The Cup and the Bread: Looking Back to Recognize Deliverance From Bondage & the Triumph Over Gods and Principalities

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses seven through thirty of the twenty-second chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it transitioning from that which was presented in the first six verses. If you read the first six verses of the twenty-second chapter of this New Testament gospel of Luke you will find it written and recorded concerning the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover drawing nigh. As you read the opening words of this chapter you will find the beloved physician Luke writing and recording concerning the feast of unleavened bread that it was drawing near, but that it had not yet taken place. It was in the opening verses of the twenty-second chapter we find it recorded how as the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, the chief priests and scribes were still conspiring with each other in order that they might kill and destroy Jesus the Christ. Within the first six verses of this particular chapter we find Luke writing concerning Judas how Satan entered into him who was among one of the twelve, and how immediately after Satan entered into Judas, he went his way and communed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Jesus unto them and into their hands. If you continue reading within the first six verses of the chapter you will find that from that moment forward Judas sought opportunity to betray Jesus unto them in the absence of the multitude in order that He might be put to death. Please don’t miss and lose sight of the tremendous significance and importance of what is about to happen, for this chapter begins and opens up with the feast of unleavened bread, which is also called the Passover drawing night, and how it would be in the days leading up to that feast Judas would seek for an opportunity and occasion to betray Jesus the Christ into the hands of His enemies and those who vehemently opposed and despised Him. What’s actually quite interesting about what we read in the opening verses of the twenty-second chapter is that we essentially find Satan himself working together with religion and relationship in order to bring about the betrayal of Jesus. In all reality, it might be said how Satan moved and operated in that realm of relationship since Judas was indeed one of the twelve disciples, and how the religious spirit moved among the hearts and minds of the chief priests, the scribes and elders of Israel against Jesus. Pause for a moment and consider the scene as it unfolded, for Luke does not describe where this meeting between religion and relationship took place, and yet despite not knowing the location of this meeting we see relationship and religion conspiring together against Jesus in order that both might put Him to death.

WHEN SATAN PRESIDES OVER THE CONSPIRACY OF RELIGION AND RELATIONSHIP! I feel it necessary—before we get into that which is written and recorded in verses seven through thirty of this chapter—to pause for a moment and consider the incredible reality of the conspiracy that was unfolding in secret between religion and relationship, and how each most likely had their own reason for wanting to destroy Jesus the Christ. As you read the words which are written within this passage of Scripture you will find religion seeking to kill Jesus, and in the very same passage you will also find relationship seeking to betray Jesus. What I find to be absolutely and incredibly captivating and intriguing within Scripture is that we know why religion wanted and sought to kill and destroy Jesus, however, we are never given insight into why Judas sought to betray Jesus into their hands. We know that almost from the start of Jesus’ public ministry religion and the religious spirit had an incredibly difficult time with the words and ministry of Jesus, and how it often sought occasion to destroy and put Him to death. We know that religion despised Jesus for seemingly showing no regard for their traditions, rules and regulations, as well as seemingly showing no regard for the Sabbath day. There were certain times within the ministry of Jesus when—in the face of the scribes, the chief priests, the elders of Israel, and even the Pharisees—Jesus deliberately and intentionally healed on the Sabbath in order that the grace, the compassion, the mercy and the love of the Father might be manifested and displayed among men. There were times when Jesus’ interaction with publicans and sinners infuriated and outraged the Pharisees and the entire religious system and establishment, and how as a direct result of the company Jesus chose to keep, the entire religious order and system was up in arms because of it. What’s more, is that there were times when the Pharisees sought to come unto and come into the presence of Jesus in order that they might tempt and test Him in hopes that they might be able to somehow entrap and ensnare Him in His words. The four gospel writers make it perfectly and abundantly clear that the scribes, the chief priests, the elders of Israel, and the Pharisees utterly and vehemently despised and abhorred Jesus the Christ from Nazareth, and continually sought occasion to destroy Him, and ultimately put Him to death. It is absolutely no secrets, nor is it it any wander how and why the religious system of Jesus day sought to utterly and completely destroy Him, for the gospel writers make it perfectly clear that they abhorred and despised His message and ministry.

As you read the four gospels which are found at the very outset of the New Testament you will quickly discover why the religious system and establishment of Jesus’ day sought to destroy Jesus and to put Him to death. There is occasion after occasion when you will read of the altercations and incidents between Jesus and the religious system of that day, and how more often than not it was solely and only with the religious system and establishment of that day that Jesus had no issue and no problem indicting and rebuking. If you read the four gospels you will find that Jesus never had any issue with indicting, rebuking and even correcting the religious system of His day, and more often than not found Himself at odds with them. Even a cursory and general reading of the four gospels will bring the reader face to face with the reality that religion and the religious spirit utterly and completely despised and abhorred Jesus the Christ, and sought countless occasions to destroy and put Him to death to once and for all be rid of Him. What makes this even more unique—particularly and especially when your co snider the conspiracy between religion and relationship—is that we see, know and understand why religion sought to destroy and put Jesus to death. What we don’t see, and what is less obvious within the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ is why one of Jesus’ own would seek for an occasion and opportunity to betray Him. Reading the four gospels which are found at the beginning of the New Testament will reveal how Judas was in fact one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, and how as one of Jesus’ twelve disciples he had unique insight and information into the movements and operation of Jesus. In fact, the only way Judas could have led the solder is and the guard into the garden of Gethsemane against Jesus was if he had previous knowledge—perhaps even experience—with Jesus the Christ and that garden. The more I read and study the four gospels which were written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, the more I can’t help but be confronted with and by the reality that we are given no insight into the motives behind Judas seeking opportunity and occasion to betray Jesus the Christ. This was a man who had spent three and a half years walking with and following Jesus the Christ, and had even enjoyed fellowship and communion with His fellow disciples and companions within and throughout Judaea and the surrounding regions. Judas was one who had undoubtedly heard the same call to follow Jesus as the other eleven disciples did and made the conspicuous and deliberate decision to walk with and follow Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that Judas heard the same call to follow Jesus as the other eleven disciples did, and chose to forsake everything and follow Him without any concern or regard for his own natural and earthly life. What’s more, is that after hearing the same call to follow Jesus, and after consciously deciding to walk with and follow Jesus, Judas would spend three and a half years of his life walking with Jesus the Christ, and even partaking in fellowship with the other eleven disciples.

With all of this being said, we must ask ourselves how and why this disciples of Jesus—this one who heard the same call to follow Jesus as the other eleven disciples did—would at one point conspire with the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel to betray Jesus into their hands. The chief priests, the elders, and the scribes sought for an opportunity to destroy Jesus and put Him to death, and it wasn’t until Judas approached them with his own desire to betray Jesus into their hands that they were actually able to move forward with their diabolical plan toward and against Jesus the Christ. Despite the fact that religion sought for an occasion to destroy and ultimately put Jesus to death, it would not be able to do so until one of Jesus’ own entered into the picture seeking for an opportunity to betray Jesus into their hands. Religion would have its own reasons and motives for wanting to put Jesus Christ to death and to utterly destroy Him from their midst, and Judas would have his own reasons for wanting to betray Him into their hands. One of the thoughts that is persistent in my mind when thinking about and considering this is what Judas thought would happen once Jesus was in fact betrayed into their hands. We know from reading the Scriptures that the Pharisees, the scribes, the chief priests, and the elders of Israel sought to destroy and put Jesus to death, but did Judas know, and was he aware of the fact that they sought for an occasion and opportunity to destroy Him? Did Judas know, and was he aware of the intense desire of the religious community and system to destroy Jesus? I have to believe that Judas was somewhat aware of the animosity and hatred within the hearts of the religious leaders toward Jesus, for why else would he approach them with a plan to betray Him into their hands? If Judas was not aware of their intense and vehement hatred for and toward Jesus the Christ, he would not have sought for any occasion to betray Him into their hands. It must be noted that Judas’ betrayal was only possible because of the hatred and animosity of religion toward and again act Jesus who was and is the Christ. Where there is not hatred, where there is not animosity, where there is no tension, where there is no conspiracy of religion, there is no room, nor is there any place for Judas to betray Jesus into their hands. We must recognize and understand that Judas’ betrayal was only made possible because there were those who actually sought to destroy and put Jesus to death. If you think about it—Judas would and could never have sought to betray Jesus if he wasn’t aware of those who were actively seeking an opportunity and occasion to kill Him and utterly destroy Him. Judas’ betrayal would and could only be made possible if he was aware of the intense desire the religious leaders of that generation had to see Jesus utterly destroyed and put to death in their midst during that generation.

Taking this a step further, I can’t help but wonder what that meeting was like between Judas and the chief priests and scribes in Israel as their hatred and animosity was met with Judas’ own ambition and desire to betray Jesus into their hands. I wrote earlier of Satan presiding over the conspiracy of religion and relationship, and we must recognize and understand that there is a false sense of community which Satan himself presides over, and that community is the community of religion and relationship and their joint venture to utterly destroy Jesus the Christ from the midst of the people. We know that the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, and even the Pharisees sought for an occasion to put Jesus to death, and now we have religion being met by relationship with had been satanically influenced and impacted by the devil himself. I would dare say that neither the religious leaders, nor even Judas himself were aware of the diabolical scheme and plan that was at work behind the scenes during that meeting. On that fateful and decisive occasion religion and relationship would come together in a. Joint union and harmony to find a way to destroy Jesus and put Him to death. What we must understand is that while Jesus declares that where two or three are present He is present their in the midst of them, there is another meeting and gathering together—one where Satan himself is present and manifested. We must not overlook the presence, influence and impact of Satan on the events leading up to the betrayal of Jesus the Christ, for both Luke and the apostle John wrote how Satan entered into Judas, and how from that moment on he sought for an occasion and opportunity to betray Jesus into the hands of the scribes, the chief priests, and the elders of Israel. What we must recognize is that when Judas met with the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel, it wasn’t simply relationship and religion that was present in that location. If you take scripture literally and read how Satan entered into Judas, you must take into consideration how Satan himself was present in that meeting between religion and relationship, and how Satan worked together with the religious spirit in order that he might put Jesus to death and utterly destroy Him. When Judas met with the chief priests and scribes in Israel it was essentially a meeting of relationship and religion, and yet it was a meeting which Satan himself presided over. Religion sought for an occasion to destroy and put Jesus to death, while relationship sought for an occasion and opportunity to betray Jesus. Regardless of whether it was religion seeking an opportunity and occasion to put to death and utterly destroy Jesus, or relationship seeking to betray Jesus into the hands of religion, the manipulation of Satan was present in the midst of both. We dare not and must not neglect and ignore the fact that Satan himself presided over the conspiracy and meeting between religion and relationship, and how there are times when Satan can and will use relationship and religion in order that he might destroy the influence and impact of Jesus the Christ from the earth. It was Satan himself who entered into Judas, and it was the influence and presence of Satan which made possible Judas’ betrayal of Jesus the Christ into the hands of those who would destroy and put Him to death.

It is agaInst this backdrop of religion and relationship conspiring together against Jesus—the one to betray Him, and the other to put Him to death—that we find the day of the feast of unleavened bread known as the Passover finally coming to pass and arriving. It was on this day of the Passover—the day when the Passover must be killed, that Jesus sent Peter and John to go and make preparations for them for the Passover, in order that they might eat. When delivering the instructions unto Peter and John, Jesus declared unto them when they entered into the city, there would be a man who would meet them bearing a pitcher of water. Upon seeing this man they were to follow Him into the house where he entered, and would speak unto the Goodman of the house how the Master was inquiring where the guest chamber was in order that He might eat the Passover with His disciples. What I find to be so incredibly captivating about this particular passage is that in the instructions which Jesus spoke unto Peter and John He revealed unto them how they would be shown a large upper room furnished, and it would be there in that upper room where they should make ready in order that they might partake of the Passover. It is this concept of “upper room” that is actually quite unique and astonishing, for within the New Testament you will essentially find two distinct upper rooms. Interestingly enough it would be the beloved physician Luke who would himself write about both upper rooms—the first upper room which was prepared and made ready in order that the Passover might be enjoyed by Jesus and His disciples, and the second upper room which was where one-hundred and twenty disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ would find themselves gathered together in fellowship and prayer before and unto the living God, and unto His Christ. What we must recognize and understand is that in order for there to be the second upper room—the upper room where the Holy Spirit can be released in power—there must first be the upper room with Jesus where the Passover does indeed and does in fact take place. What’s remarkable and unique about the second upper room which was written and mentioned in the New Testament book of Acts is that it was only made possible because of the first upper room where Jesus partook of the Passover with His disciples. There would be those among us who would seek to have and experience the second upper room, and yet they are unwilling and unable to experience and enjoy the first upper room—the first upper room where we partake of the Passover meal with Jesus, and where we enjoy fellowship and communion with Him. It was there in that first upper room where the disciples would enjoy and experience fellowship with Jesus the Christ, but it would be in the second upper room where the disciples would have fellowship with certain key women who walked with and followed Jesus, as well as a great many other people who made up a total of one-hundred and twenty who were gathered together in prayer and fellowship.

I am convinced that in order for us to truly understand the contrast between the two upper room experiences—one with Jesus the Christ, and the other with the Holy Spirit of Jesus the Christ—we must consider carefully each of the upper rooms and the purpose of them. We would be incredibly naïve to think about and consider the fact that there was not a purpose for the first upper room, in addition to and as well as the purpose for the second upper room. The beloved physician Luke brings us face to face with the initial purpose of the first upper room by revealing how Jesus partook of the Passover meal with His disciples, and how He greatly desired to eat it with them before He suffered. Please don’t miss the intensity of the words which Jesus spoke, for the words which Jesus spoke suggests that there was something truly spiritual and truly significant about this first upper room—and experience which the disciples would need to find take place within their lives in order that they might be prepared for what would unfold before them, and what would come upon them in the days to come. Jesus Himself declared unto His disciples on that night that He would not eat this Passover meal again with them until He ate it anew with them until it was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Immediately following this, Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks, and instructed them to take the cup, and divide it among themselves, for He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God would come. Immediately after taking the cup and giving thanks and instructing the disciples to divide it among themselves, Jesus then took bread and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it unto them declaring how it was His body which was given for them. Jesus would then follow this instruction by instructing them to partake of this meal and this bread in remembrance of Him. What’s more, is that after the supper, Jesus took the cup and declared unto them how this cup was the New Testament in His blood, which was shed for them. Within this single meal there was not only a looking back into their history and heritage to the children of Israel who were about to be delivered out of their Egyptian slavery and bondage, but it was also a foreshadowing and a looking ahead to a new freedom from bondage and captivity that would be purchased and provided by the blood of Jesus the Christ upon the cross. If we are going to truly understand that which is written and found within the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, it is necessary that we turn and direct our attention back to the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus, for it’s within this particular chapter where we encounter the children of Israel still in the land of Egypt, and how the Lord would give them instruction on partaking of the very first Passover that would ever be recorded in Scripture. It would be while the children of Israel were still in the land of Egypt that they would receive the instruction for the very first Passover meal that was to be eaten in haste, for not only was the death angel about to pass over and pass through the land of Egypt, but the Lord Himself was about to deliver the children of Israel out of their slavery and bondage. Consider if you will the words which are found within this passage of Scripture in the Old Testament book of Exodus:

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: hey shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the putranance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and greats; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye at unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your house: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that would shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall you observe this day in your generations but and ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or bond in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread” (Exodus 12:1-20).

As I sit here this evening and think about and consider the words which are found within the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus, I can’t help but see a striking parallel between what Moses wrote in this book, and what the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle written unto the Colossians, as well as what was written by the apostle John in his first epistle, and what the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote. I firmly believe there is a strong and powerful parallel between that which was written in the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus, and what is written in the New Testament, for in the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Lord didn’t merely speak to Moses and Aaron concerning delivering them out of their Egyptian slavery and bondage, but He also spoke to them concerning executing judgment against all the gods of Egypt. In the days of Moses and Aaron the Lord delivered the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and at the same time executed judgment against the gods of Egypt, and when Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary at Golgotha outside of Jerusalem, judgment was again executed, yet not merely against the gods of this age, but against the very prince of the power of the air. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the writings of the apostles Paul and John, as well as the epistle which was written by the author of the letter written unto the Hebrews:

“Beware lets any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without heads, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:8-15).

“…But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:8-15).

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:7-8).

In the Old Testament—when speaking unto Moses and Aaron—the Lord not only declared that He would pass over the houses which had the blood upon them, and the Lord not only declared that He would deliver and bring them out of their bondage and slavery, but the Lord also declared that He would execute judgment against the gods of Egypt. In essence, the Passover meal was not merely a celebration of the Lord passing over those houses marked by the blood and delivering the children of Israel out of their slavery and bondage, but it was also a celebration of the Lord executing judgment upon and over all the gods of Egypt. With that being said, and with that knowledge, we must see the Passover meal which Jesus partook of with His disciples—not only as a celebration of delivering man out of and from the slavery, bondage and oppression of sin, but also executing judgment upon the gods of this age, against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. What’s more, is that through the writings of the apostle John, as well as the author who wrote the epistle unto the Hebrews, we learn that it was through death that Jesus would also destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. When we read the words which are written and contained within the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke concerning the disciples together with Jesus in the upper room, we must view it through the lens of an even greater fulfillment of that which took place centuries earlier while the children of Israel were still in the land of Egypt. The Passover meal which the disciples were partaking of with Jesus the Christ was in fact a meal that was celebrating what Jesus the Christ was about to do—namely, purchase freedom and deliverance from the slavery, bondage and oppression of sin, and executing judgment against the gods, principalities, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness, and even the devil himself. That which took place in the upper room was about more than simply a celebration and remembrance of death and a broken body and spilt blood, but it was a celebration and remembrance of the great triumph Jesus was about to execute on the gods and principalities which had enslaved man and kept them in bondage for millennia. Oh that we would read the words which are found and contained within this passage of Scripture that we would recognize and understand it is a powerful celebration of what Jesus would do through the breaking of His body, the shedding of His blood, and ultimately His death—namely, delivering man from the slavery bondage and oppression of sin, and executing judgment against and triumphing over Satan and the gods and principalities of the age.

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