Sunday, April 02, 2023

“For You” [Matt's Messages]

“For You”
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
Palm Sunday :: April 2, 2023 :: Luke 22:14-20

Jesus wants us to take His death personally.

In fact, He tells us to eat it. Our Lord Jesus told His disciples to eat and drink symbols of His death. 
Up in the upper room, our Lord Jesus told His followers to eat and drink, to ingest, deeply symbolic emblems of His sacrificial death which was going to occur in just a few short hours.

These words are very familiar, aren’t they? Perhaps too familiar? We get used to hearing them, and we stop thinking about them. Today, we want to stop and think about them more deeply. What was Jesus trying to do when He gave us His Supper? What was He trying to teach? What was He trying to leave with His disciples, and therefore you and me, when He gave them this bread and this cup?

Well, really a lot of things. There is a lot packed in here, and the rest of the Bible unpacks it. 

There’s Passover.
And there’s the Kingdom of God.
And there’s the New Covenant. That means more to us now that we’ve studied Jeremiah together, doesn’t it?

And there is substitution. Jesus explains that both the bread and the cup are symbols of substitution.

He uses two little words that say so much, the last two words of verse 20, and the title of this message.

“For You.”


Jesus wants His disciples to take His death personally because He personally died for us. 

He told them that just a few hours before He did it. Jesus had gathered His disciples together for a Passover meal in a large guest room. Probably a holiday rental room for those pilgrims that had swarmed into Jerusalem for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

Earlier in this chapter, we learn that the leaders of the Jews have conspired and struck a deal with His disciple Judas to betray Jesus to them. They are going to get Him arrested and executed before the week is out.

But Jesus has plans of His own. He has arranged for a clandestine meeting place with His disciples to eat the Passover feast together without being interrupted by the authorities. And the time has now come. Look at verse 14 again.

“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.”

It’s not Leonardo’s famous painting where they are all on one side of the table and sitting upright. They are much more comfortable than that. They are laying on low benches like spokes of a wheel coming out from the hub where the food is laid out in the middle.

And Jesus is so happy to be with them that night. He’s sad for Himself but overjoyed to be with these people He loves so so much. Verse 15.

“And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”

He’s been wanting this for a very long time. He loves these men and wants to be with them. Wants to share this meal. Wants to share this time. It’s especially precious because He knows what is going to happen next. Did you see that? “Before I suffer.”

He knows! And, in fact, He’s choosing it. Judas, and the Jews, and Herod, and Pilate, and the Romans are all at fault with their terrible plans. But Jesus is in control! He is choosing this. And He’s choosing to eat this Passover meal with them. One last special dinner together before He suffers. Before He dies.

But notice this! He does not expect this to be His last supper with them. We call it the “Last Supper,” but He actually expects to eat it again. Look at verse 16.

“...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.”

Isn’t that interesting?! Jesus expects to suffer. And, boy, will He ever! He expects to die. But He doesn’t expect that to be the end for Him. He expects to eat and drink a Passover meal or the “fulfillment” of the Passover meal in the kingdom of God!

Isn’t it interesting how Jesus is invoking both the past and the future at this Table?

The Lord’s Supper looks back on the Passover. What is the Passover? It’s the amazing rescue of the people of God in the Old Testament. We’ve been studying the Book of Exodus on Wednesday nights at Prayer Meeting, and we’ve read about the LORD’s dramatic rescue of His people from slavery in Egypt through the 10 plagues. And the last plague of the 10 plagues was the Death of the Firstborn. All of the firstborn sons of Egypt died, but the firstborn sons of Israel did not die if their parents had placed the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes.  On those homes with the blood on the doorposts, the Angel of Death passed over those homes and saved the firstborn sons. And so Israel escaped from Egypt!

Because of the Passover, they were saved. The Passover meal celebrated the Passover rescue. And that Passover Rescue pointed towards a greater Rescue. A greater Passover. That’s what Jesus was doing on the Cross, and what He was symbolizing with His new twist on this meal.  

But it doesn’t stop with this meal. See what He says in verse 16? “...when it [the Passover] finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

Has the kingdom come? That’s a trick question, right? 

Here’s the full answer: The kingdom of God has already come because the King has come, but the kingdom of God has not yet come fully, and the kingdom of God will come fully one day when the King returns.

Jesus says that He won’t eat this meal again until that day. In that day, there will be an even greater feast! One that commemorates not just the rescue from Egypt and not just the rescue from the penalty and power of sin but our complete and total rescue from even the presence of sin!

The Messianic Banquet in the age to come.
The Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).
This meal points to that meal!

And Jesus could hardly wait!

He so wanted to eat this meal with them as a foretaste of the glory to come.

So He passes around the cup. V.17

“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’ (vv.17-19).
This was one special cup! This was the last drink of wine that Jesus would enjoy until kingdom come.

Traditionally, there were four cups of wine at a Passover meal. This is probably the first of those of those four. Jesus drinks from it, and He has His disciples pass it around and drink from it, too. 

He gave thanks for it. The Greek word there is “eucharistaysas.” It’s where we get the word “Eucharist” from.  Jesus was so thankful to get to drink this with His beloved followers that night. 

Looking back on the Passover and looking forward to the Kingdom and looking squarely at the Cross.

He knows what’s going to happen. He knows the forces that are amassing against Him as He eats. He knows who has been sitting at His table ready to betray Him. He knows that crucifixion is at hand. And so He passes around this bread and this cup. He tells His disciples what is going to happen and what it’s going to mean when it does.

Look at verse 19. “And he took bread, gave thanks [eucharistaysas] and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’”

“For you.” Jesus wants us to take His death personally because He died personally for His disciples.

The idea there is substitution. He took our place. His death was for us. Instead of us. Done for us. Just like the lamb who was slain to save the firstborn sons Jesus would be slain to save you and me. 

His body would be broken. That’s why He broke the bread. He knew what He was symbolizing.  In just a few short hours from this moment, Jesus’s body will be broken.

He will be mocked and beaten to a pulp.
He will be whipped. He will wear a crown of thorns.
In His weakened state, He will be forced to carry His own cross to His execution.
He will be crucified–and we can’t understand what that means. If we did, we would throw up. It’s the ugliest thing in the world.

And Jesus said that like this broken bread, his body will be broken “for you.”

In Luke, the verb is “given” for you. It’s a gift. Jesus offers it up at no charge. His followers do not earn it, do not deserve it, and never will. “This my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus tells them to eat it. To ingest this symbol of His death. Jesus wants them to take His death personally unto and into themselves.

This is something new, by the way. This is different from the Passover. This is Jesus’ own special new thing. It’s built off of the Passover and what the Passover was foreshadowing, but this is bigger and deeper. Jesus says that He is like this piece of bread. It’s a metaphor, by the way. He doesn’t mean that the bread literally becomes His body. His literal body is right there holding the bread! This is symbolism. But it is incredibly powerful symbolism. Because His followers are supposed to take that symbol of His broken body, that symbol of His death and put it inside of them. Making it a part of them. Taking that death into themselves.

And the cup, too. V.20

“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (v.20).

“For you.”

That is substitution. Like we just said from our EFCA Statement of Faith, “We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins” (Article 5).

Jesus was telling His disciples what all the blood they were soon going to see meant. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

And now, all of a sudden, we’re not talking about Passover or the Kingdom of God, we’re talking about the New Covenant. And we know what that is, right? Because we’ve recently studied Jeremiah 31 which says:

“‘The time is coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ‘ declares the LORD. [Sound familiar?] ‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’” (Jer. 31:31-34 NIVO).

New days.
New hearts.
New closeness.
New slates.
New Jerusalem.

Do you remember what we learned in Jeremiah 31? It is so amazing what God has promised His people in the New Covenant! And Jesus says that the New Covenant is now here. It is now ratified. It is now enacted in His blood. And He wants His disciples to drink it down. He wants them make it a part of themselves. Jesus wants them to take His death personally.

He says it’s because it was “for you.”

“Poured out for you.” That language comes from the Prophet Isaiah. Chapter 53. Where the LORD promises to give the blessings of victory to the Suffering Servant. He says, “...I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors [sinners, like you and me]. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12 NIVO).

Later in this very chapter, Jesus is going to come right out and say that that verse is directly talking about Him (v.37)! And it’s directly talking about us.

“...he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors...”

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

Take it personally.

How should we apply this to our lives today?

Let me suggest three ways as we begin to head toward the Table.


Put your trust in what Jesus did on the Cross for you. Take His death personally and put your personal faith in it. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus wants us to eat and drink the elements at this Table–because it symbolizes our own personal faith in His death. His death is efficacious for those who take it to themselves and put their personal faith in Him. We are not saved by eating and drinking from this table, but we are are saved by receiving in our hearts what this table symbolizes. Personal faith in a personal Savior who died for persons like you and me. 

Not because we deserved it! It is a gift. But like all gifts, it must be received to be enjoyed. Receive the gift and rest in His substitution. You don’t have to save yourself. You don’t have to make this happen. Jesus has done it FOR YOU. The Apostle Peter said it this way, “...Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Pet. 3:18 NIVO). So come to God!!

And when you do, then you will experience the New Birth because of the New Covenant. You will have a new heart, a new slate, a new future. “...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17 NIVO). And He did all the work! We just put our trust in Him. We rest in His substitution. We trust in His broken body and poured out blood.

Friends, take Jesus’ death personally because it was for you.


That’s actually the only command here in this passage. In verse 19, Jesus tells the disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

That’s why we worship at the Lord’s Table. That’s why we “take communion.” Because Jesus left this memorial meal for us to regularly partake of to remember what He did FOR US.

We’re supposed to come back to it again and again and again. Yes, familiarity can breed contempt. But repetition can also be the mother of education. Repetition is the mother of learning. As we come back to the Table month after month. Many churches do it Sunday after Sunday. As we come back to the Table again and again and again we are reminded what Jesus did for us. How He died for us. What He went through for us. This was not just like any other death. We all die. This death was special. And it was substitutionary. Jesus was doing it FOR US. Remember that!

And not just on Communion Sundays. Or on Sundays. But every single day. What love this is!  “Love so amazing, so divine.” Take it personally. 

Think, today, about your sin. Think about your sin on the whole. And think about the last time you sinned. Whatever it might have been. And thank Jesus personally for how His body was broken for you and how His blood was poured out for you. And remember His sacrifice.

I think that kind of remembering helps when the next temptation hits, doesn’t it? When we are living in gratefulness, we are much less prone to wander and sin, aren’t we? And we are more prone to give our soul, our life, our all.

Jesus loved us to death. Not because we were so lovable. He didn’t say, “Oh, they are so cute! I just love them to death.” No, He said, “They are transgressors who deserve death, and in spite of that, I love them and will take that death for them.” And we need to remind ourselves of that every single day.

Take Jesus’ death personally. Because it was “for you.” Remember His sacrifice.


Because this was not His “last supper.” Remember, Jesus expects to eat this meal once again! The Lord’s Supper looks back on the Passover, looks squarely at the Cross, and also looks forward to the Kingdom of God! This meal points to that meal. When all will be made right. 

Jesus knows what we are going to celebrate next Sunday. His broken body will stand up again. His heart will beat and His blood will flow once more.

Jesus is coming back to life on Sunday and coming back one day soon to bring His kingdom. He’s going to eat the meal when it finds fulfillment in the kingdom God. He’s going to drink the fruit of the vine when the kingdom of God comes in all of its fullness.

That’s why the Apostle Paul says, “...whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26 NIVO).

In verse 29, Jesus tells His disciples something wonderful that comes out of His sacrificial death, “I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Lk. 22:29-30 NIVO). And just as they will eat and drink at His kingdom table, so one day, will we!

That’s something to look forward to!

Not because we deserve it. Far from it. But because He did this for you and for me.

Let us take Jesus’ death personally.