-unique division that is behind the newness of the New Covenant when compared to the Old Covenant. The New Covenant is similar to the Old Covenant, but a completely different ‘machine.’

Luke 22 bears out this argument, as will be shown under various headings: New Passover Meal; New Lamb; New Bread; New Remembrance; New Coming and Fellowship; New People; New Authority and Power; and, New Covenant.

New Passover Meal

According to Luke 22:7, it was the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread and the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. In a typical Passover Feast of the day, in the month of Nisan, Israel celebrated that Yahweh forced the Egyptian Pharaoh to let God’s people go into the wilderness to worship him at the Mountain (Exo.12). To that end, God instructed each Israelite household to sacrifice a lamb (one year old and unblemished). The blood of the lamb was smeared on the two doorposts and the lintel of each household. The family ate the lamb, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The bread was unleavened, or not prepared properly, because the Israelites abruptly left Egypt. God’s Spirit saw the lambs’ blood on the houses and he passed over them, not striking those houses with judgment. However, those domiciles without the lamb’s blood he struck, smiting Egyptian households with judgment, killing the firstborn of men and cattle (Exo.12-13). So, the Jews in Jesus’ day celebrated the Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread together, as both represented the one event of deliverance from Egypt unto God’s presence on the Mountain.

Now, according to the new old-covenant model, Jesus’ was adding Messianic ‘flavor’ to the original Passover meal of the Old Covenant. It that context, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of Christians out there today who advocate keeping the Seder Meal.[1] The Old-Covenant Passover Feast entailed the death of a lamb, and in continuity with this Jesus was offering himself up as the Lamb. He had to die, and through his death Israel of faith was spared from God’s wrath. In this way, Jesus ‘fulfilled’ the Old Covenant, bringing it into its own, making it stand out. Thus, in Mark’s Gospel 14:24, Jesus almost replicates the wording of Exodus 24:8, LXX: idou to haima tes diathekes (Exo.24:8, LXX); touto estin to haima mou tes diathekes (Mark 14:24).

Is this what Jesus is really doing: adding Messianic flavor to the Passover/Unleavened Bread Feast, bringing to maturation the Old Covenant? Is Jesus merely inserting himself into the old system, the old way? Or, is he using the old as a springboard into something completely different? The answer is the latter: he is using the old to convey something wondrously heavenly and spectacularly new. The clues are there in the details.

In the roughly one thousand, five-hundred years of the existence of the Passover (up unto the time of Christ), was there ever an instance of a man dying in place of a lamb? Which Passover Feast regulations ever stated, or mimicked, the following?

  • The Messiah will suffer (v15);[2]
  • The Messiah will not eat of the Passover again, or drink of the fruit of the vine, until they are fulfilled in the Kingdom of God and until it comes (vv16, 19);
  • The broken, unleavened bread represented the bodily death of the Messiah (v19);
  • The wine represented the shedding of the blood of the Messiah (v20);
  • The Messiah will bring about a new covenant in his blood (v20);
  • The Messiah will be betrayed (v21);
  • The Messiah’s betrayal has been planned (v22);
  • That the one who betrays the Messiah is cursed (v22).

Can you read Moses and find such Passover instructions and details? Perhaps the Prophets have them? No? Then, according to the fad of the day, maybe some Jewish extra-biblical writing? No again? Indeed, which Mosaic command refers to the sacrificial death of any person? And which Old-Covenant Passover sacrifice actually brought about true redemption and forgiveness (Heb.10:1-4)? Which Mosaic command tells us to remember the death of the Messiah as the Passover lamb?

Without hesitation, we may say that, Jesus uniquely used the bread, meat, and wine of the old Passover as symbols or pictures to point to a new Passover in his own death as the Messiah. So, from the NT perspective Jesus is the new Passover and not the continuation of the Old-Covenant Passover. 1 Corinthians 5:7 states, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” The old way is to be cleaned out and replaced with the new. Paul recognizes this and bases the New-Covenant Lord’s Supper upon the model laid down by Jesus in Luke 22 (1 Cor.11:24-25).

Luke’s idea of ‘fulfillment’ is entirely different to that held up by some Christians. To Luke, Jesus is not bringing the Old Covenant to its most perfect and mature expression. For Luke, the Old Covenant points away from itself as old to something completely new in Jesus Christ. Luke puts it this way: Jesus was ‘fulfilling’ the Passover (Luke 22:16). The term is pleroo (“to fulfill”). In Luke’s Gospel, in regard to Scripture and historical events, the term pleroo sometimes has the meaning of ‘coming to pass’ or ‘accomplished’ (Luke 1:20). This meaning is probably underlying Luke 22:16. Yet, there is more to pleroo when used in Luke 22:16 and we ought to read it as conveying the idea of an antitype fulfilling a type. For example, in Luke 4:21, Jesus said that the Scriptures had been fulfilled in the hearing of the Jews. He was referring to his reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 (LXX). Jesus was the Servant of the LORD who brought in the spiritual fulfillment of the Year of Jubilee (Lev.25; 27:17-24; Num.36:4). He was not bringing in an earthly Year of Jubilee or a super-spiritual version of it, but a spiritual, heavenly Jubilee for sinners. The earthly pointed to the heavenly, the physical to the spiritual, the temporal to the eternal.  Likewise, in Luke 9:31, we read about Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah about his exodos (“exodus”), which is a reference to his death and not to a mystical and spectacular Messianic continuation of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. He was the true Son going to meet with this Father on Mount Zion in heaven. Moses and Elijah were witnesses of this fact (see ahead). In like manner, in Luke 22:16, Jesus fulfilled the original Passover imagery by lifting it up to a totally new level, one completely different to that suggested in the OT itself. As has so often been said, the OT imagery was a picture of the NT reality in Christ.

The following sections explicate what has already been argued.

New Lamb

 There are scholars who struggle with the belief that Luke 22 is conveying that Jesus was the antitype to the Passover lamb. I will now summarize their reasons. Some are not willing to say that Jesus died ‘for’ anyone, for Luke does not say Jesus came as a ransom for many (see Matt.20:28; Mark 10:45). Others say that scribes added Luke 22:19-20. Another argument is that the Passover lamb was not an offering for sin. And a fourth argument states that the blood of the sacrifice of the Passover is not described as belonging to a covenant.

It is typical of liberal scholarship to attack the Bible. However, the text of Luke 22:19-20 is supported by superior manuscripts. Also, the traditional reading stylistically suites the context, for verses 15-18 link the Passover lamb with the cup, and paralleling this, verses 19-20 conjoin the cup with the bread. Both comparisons are redolent of the language of the Lord’s Supper recorded in 1 Corinthians 11.[3] As to the claim that Luke did not believe Christ died for anyone, Luke must have been the most ignorant of Jewish writers, for he compares Jesus’ death to the imagery of the Passover lamb that lost its life so that others would be spared theirs. Even so, the claim that the Passover lamb was not a sin offering is technically true. Yet, a cursory investigation into the why of the Paschal lamb swiftly points us in the direction of sin. Why was a lamb killed in the place of the Jews’ firstborn? Why would the LORD potentially destroy any firstborn Jew who did not have the blood of the lamb on his house? Surely it was because, like the Egyptians, the Israelites were a sinful people and they were being tested.[4] So, the blood of the lambs propitiated the LORD and he passed over Israel’s firstborn.[5] We find later that the Passover celebration included burnt offerings (2 Chr.35:12). Listen to what Gordon J. Wenham says about Leviticus 1:4,  “ ‘To make atonement  for him’ (v4). This is the clearest clue to the purpose of the burnt offering to be found in the Levitical law. It atones for the worshipper’s sin.”[6] [Italics his] It is also technically correct to say that the Passover lamb is never identified as a ‘covenant’ sacrifice. Yet, the whole point of the Passover was that God could retain to himself his people, so that they might worship him. This bond was sealed by the covenant. So, the Passover was a central piece in the Old Covenant set up, for it was foundational to the covenant life of Israel (see Num.9:1-14; Deut.16:1-8; 2 Kg.23:21; 2 Chr.30:1-9).

Two other arguments deserve attention: one concerning the purpose of Jesus’ death and the other in regard to prophecy and hermeneutics. What was the purpose of Jesus’ death if it was not ‘for’ others in the sense of removing their sin? When Jesus said that the cup was the New Covenant in his blood, what would that have conveyed? And what does Luke’s Gospel intend by this Old Testament inspired speech by Jesus? According to Luke, the wicked Jews shed the blood of the prophets and righteous people (Luke 11:50-51). Was Jesus merely another prophet who had to die, another righteous one? The heir was to die at the hands of the Jews (Luke 20:9-18). Was Jesus merely an heir? Was this how he saw himself? If so, why did he link his blood with a New Covenant? The Old Covenant was sealed by the sprinkled blood of sacrifice (Exo.24:8; Zech.9:11; see Heb.9:18-20). What was the purpose of the blood on that occasion? Surely it was expiatory. Jesus died as the righteous One, the just for the unjust, to take away their sin.

This brings me to the second argument about prophecy and hermeneutics. It is a simplistic and naive reading of Scripture that looks for a one-to-one correspondence between Christ and Old Testament figures, events, and teachings. By the end of the Old Testament, layer upon layer of prophetic language, imagery, and expectation has been laid upon the protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15. The New Testament recognizes this process, so that Jesus is, at one and the same time, the Passover Lamb whose blood is the blood of a New Covenant. We need not worry that the original, old, covenant was sealed by the blood of bulls (Exo.24:5), or that the Passover was not, technically, a covenant-sealing sacrifice, or that Jesus is not specifically called a “lamb.” Luke expects the reader to understand that Jesus is fulfilling in one go, so to speak, all these Old Testament prophetic images. All prophetic rivers flow into the basin of Christ.

So, we say with confidence that Jesus is the true Lamb, the prophetic fulfillment of the lamb of the Passover. Is it a coincidence that he was laid in a manger, the feeding place of animals (Luke 2:7)? The Passover lambs of the Israelite feasts could not take away sin, nor defeat the enemies of God. Luke’s teaching implies that the true and new Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, actually takes away sin. In John 1:29, it is said of Jesus that he is, “ “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” ” (John 1:29; see John 1:36). The bones of the Passover Lamb were not broken (Exo.12:46; Num.9:12; cf., Psa.34:20); John states that “Note one of his bones will be broken” (John 19:36). Revelation is fascinating, for it refers to the Lamb in an unconventional way. In Revelation 5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 7, 9, 16; 7:9, 10, 14, 17; 8:1; 12:11; 13:8, 11; 14:1, 4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, the Lamb is presented before us as a conqueror: through his death and resurrection the Lamb will conquer the nations through his sacrifice, and he is given blessing, honor, glory, and dominion forever and ever. Thus, the Lamb of God brings the twin New-Covenant blessings of forgiveness and the destruction of God’s enemies.

New Bread

To this day, some Christians marvel at the unleavened Matzo bread that Jews eat at Passover time. Jews understand it as a symbol of salvation from Egypt. Some Jews today even think that the ‘afikomen’ (a piece of unleavened bread hidden during the Seder meal) represents God’s coming deliverance through the Moshiach (“Messiah”). All of this bespeaks, we are told, the continuity between the Old-Covenant Passover and Jesus as the Passover.

There is no doubt that continuity is present: Jesus does fill out what is adumbrated in the Old Covenant. But, he brings in something so utterly different, something unique, that one cannot possible conclude that his bodily death merely magnifies the Old-Covenant Passover, or even brings it into its true place. Jesus is not continuing the Old-Covenant Passover festival in a new fashion. It is not the fashion of the Passover that is new, but it is a new kind of Passover altogether. So, in Luke’s Gospel, we are told that Jesus’ body was brutalized for our sake. They hung him as a criminal on the cross. Yet, he was without sin, without the leaven of hypocrisy and unrighteousness, so that his followers were to have no hypocrisy within them (see Luke 12:1; 1 Cor.5:6-8; Gal.5:9). His broken body was taken down from the cross, and his disciples came, took it, and placed it in a tomb (Luke 23:55). Only later did they find that his tomb was empty and there was no body (Luke 24:1-24). The disciples did not recognize that Jesus had conquered death in and through his body and had returned bodily into their midst. He presented himself to them as flesh and bones, revealing to them the marks on his hands and feet (Luke 24:25-41). The Lamb had risen! Tell me, does the Passover lamb of the Old Covenant rise from the dead? The bread we eat is of the New Covenant and represents his body broken for us, yet raised for us, too. Hallelujah!

New Remembrance

‘But you’re not taking into consideration that Jesus was in the habit of remembering the Passover’, someone will say.

I accept that as a boy and as an adult Jesus ‘kept’ and remembered the Passover. But for what reason, according to Luke 22? Was he there in the Upper Room merely to ‘keep’ the Passover as a Jew, albeit as the ‘Jewish’ Messiah? Looking to Jesus’ past gives us insight. In Luke 2:41-49, we read about Jesus ‘keeping’ the Passover. What did that look like? Well, Luke does not have anything to say about the Passover as such, or Jesus’ observance of it. We are informed, instead, that Jesus dumped his parents and family to go off by himself to the temple, without informing his parents. His parents were “astonished” and “distressed” (Luke 2:48). But Jesus did not play by their rules. He did not even play by Moses’ rules, otherwise he would have stayed by his parents (Exo.20:12; Deut.5:16; Luke 18:20). For, he played by his heavenly Father’s rules and followed his Father’s desires, fellowshipping with his Father. So, his parents did not know that he would be in his Father’s house (Luke 2:49). What is the seminal lesson we are taught in Luke 2? It is that the Son follows the Father, not earthly authorities such as Moses and parents, and that the Father was preparing him to be the true Passover (Luke 2:40, 52). It is apparent from Luke 22, that Jesus is not merely ‘keeping’ the Passover; he is teaching us that it is fulfilled in him. This principle is the matured expression of his behavior and belief expressed for us in Luke 2 and its Passover context.

I will interject a counter-response at this point, for some will argue that it is nonsense to say that Jesus’ didn’t keep Moses’ Law. We all agree that the text of Scripture is our touchstone- nothing more, nothing less. If we focus upon Jesus keeping the Passover (whether as a child or as an adult) then we lump him in with all other Jews and we might as well forget all about any New-Covenant fulfillment. We make him, in other words, merely one who ‘participates’ and ‘remembers.’ But this is not what Jesus thinks about his own person and purpose: he is not in the Upper Room to remember; he is there to be remembered. In other words, on the occasion of the Last Supper, Jesus has stepped away from Old Covenant observance to promote something entirely and completetly different: a new remembrance.

Specifically, we are to remember him as given for us in his body, through his blood. We do not remember him as the one who is the ultimate form of the Old-Covenant Passover. We are not to draw a straight line of continuity between the Old-Covenant Passover and him. We remember only him, as Paul says:

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

It is his death we proclaim, his death we exalt, his death we exult in!

New Fellowship and Coming

‘Yeah, but didn’t Jesus say that he was going to eat of, and drink from, the Passover once again? This implies that the Passover will continue, even into eternity.’

Are we really trying to say that there will be an eternal Passover Feast at which Jesus will celebrate the coming forth of Israel from Egypt? I’m sorry, that won’t fly! Jesus is using the imagery that his disciples are familiar with- Passover language. He is teaching what the original Passover pointed to, namely, his own death. In the Kingdom of God fellowship with God poured from the spring of Christ’s death. When Lazarus died he was comforted in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22). In Luke 23:43, Jesus says to one of thieves on a cross, “ “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ” Through faith in Jesus the Messiah believers are comforted. It is this blessing and fellowship that the New Covenant ‘wine’ brings, for the wine is the drink of celebration now that the bridegroom is present (Luke 5:33-39; see Isa.55:1). Fellowship and communion in the New Covenant community is exclusively through Jesus’ death. It is not a coincidence that Jesus’ disciples came to recognize him after his resurrection whilst they were breaking bread with him (Luke 24:28-34) and when they were eating with him (Luke 24:36-49).[7] By his death, he had instituted the New Covenant community and its fellowship. Partaking of physical food was a symbol of the spiritual participation in, and fellowship through, Christ’s Passover-death on the cross.[8]

So, it is with baited breath, so to speak, that we await Jesus’ Second Coming, his return (1 Cor.11:26). We do not, with the Jews, await for the Messiah’s formal appearance: “but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb.9:26). We wait patiently, even bearing suffering as he did, for he will come as Revelation’s Lamb and deliver his church.

New People

It is, quite frankly, shocking at times to hear Christians go on about the ‘wonderful way’ that the Jews observe the Seder and how they so faithfully await the coming of Moshiach. John MacArthur writes, “The regular celebration of Passover by the Jews is an expression of their rejection of their Messiah.”[9] Have we forgotten what Luke’s Gospel says about the Jews? In Luke 22, the Jews crucify their Messiah. They do not even have the decency to give him a burial! Throughout Luke’s Gospel, the Jews oppose Jesus and his teaching. They said that the Son of Man was a gluttonous man and a drunkard, the friend of tax-collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34). Jesus’ death was a sign of the unbelief of the Jews (Luke 11:30). That is why they arrested him (Luke 22:54-65) and condemned him in their court (Luke 22:66-71). He is the heir who was killed, the Son of the Father’s delight whom they did not believe (Luke 3:22; 9:35; 20:13-14). John the Baptist calls the Jews in general (and not just the Pharisees) a brood of vipers (Luke 3:7). Thus, Christ was in the Upper Room formally constituting a new Israel: an Israel of faith in the Messiah, the Passover Lamb. Many had stayed with him until that point. But one was about to betray him- Judas (Luke 22:21-23). And another was going to disown him out of cowardice- Peter (Luke 22:54-62). None of his followers understood that he had to die and be raised from the dead on the third day. So, he had to open their minds to understand this for the first time (Luke 24). His people are a weak people, a people needing his Spirit to illuminate their minds, so that they might believe in the Messiah, the risen Son, Jesus Christ. His people were not to clamor for status or power, but must be humble and sacrificial, like Christ (Luke 22:24-29). My point is that the weakness of his disciples’ faith and their subsequent enlightenment are used by Luke to demarcate the Messiah’s disciples from the disciples or sons of Satan (“brood of vipers”) who hate him, even betray him.

New Authority and Power

Jesus could not change the direction of the Passover to himself unless he had divine authority and power. God gave the Passover, and only God could bring a new Passover to bear. But is not Jesus dependent on the Father? Satan had requested (perhaps demanded) to sift Peter like wheat, but Jesus prayed to the Father that Peter’s faith would remain strong (Luke 22:31-32). Surely the New Testament model of Jesus’ Messiahship was that he subordinated himself under his Father’s hand for the sake of the redemption of his people, and it was in this position or status as the Suffering Servant that he revealed the glory of the Father. Now, to reveal specifically the Father’s glory was tantamount to declaring that he was God: who, or what being, could so successfully mimic and bear the reflection and intensity of the divine glory? It could only be God himself. On the Transfiguration Mount, the Father declared Jesus to be his Son. He shone resplendently, and his clothes became white and gleamed (Luke 9:29). The Father then announced to the disciples (Peter, James, and John) that they should listen to the Son, the Chosen One. This was after Jesus had spoken to Moses and Elijah about his exodos (Luke 9:30-35). Moses and Elijah, the representatives of the Law and the Prophets, were witnesses to the Messiah and his exodos: the Old Testament Scriptures were about Christ. As Luke writes in Luke 24:25-27:

25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

To bring the Passover and the Exodus to their New Covenant terminus, it required no less than the Son of the Father to don servanthood, so that he might exert his divine authority and teaching to bring to pass a New Covenant, a New Passover, and a New Exodus.

New Covenant

Finally, Jesus came to bring a ‘new’ covenant. The Old Covenant had been broken since the day it was first made. Jesus did not come to fix it or obey it. On the contrary, he came to bear its curse as the Son of Man, and thus to fulfill it. A new covenant was required, therefore. One that would constitute an obedient Israel that would follow the Messiah; a new covenant that would take away sins by the blood of the Son of Man; a new covenant that would necessitate a Passover sacrifice of God’s Son, his Lamb. The Old was discarded and the New initiated (see Luke 5:36-39). As a result of the New Covenant and its New Passover, the wedding of the Lamb fast approaches. In the meantime, the disciples of the Son of Man are to dress themselves and be ready for his coming, keeping their lamps lit (Luke 12:35-36; see 5:34-35).

[1] Mitch Glaser and Darrell Bock, “Why Christians Can Celebrate the Passover, Too,” Christianity Today, April 10, 2017,

[2] Note Luke’s play on words: “Passover” = pascha; “suffer” = pascho.

[3] Darrel L. Bock, Luke, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, ser. ed. Grant R. Osborne (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 349. He notes that the traditional reading that includes Luke 22:19-20 is supported by “Aleph, A, B, p75 and the Byzantine tradition.” [Bock, Luke, 349.] John Nolland, Luke 18:35-24:53, WBC 35C, gen. eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, Glenn W. Barker (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993), Kindle.

[4] Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Exodus (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 1981), Kindle.

[5] Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Exodus, rev. ed., gen. ed. Tremper Longman III, David E. Garland (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017), Kindle; Leon Morris, The Apostolic Teaching of the Cross, 3rd rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965), 131.

[6] Gordon J. Wenham, The Book of Leviticus, NIGOT (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), 57.

[7] Similarly, in Luke 9:27 it states that Jesus’ disciples will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God. This might be a reference to the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29-35), but this is unlikely and it probably refers to Jesus’ reception of the kingdom upon his ascension and the subsequent manifestation of his kingdom to his disciples through the Spirit (Luke 23:42-43; Luke 24:49-53; Acts 1).

[8] We must be careful to distinguish between literalism and symbolism. Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees, in Luke 22, and Peter responded by taking out his sword and cutting of the ear of the slave of the high priest (Luke 22:47-50). Jesus commanded Peter to stop, and then asked the Pharisees why they had come out to him with swords and clubs, for he was daily in the temple (Luke 22:50-53). Peter probably drew his sword because just before Jesus had said, “ “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one” ” (Luke 22:36). Jesus did not actually have in mind that his disciples come to his rescue, or defend themselves, with swords. Luke 22:37 is the key; it says, “ “For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment” ” (Luke 22:37). It was necessary, to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies, that the Messiah be reckoned as a felon, a criminal, and dealt with as such. For, the just must die for the unjust, the peaceful for the violent, the righteous for the unrighteous.

[9] John MacArthur, Luke 18-24, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), Kindle.