And He (Jesus) said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15).
Read Luke 22:14-15.
According to the Bible's reckoning, the day began at sunset rather than midnight. So as Jesus sits down in the upper room to eat, He is well aware the final day of His earthly life has begun. Much lies before Him: three grueling hours of prayer, His arrest, three trials, mistreatment and mockery, bitter suffering, abuse, torture, six hours of agony on the cross and, finally, His death.
These great Passion events could easily dominate His thoughts, but instead He pushes them aside and focuses on the moment. He wants His disciples to know how important they are to Him. His literal words make that clear: "With great desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you."
What was so important about this meal for Jesus? It was the people who surrounded Him-the people He loved and for whom He would soon lay down His life. Jesus feels the same about you and me. He treasures the time we spend reading His Word, gathering with our brothers and sisters in worship, praying to Him. He promises, "For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I among them" (Matthew 18:20).
Here in the upper room they will soon eat the Passover lamb and remember how God had delivered their ancestors from slavery in Egypt. But they don't realize that among them sits the Passover Lamb. It is He who will this very day will go to the cross to deliver them from the slavery of sin, death, Satan and hell-and open wide for all of us the gates of Paradise.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for living in my heart. Deliver me from all evil and lead me to Your eternal home. Amen.