Luke 22:15 is the only Gospel account that records the statement, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”(NIV) Luke, the only Gospel writer, who was not present for this meal gives us some very important details, like which disciples went and found the room (Peter and John) and comments of the sharing of the communion. (If all of the accounts had been exactly the same that would be a problem but variations would point that they are remembering it as they saw it/ were told about it.)
This was not the first Passover meal He had had with them but He included before “I suffer.” I feel the disciples thought that the suffering, betraying, and death were in the distance future instead of that evening and the next day. This few hours were very important for them and the direction Jesus wanted them to go. If you put all of the accounts together it forms a serious block of teaching and Christian doctrine. (Please note that Judas was allowed to stay through the foot washing and communion; I feel it sealed the guilt that would over take him the next day.) Five chapters in the Book of John are centered on this meal and they contain marvelous prayers and teaching.
Jesus knew what He was about to face in the coming hours but the meal and what it represented was that important. He “eagerly desired” the company of His friends and those few moments of fellowship when they would truly realize that He had come from God. This love and joy on His part is in spite of the fact that they were about to leave Him alone to religious hatred and Roman cruelty.
See Holy Week – Thursday
Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22: 7- 65, John 13:1 -18:27