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.
WOW! What a week. Put on Jesus’ shoes for a few minutes; treated like royalty, symbolically killed the old system (the fig tree), taught and defended your teachings in the center of your religion and started to prepare for your death. The emotions of the man Jesus because of the knowledge of the God Jesus must have been overwhelming.
The new continues as He changes the Passover meal and the concept of who is the “greatest.”
The Garden Prayers have always fascinated me because the few lines have never seemed like enough to last for hours. Luke 24:44 says Moses, Psalms and the Prophets have things that had to be fulfilled. Jesus prayed three times and each time it seems like He was more intense until Judas showed up. I will grant that this is my imagination but I put together scriptures that might sound like those prayers. Due to the length I am going to list only parts of the first prayer, this one is about six pages long. (All of these are from the NIV version.)
Ps 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Ps 18:1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
Ps 9:7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
Ps 9:8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.
Ps 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Ps 9:10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Ps 36:5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
Ps 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
Ps 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Ps 36:8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
Ps 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
The middle of the prayer.
Ps 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack.
Ps 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Ps 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
Ps 61:1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
Ps 61:2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Ps 61:3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
Ps 61:4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Ps 60:5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
Ps 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Ps 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
Ps 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
The end of the prayer.
Ps 119:28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Ps 119:29 Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.
Ps 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
Ps 119:31 I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame.
Ps 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.
Ps 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
Ps 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Ps 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Ps 42:4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Ps 42:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Ps 38:9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
Ps 38:10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.
Then to go from hours of prayer to a trial that you know will not end good.