Not Just Coincidence


The importance of Passover for first-century Jews is hard for us to overestimate. The annual celebration to remember the story of Exodus, when an animal’s blood smeared on each door saved the firstborn child from death, was one of the most important events of the Jewish year. Huge crowds would have arrived in Jerusalem from surrounding regions, beginning a period of celebratory meals and sacrifices. The Jews not only celebrated how God had saved them from slavery in Egypt, but anxiously looked forward to how he would save them again in the form of a new king—the Messiah. It is no accident or coincidence that Jesus chose the Passover as the stage for his final days.

  • What is your vision of a typical “king”? How does Jesus differ?


14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What did Jesus say must be fulfilled before he will eat the Passover meal again? Why was this confusing to the disciples?
  2. What is the significance of Christ telling the disciples to divide the drink among themselves?
  3. Jesus knew he was going to suffer and be killed the next day. How would you describe his demeanor in this passage?
  4. What is the “kingdom of God”? How are you a part of it?


Throughout Jerusalem, the people were praising God for rescuing them out of Egypt, and also pleading with him to send a Messiah king. Meanwhile, Jesus had ridden into town on a donkey, and told his apostles that he was about to bring on the kingdom of God. What an amazing environment! Although most of the Jewish celebrants couldn’t see it, the one they had been waiting for was already among them. Jesus knew he was going to be killed as the sacrificial lamb, and he pointed his disciples ahead to the time when he would reign over a new kind of kingdom. He is the new Exodus. To share the cup is to participate in the blood of the lamb who is Christ himself. He is the fulfillment of the new Passover. As Christians, we can celebrate that our king has already come and paid the price for our sin.

  • Praise God for offering his only son as the sacrificial lamb so that we may join him in eternal communion.
  • Take some time and ask the Lord to use you for the advancement of his kingdom.