The Feast and the Foretastes: Refreshed by Jesus, Part 5

The Feast and the Foretastes[1]

Luke 22–24
Pentecost — May 15, 2016 (am)

     Our Father, Creator, the Giver of all good gifts, as your Spirit moved over the face of the waters bringing light and life to your creation, pour out your Spirit on us today that the light of your Word might illumine our hearts and that we may walk as children of light, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

     Typically I would read the sermon text here at the outset. But since our text this morning, Luke 22–24, is three chapters long, and they’re some of the longest chapters in Scripture, we’ll forgo reading them and a general summary will have to suffice. The events are fairly well-known, since these concluding chapters of Luke’s gospel narrate the foundation of our faith and life, the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus. To greatly over-simplify things, in Luke 22 we read of the Last Supper Jesus shares with his disciples and Jesus’ arrest and trial before the Jewish authority; in Luke 23 we find Jesus’ trial before the Roman authority, Pilate, and Jesus’ crucifixion and burial; and in Luke 24 we are told of the finding of the empty tomb and of the resurrected Lord’s first appearances to his disciples.

     This morning I want to zero in on one curious aspect of how Luke tells the story. Jesus’ death and resurrection in Luke is framed by parallel events. The cross and empty tomb are sandwiched by similar activities happening before and after. The metaphor of a sandwich is particularly apt, since what appears before and after the cross and resurrection in Luke is food and eating, the sharing of meals. If we scan the headings in our English Bibles, we can see that Luke 22 begins with preparation for and sharing of the Passover meal.[2] And Luke’s gospel ends in ch. 24 with Jesus sharing more meals with his disciples. In 24:30, Jesus breaks bread with his disciples. And again in vv. 41–43, Jesus asks the disciples if they have anything to eat, and he eats fish with them. Meals frame Luke’s account of the cross and resurrection.

     If we take a step back and consider Luke’s gospel as a whole, we find that a lot of Luke’s larger story centers around food and feasting. In Luke, we find Jesus frequently sitting down to eat with others—with his disciples, with sinners and tax collectors, with the Jewish leaders. Jesus is at a dinner table much more in Luke than in the other gospels, it seems. And an unusual amount of Jesus’ teaching and parables in Luke have to do with feasts and table manners. He has much to say about who gets invited to dinners, about how to behave at meals, about feasts that are thrown for prodigal sons, about the harvests needed for feasting, about masters who sit down to eat, about wedding banquets. Apparently, food and meals and table manners and feasting are a major concern for Luke, a key theme in his gospel.[3]

     And feasting is key to understanding aright Jesus’ death and resurrection, the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Jesus’ work has everything to do with a banquet. That’s what I think Luke wants us to see. Because of the sustained interest in meals in this gospel, and because the cross and empty tomb are sandwiched by meals at the end of the gospel, we have good reason to think that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection have some meaningful and important connection to meals and feasting. I want to explore that connection this morning.

     To do so, let’s begin by noticing the desire of Jesus’ heart on the eve of his crucifixion. Turn with me in your Bibles to the beginning of Luke 22. Jesus deeply desires something in the hours before his arrest, and it’s worth pressing on what it is he is desiring and why he so desires it. In Luke 22, vv. 7ff., Jesus makes arrangements in order that he might share the Passover meal with his disciples, his Last Supper with them during his earthly, pre-cross ministry. As this meal begins, Jesus tells his disciples, in v. 15, that he has “earnestly desired” to share this meal with them. The King James reads, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” I think that better reflects the force with which Jesus speaks. There’s a redundancy to his words, conveying a particularly strong emphasis. His desire is visceral, intense, profound. Jesus is saying that it is with deep, deep desire, intense longing and yearning and craving,[4] that he has looked forward to sharing this Passover meal with his disciples.

     This raises an important question: Why does Jesus desire so deeply to share this meal with his disciples? Why is this such an intense longing for him as he looks ahead to the cross? We don’t have to look far to find Jesus’ own answer to the question in the very next verse, v. 16, which begins with the important word “for.” “For,” Jesus says, introducing a reason for why he so deeply desires to share the Passover with his disciples, “I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. I think that means, until we join at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the truest of Passover meals,[5] celebrating the final and complete deliverance of God’s people into the fully consummated kingdom.[6] Jesus assumes there will be an actual meal to eat at the end of the ages, which means there must be physical, resurrected people to eat it. Jesus looks ahead to a material meal with his literally, physically resurrected people, in a fully renewed material creation. He is saying, “I have desired with a deep, deep desire to share the Passover meal with you because I won’t share it again with you until the full kingdom feast finally arrives at the end of days.”

     Now I don’t think Jesus is simply saying that he’s really glad to have this meal during Passion week because it’s the last one he’s going to get in a long while. Rather, I think Jesus’ earnest desire to share this Passover meal with his disciples is rooted in the fact that it heralds or signals or foreshadows the “fulfillment” of this meal “in the kingdom.” The Last Supper is, for Jesus, a wonderful and deeply desired thing because it draws his and our attention to an even greater meal that it foreshadows and anticipates. “I have desired with a deep, deep desire to share this Passover meal with you, because it is a little foretaste of an even greater meal we’ll share in the kingdom.” Which is to say, Jesus’ deepest desire on the eve of his crucifixion is to share the final eschatological feast with his disciples, and with us his people more generally,[7] to welcome us to his final banquet, to sit down at table together to enjoy the final marriage feast. That final feast is what Jesus really longs for so greatly here in Luke 22.

     But this begs another question. Why does Jesus desire so strongly to share the final kingdom meal with his disciples? What’s so great about this kingdom feast, of which the Last Supper is a foretaste? I think the answer has to do, at least, with God’s goals in creation and redemption. The greatness of the kingdom feast is rooted in God’s purposes in the work of creation and the work of redemption.

     First, Jesus longs ultimately for the kingdom meal because this meal is the fulfillment of God’s primordial purposes in creating us and the rest of creation. That is, feasting in God’s presence, with God’s people, on God’s goodness and bounty is the original goal of creation. Kingdom feasting is why God created everything. From the outset, this is where he wanted the story to head. The Son of God’s great desire on the eve of his crucifixion is not for some small, isolated event disconnected from anything else in the story—it is a desire to see the story come full circle to the great and glorious conclusion that was intended from the very beginning.


     One of the simplest ways to demonstrate that feasting is the goal of creation is to survey the opening chapters of the Bible. It might help to turn there now. When we read of God’s creation of all things, us included, in Gen 1–3, food and eating are everywhere. Have you ever noticed that? Of all the things to be concerned about when considering God’s glorious, unfathomable work of creating all things out of nothing, what the biblical narrative zeroes in on includes the most mundane of realities—food to eat.

     The Bible begins in Gen 1 with God’s great work of creation in six days, followed by his seventh day rest. Sometimes we hear it said that the creation of humanity is God’s final climactic work of the creation week. But when we pay attention to how Gen 1 is actually laid out, we discover that the sixth day does not come to its climactic conclusion with the creation of Adam and Eve. That happens in vv. 26–27 of Gen 1: God creates Adam and Eve in his image and sets them as King and Queen over his creation. But God’s last and climactic work on the sixth day appears in Gen 1:29: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’ ” God’s final and climactic work of the creation week is the giving of the world to Adam and Eve and all the animals for food. This is the goal of creation, where it’s story was to lead. God created the world, and us in it, in order that we might taste his goodness together, literally to feast on it, while enjoying his presence and fellowship in a garden-paradise.[8]

     Food and feasting are of central significance in God’s work of creation. The first tasks and commands God gives to Adam in Gen 2 have to do with farming and food. And in Gen 3, what does the serpent use to thwart God’s creational purposes? In light of what we’ve seen, it’s no surprise that Adam and Eve’s temptation in the garden, and their eventual Fall, was a matter of eating forbidden fruit. Everything hangs on whether Adam and Eve will get to the feast aright, will enjoy God’s banquet or see it slip through their fingers. Food and eating is all over Gen 1–3 because God created the world and us in it in order that we might feast, very literally, on the goodness of God with him in his garden temple. Feasting is the goal of creation. This great creational goal of feasting is what Jesus came to restore and fulfill.

     With this in mind, notice some interesting things that appear in Luke 22–24 as Jesus’ work comes to a climax in his death and resurrection. In Luke 22:39–46, Jesus undergoes testing in a garden. Sound familiar? But unlike Adam before him, he does not fail but is victorious over the tempter. In 23:1–3, Jesus undergoes a series of trials to determine his identity as king—the irony is that Jesus is, indeed, a king, like the first human king of creation, Adam. In 23:43, as Jesus hangs on the cross, he welcomes a criminal into “Paradise.” The word for “Paradise” is almost always translated elsewhere in Scripture as “garden.” In fact, this same word is used in the Greek OT throughout Gen 2–3 to refer to the garden of Eden.[9] Jesus is inviting the dying criminal to Eden restored. And after the resurrection, when Jesus appears to his disciples on the Emmaus road, he joins them for a meal, breaks bread for them, and then what happens? Do you recall it from Luke 24:31? Luke says, “Their eyes were opened.” That precise phrase appears only one other time in Scripture: Gen 3:7,[10] which says that Adam and Eve’s “eyes were opened” as a result of their eating from the forbidden tree. Luke 24:31 is an ironic echo of what happened when Adam and Eve ate their meal in rebellion against God. A wondrous transformation has taken place as a result of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The first fateful eating brought an “opening of eyes” to curse and death; a second fateful eating brings an “opening of eyes” that signals reversal, that signals the beginning of a new creation.[11]

     I believe that we find all these resonances of the opening chapters of Genesis in Luke 22–24 because, in dying and rising again, Jesus was restoring God’s purposes in creating the world and ushering in the new creation.[12] He was reversing what the Fall brought on in Gen 3 in order that God’s initial purposes in Gen 1–2 might get back on track. And those purposes, I believe, culminate in fellowship and feasting. That’s one reason for Jesus’ earnest longing for the final kingdom meal—because it is the final and ultimate goal of creation.

     A second reason is this: feasting in the kingdom is also the goal of redemption. Jesus’ redemptive mission was a matter of opening the way for us his people to join him at the final Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus longs for the final kingdom meal not only because it’s the goal of God’s work of creation, but also because it’s the goal of God’s work of redemption. The work of redemption is not simply a matter of saving us from certain awful realities (like sin, Satan, death, and wrath). That’s only part of the picture—a glorious part, but only part. The work of redemption is not only a saving of us from certain realities but also a delivering of us unto goodness and joy and peace and life—a delivering of us into God’s feast of joy and love.

     This is how Scripture consistently portrays what redemption delivers people unto. The biblical storyline makes plain that the end goal of God’s redemptive works for his people is always a great banquet in his presence. This is true of God’s great redemptive work in the exodus from Egypt. God led Israel out of Egypt not simply to be free from oppression in Egypt but also to be free for feasting, first in the wilderness as they feasted on Mount Sinai in Exod 24:11, and then ultimately in the Promised Land “flowing with milk and honey.”[13] In the same way, when God redeemed Israel from their Babylonian exile and brought about their return to the land, the people feasted greatly, according to Ezra 3.

     Again and again we find it. In Gen 14, Abraham delivers Lot from danger, and then shares a meal of bread and wine with the mysterious Melchizedek. In the book of Samuel, David mercifully spares the life of Mephibosheth and welcomes him to dine at the King’s table. The Jewish people are rescued from the wicked plot of Haman in the book of Esther, and what do they do for a finale? They feast. And as the prophets of old look forward to God’s new and climactic redemptive work on the last day, they anticipate not only deliverance from sin and evil and death; they also anticipate deliverance unto a great banquet. In Isa 25, the prophet looks forward to the day when God will “swallow up death forever” and “wipe away tears from all faces,” the final day when all God’s people will shout, “This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” On that very day, Isaiah prophesies, “the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.”

     This is why God redeems his people—that they may enjoy fellowship and communion with him as they partake of his bounty and goodness. That’s the goal of redemption. That’s why God saves. That’s what the fullness of salvation is. God doesn’t save with just a negative end in view (to deliver us from danger), but with a positive end (to deliver us unto some amazing good). And what we are delivered unto is not simply theological truths to think or feelings to feel, but food to feast upon together with our real and present Lord.

     So when Jesus comes on his redemptive mission, his purpose in coming is not simply to deliver us from sin, Satan, and death (which he does do), but also to deliver us unto his great kingdom banquet. He comes with the end goal of throwing a feast—and of unleashing for his people all the welcome and love and celebration and peace and joy that feasting entails. So one way of reading the Passion and resurrection narrative in Luke is not simply as accomplishing propitiation for sins by a sacrificial death, but also as preparation for the feast, which involves gathering guests and prepping the meal. He prays for his persecutors not only because he wants such ones to be forgiven, but also because he wants them to join him at his table. The welcome into Paradise that he extends to a criminal crucified alongside him is a really an invitation to a banquet. In giving his body to be broken and his blood to be poured out, he is providing the meal itself. And with the resurrection, the good and glorious Servant King actually rises victoriously from the dead in order, we might say, to set the table and put the finishing touches on the final banquet. Jesus really was raised from the dead because he really means to feast, to eat, with the people that will be raised up with him on the last day.

     This is why Jesus came. A banquet is the final fulfillment of his mission.[14] The meal Jesus shares with his disciples on the night of his arrest foreshadows that final banquet. He earnestly desired to share the Passover meal with his disciples because he could taste his final triumph, the completion of his mission, the fulfillment of the greatest of all redemptive works and the fulfillment of God’s glorious purposes in creating us and all things.

     There are all sorts of reasons why this is good news for us this morning, but perhaps the most basic is this: Jesus has come to guarantee that our present fast and hunger will most assuredly end. The promise of a feast is incredibly good news for the hungry. And our is an age of hunger. Or, to put it differently, ours is an age of fasting. Earlier in Luke, ch. 5, Jesus responds to a question about why his disciples eat and drink while others fast. Jesus asks, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?” Jesus is the Bridegroom; his presence means joy for his people; his presence means feasting and celebration. “But,” Jesus continues, “the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.” We are in those days. Ours is a time of fasting. Our Bridegroom has ascended to the right hand of the Father; he is no longer physically present with us to feast with. Instead, we now experience the reality of fasting, the reality of yearning for filling in the face of deep hunger pains. That’s our present experience; that’s our lot in life.

     For some it is literal hunger—empty, aching stomachs, bellies swelling with malnourishment.[15] That’s likely not true of any of us here this morning, but there are some (perhaps many) in our communities who feel this real pain right now, if we would only open our eyes. At least, there are many around us for whom the threat of hunger is right around the corner: the bank account is empty, there’s no job on the horizon, the debt collectors are knocking on the door, we don’t know where the next meal will come from.

     For others, the present age of fasting might not manifest itself in literal lack of food and physical hunger. But we know we are in an age of sorrowful fasting nonetheless. We know that we lack. We yearn for a fullness that cannot be taken away, because day after day in the present age we feel the pangs of emptiness. Tears stain our pillows every night, tears brought on by any number of other unmet hungers, worthy but unmet hungers. It could be the hunger for true fellowship and belonging to quell our unceasing loneliness. It could be hunger for trust rather than suspicion to permeate our relationships with others. It could be the hunger for a life that isn’t simply a series of dead ends—vocational dead ends, marital dead ends, dead ends with our children, dead ends for our dreams. It could be a hunger to see the gospel not consistently thwarted by the kings and rulers of the age. It could be hunger for the end of oppression, deliverance from our oppressors. It could be hunger for the permanence and commitment we were created for, not the transience and fleetingness that dominates our present lives. It could be the hunger for health in our bones and bodies—or the bodies of our friends or parents or of our own children—a hunger for health instead of the steady, indomitable march of decay and disease leading, we all know, ultimately to death. It’s all over our world, and we’re helpless to do anything about it. Things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. We live in an age of pain. We live in an age of hunger. We live in an age of fasting not feasting, because our Bridegroom has been taken from us.

     But not forever. The fast will end with a feast. All the loss, all the hurt, all the emptiness, all the physical and spiritual sorrow and deformation—it will all be gone. And all things—all things, not just some “spiritual,” ethereal things, but all the good things God has created, which is everything except sin—all of it will be made new. Death will be swallowed up by life. Disease will be exchanged for health. Frustration will turn to fulfillment. Hunger will be satisfied. That’s the hope Luke wants us to lay hold of. A feast is coming; hold on! That’s Luke plea. The pain now is real, but the end of all things is near and worth it. Our Bridegroom is living and he will return. If we must endure a time of his absence, it’s because he’s preparing a place for us. It’s because he’s making final preparations for the feast we so deeply need. He’s coming again to satisfy fully and forever our deepest, truest hungers. A day is coming when our fast will end. A day is coming, we might say, when we will be refreshed.

     If you look up the verb “refresh” in a dictionary, or the noun “refreshment,” you’ll find that this is very much the language of physical, material strength and sustenance. To be “refreshed” is to have our strength renewed; to have “refreshments” is to eat food. So it is entirely fitting that we are speaking these several weeks of being “refreshed by Jesus.”[16] Being refreshed by Jesus is not a matter of thinking uplifting thoughts about Jesus, but of Jesus himself actively refreshing us. And he refreshes us not simply metaphorically by filling our hearts with good feelings, but he also literally refreshes—he gives us strength and sustenance and food and life. He is coming to refresh us with a meal, with the greatest and most joyous of feasts where peace and love and life reign forever. He’s coming not only to give us refreshing thoughts to think but actual food and drink, and resurrected bodies to enjoy it, and a fully renewed creation in which to enjoy it. And there we will be refreshed not only by memories of what Christ has done in the past, but also and fundamentally by his actual presence with us to enjoy unceasingly forever. “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied,” Jesus promises in Luke 6:21. The feast is coming. We shall be satisfied. Our fast will end.

     But notice what happens at the end of Luke’s gospel. As we’ve seen, the death and resurrection in Luke is sandwiched with eating. It’s not just that the Last Supper introduces the narratives of the cross and the empty tomb; there is also meal-sharing that follows it in Luke 24. Amazingly, one of the first questions Jesus asks his disciples when he appears to them after the resurrection is, “Have you anything to eat?” It’s there in Luke 24:41. It’s as if Jesus has a one-track mind—he earnestly longs to dine with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion; and then, when he departs from the tomb, what’s on his mind and heart again is eating with them.

     Even more significantly, earlier in Luke 24:29–30, Jesus stays with the two disciples he met on the Emmaus road, and, it says in v. 30, he “reclined at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” That’s the same thing he did at the Last Supper, and it’s described with much the same language.[17] Clearly, this scene is meant to recall what happened at the Last Supper.[18] It’s as though Jesus already begins to share the meal he longed to share with the disciples back in Luke 22. But if you recall, there in Luke 22, Jesus said that he would not eat of that meal again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom, until the day of the final Marriage Supper of the Lamb. So what’s going on here? Why is Jesus sharing a meal at the end of Luke’s gospel when he apparently said he wouldn’t do so until the last day?

     Here’s what I think is going on. Jesus’ eating with his disciples at the end of Luke is not the full feast that Jesus longs to share with us in the consummated kingdom; but it’s very much like it. Just as the Last Supper foreshadowed the final kingdom feast (which is why Jesus deeply desired it), so also the meals Jesus shares with the disciples after his resurrection foreshadow the coming banquet. In fact, they’re not just a foreshadowing; they’re also a foretasting. They are a tasting ahead of time. They are the first course of the meal. It’s the beginning of supper, not just a midmorning snack before supper ever begins. It’s a downpayment, the fullness of which is well on its way. Because of and in the resurrection of Jesus, the age to come has broken into the present. The final feast, and the age when all of our sorrow will be turned to joy, has already begun.

     That’s what I think Luke is getting at with the meals Jesus shares with his disciples in Luke 24, and also with the meals that the church shares which we read about in Luke’s continuation of the story in the book of Acts. When we gather for meals in the name of Christ and especially for the Lord Supper, we get gracious, merciful foretastes, a downpayment, of our future joy. What will happen at the end is happening in initial ways in the present. In such gatherings we are refreshed, quite literally, with food and drink—not just with pious thoughts and warm-fuzzy feelings. And we are refreshed not just by memories of Jesus, but by his very presence—not his physical presence, to be sure, but his real presence nonetheless. How can this be? Jesus is present, the Word of God promises that he is really with us always until the end of the age, by the power of his own Spirit whom he has graciously and lavishly poured out on us. It is Pentecost Sunday today, the day when we celebrate the infinitely good gift of the Spirit to the church. Like any good victorious king, the resurrected Lord gives us good gifts, the spoils of his victory, the best of which is his very own Spirit. For by that Spirit we enjoy Christ’s nearness and presence, we are raised up into his very presence, and we get a foretaste of the age to come in the present.

     In God’s mercy and kindness and eagerness to do us good, he not only secures the final feast that will end our fasting, and he not only promises us that it will most assuredly come; he also causes it to break in ahead of time in what seem to be small and ordinary ways—things like bread and wine in the presence of the Spirit. We could also add water for baptism, Scriptures to read and hear proclaimed and to respond to in prayer, everyday fellowship over meals. To the eyes of the flesh, these might seem small and ordinary. But they are truly in-breakings of the future, foretastes of the final feast, small but mighty mercies and means of grace to help us persevere through the present night of weeping until the morning of unending joy finally arrives. It is coming. And even now, in the present, we can quite literally taste it and see that the Lord is good. Let’s pray.


     Father, on the first Christian Pentecost you taught your people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and always to rejoice in his holy comfort and in the gracious foretastes of our future destiny that he provides; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.




[1] Part 5 of the “Refreshed by Jesus” series.

[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 749, has noted that “crucial for understanding both the form and content of vv 1–38 [of ch. 22] is its orientation around a meal.” I am adding that the same is true for the whole of the Passion narrative, which is framed by meals.

[3] In fact, whole books have been written on the theme. A seminal work is that of David P. Moessner, Lord of the Banquet: The Literary and Theological Significance of the Lukan Travel Narrative (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989). Most of the feasting material in Luke appears in the so-called “travel narrative” of 9:51–19:44, which is the textual focus of Moessner’s monograph.

[4] The expression Jesus uses to speak of his desire (ἐπιθυμία modifying ἐπιθυμέω) isn’t used very often in Scripture, but in the few places it does appear it usually speaks of the Israelites’ intense cravings and wanton desires in the wilderness for food and drink (see LXX Num 11:4; Ps 105:14; the only other place it appears is in LXX Gen 31:30). Lustful and wanton connotations are, of course, inappropriate to apply to Jesus here in Luke; the point is that Jesus’ expression of desire is really, really strong and emphatic.

[5] The referent of the neuter αὐτό in v. 16 (and thus the subject of the verb πληρωθῇ) is the neuter τὸ πάσχα in v. 15 (cf. Green, Gospel, 759n51).

[6] Though I really want to, I am not quite fully ready to see the fulfillment spoken of here as an “already” reality that appears in the conviviality at the end of Luke and in Acts (see, e.g., Scott W. Hahn, “Kingdom and Church in Luke-Acts: From Davidic Christology to Kingdom Ecclesiology,” in Reading Luke: Interpretation, Reflection, Formation, ed. C. G. Bartholomew, J. B. Green, and A. C. Thiselton, Scripture and Hermeneutics Series 6 [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], 294–326, esp. 306–15; cf. I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, NIGTC [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978], 796–97, who seems to lean this way). To my mind, Jesus’ emphatic denial (οὐ μή; cf. v. 18 and Mark 14:25) implies an interval greater than the three-plus days until the resurrection appearances; cf. John Nolland, Luke 18:35–24:53, WBC 35C (Nashville, TN: Nelson, 1993), 1050–51. However, I think Nolland too quickly dismisses the possibility that in some way Jesus is to “be conceived of as an eating companion” in the Eucharist, and he gives insufficient acknowledgement of the resurrection and ascension (and subsequent sending of the Spirit) as included in Jesus’ “removal from the human scene” that is anticipated here in Luke 22:16. That is to say, I believe that the meal-sharing that appears at the end of Luke, and in the early church’s story in Acts, is not to be dissociated completely from Jesus’ words and anticipation in Luke 22:16; I find Joel Green’s discussion largely satisfying (see Gospel, 760–61).

[7] Luke rarely refers to the disciples as “apostles” in his gospel. That he does so in 22:14 underlines their representative function in this scene—representative of the whole people of God (see Green, Gospel, 757).

[8] To be more precise, the goal was to enter into the Sabbath rest and celebration/feasting with God. As the final words of Gen 1 indicate, this set-up, this creation and its purposes, is to be seen as “very good.”

[9] See Nolland, Luke 18:35–24:53, 1152. See also David Lyle Jeffrey, Luke, BTCB (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2012), 274, for discussion of the thought-provoking and creative ways in which early Christian commentators meditated upon this connection.

[10] Διηνοίχθησαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί appears only in Gen 3:7 LXX (cf. Gen 3:5). The phrase appears in a handful of other places in the LXX but not with the aorist passive plural verb.

[11] See similarly Peter J. Leithart, The Four: A Survey of the Gospels (Moscow, ID: Canon, 2010), 207.

[12] We could also note a broader conceptual connection between the end of Luke and the beginning of Genesis, which has been often drawn upon in the history of Christian reflection. At the end of ch. 23, Jesus dies on a cross, on a “tree” of wood, suffering the penalty for Adam and Eve’s rebellious eating from another tree. The last tree reverses the curse that sprang from the first tree. Indeed, John Donne, in his “Hymne to God my God, in my sicknesse,” imagined that Calvary was the site of the primordial temptation:

We thinke that Paradise and Calvarie,
            Christs Crosse and Adams tree, stood in one place;
      Looke Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
            As the first Adams sweat surrounds my face,
            May the last Adams blood my soul embrace.

[13] See, e.g., Deut 8:7–10.

[14] As Moessner has shown, the Last Supper in Luke 22 is the climax and goal of the “journey narrative” at the heart of Luke (see Lord of the Banquet, 176–82), further underlining the typological connection between the Last Supper and the kingdom meal, the former being a foreshadowing and foretaste of the latter.

[15] Scripture doesn’t lie when it says in Lam 4:9, “Better are those slain with the sword than those slain with hunger.” If we can’t conceive of how a death by beheading would be better than starvation, it’s likely a sign that we’ve never been deathly hungry. It’s a sign that our lives are marked by ridiculous abundance.

[16] “Refreshment” is a thoroughly Lukan notion not only when we consider “refreshment” in its connection to feasting, but also when we take Acts 3:19–20 into account.

[17] In Luke 22, Jesus “reclined” (ἀνέπεσεν, v. 14) and “taking bread, giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them” (λαβὼν ἄρτον εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς, v. 19). In Luke 24, Jesus “reclined” (κατακλιθῆναι, v. 30) and “taking the bread, he blessed it, and breaking it, he gave it to them” (λαβὼν τὸν ἄρτον εὐλόγησεν καὶ  κλάσας ἐπεδίδου αὐτοῖς, v. 30).

[18] Marshall, Gospel, 898.