14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22)
This excerpt from the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples depicts an interesting statement by Jesus. What exactly did he mean?
The Passover was without doubt one of the most important celebrations for a Jew- a stark reminder that God rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians and while the angel of death struck down every first born in Egypt, he passed over those who had the blood of the sacrificial lamb smeared over their doors on that fateful night. In celebrating the first Passover that night, every one who believed in the truthfulness and power of the Yahweh God and thereby took to heart the warning given by Moses was spared (the death of the firstborn) and delivered (from the Egyptians) at the same time.
But the Passover was always meant to be much more. It was truly a reflection of the true Passover lamb in Christ Jesus who would give his life for the remission of sins. And those who believed in him would be spared (the judgment of God) and delivered (from sin) at the same time. And so when Jesus talks about fulfillment in the kingdom of God, he is referring to that state, when the work of salvation would have been completed by Jesus on the cross and all those predestined to be saved would have come into the kingdom of God. What would follow then at the end times is the feast of the kingdom of God where God would lay out his banqueting table and welcome people from every corner of the earth.
In a feast, do note that people who attend vary, but what unites them as a common thread is the food that all partake of. When Jesus blesses the bread, likening it to his body; and the wine, likening it to his blood, he is telling us that in that feast the one common thread would be faith in Jesus Christ. Irrespective of the nature of people who attend this heavenly feast, all would have believed in the salvation effected by Jesus on the cross.
The other thought that comes across in this statement is the burden that Jesus carries in his heart till salvation has found completion. We are living in the period of grace and all that holds back the fulfillment of the end times is the mission to bring people into the kingdom of God. This is God’s passion and that needs to be our passion. Yet there will come a time when the work would be finished and the elect would indeed be saved and then, having finished his work, Jesus would once again celebrate with his numerous chosen ones at the banqueting table. The Passover has been deferred but not for long.
- KEEPING THE SABBATH