LUKE - CHAPTER 22
THE PASSION OF JESUS
We now begin the final stage of Luke’s Gospel. The remaining chapters
present the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. These chapters contain
the core gospel message of our faith.
The passion story consists of three parts:
1. The Paschal meal.
2. The Passion, death and burial.
3. The resurrection.
PART ONE – The Paschal Meal
DAY ONE: The Plot to kill Jesus. (Read Lk 22:1-6)
22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 1 which is called the Passover, was
approaching. 22:2 The 2 chief priests and the experts in the law 3 were trying to find
some way 4 to execute 5 Jesus, 6 for they were afraid of the people. 7 22:3 Then 8 Satan 9
entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve. 10 22:4 He went away
and discussed with the chief priests and officers of the temple guard 11 how he might 12
betray Jesus, 13 handing him over to them. 14 22:5 They 15 were delighted 16 and arranged
to give him money. 17 22:6 So 18 Judas 19 agreed and began looking for an opportunity to
betray Jesus 20 when no crowd was present. 21
1. Why did the religious leaders want the death of Jesus?
2. Why did Judas betray Jesus?
3. What does Judas’ behavior teach you?
The Passover: Jewish pilgrims streamed into Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, also
known as the feast of the unleavened bread. The Passover celebration was the greatest
national feast of the Jewish people. It celebrated the establishment of the Israelites as the
people of Yahweh and as a nation. The festival was the symbolic reliving of Israel’s
exodus from Egypt. It recalled the night that the Israelite families marked the doorposts
of their homes with the blood of a lamb remembering the passing over of their homes by
the Angel of Death. The angel of Death took the lives of the first-born of every Egyptian
family. This moved the Egyptian Pharaoh to let the Israelites go from his domain. The
Israelites packed unleavened bread for their journey towards freedom.
• Jesus will establish a new Passover. He will pass from a crucified death to a
glorified life in the resurrection.
• Jesus will become a new Paschal Lamb. His sacrificial death will lead humanity to
a new life and an eternal homeland.
• Jesus will become the Bread of Life who will nourish and strengthen his followers
on their faith journeys.
THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS
The religious leaders already had plotted to kill Jesus. The plot became easier when one of his
apostles offered to hand him over to them.
Why did Judas betray Jesus? Luke states, “Satan took possession of Judas.” Somehow Judas opened
himself to be possessed by the Evil one. We are reminded of Jesus’ temptations in Chapter 4. “When
the devil had finished all the tempting he left Jesus, to await another opportunity.” Satan could not
compromise Jesus or his mission. However, he would destroy him. He found his accomplices in the
Religious leaders, the Romans and Judas. Satan would tempt and compromise them to put Jesus to
However, fearing that an open arrest of Jesus would provoke a public revolt by the people, they
looked for an opportunity to arrest him in secrecy.
DAY TWO: The last supper. (Read Lk. 22:7-20)
22:7 Then the day for the feast
of Unleavened Bread came,
on which the Passover lamb
had to be sacrificed. 23 22:8
Jesus 24 sent Peter and John,
saying, “Go and prepare the
Passover 25 for us to eat.” 26
22:9 They 27 said to him,
“Where do you want us to
prepare 28 it?” 22:10 He said to
them, “Listen, 29 when you
have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. 31 Follow him into
the house that he enters, 22:11 and tell the owner of the house, 32 ‘The Teacher says to
you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 22:12
Then he will show you a large furnished room upstairs. Make preparations there.” 22:13
So 33 they went and found things 34 just as he had told them, 35 and they prepared the
Passover.22:14 Now 36 when the hour came, Jesus 37 took his place at the table 38 and
the apostles joined 39 him. 22:15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired 40 to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer. 22:16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again 41 until it
is fulfilled 42 in the kingdom of God.” 43 22:17 Then 44 he took a cup, 45 and after giving
thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves. 22:18 For I tell you that from
now on I will not drink of the fruit 46 of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 47
22:19 Then 48 he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them,
saying, “This is my body 49 which is given for you. 50 Do this in remembrance of me.”
22:20 And in the same way he took 51 the cup after they had eaten, 52 saying, “This cup
that is poured out for you is the new covenant 53 in my blood.22:21 “But look, the hand of
the one who betrays 54 me is with me on the table. 55 22:22 For the Son of Man is to go
just as it has been determined, 56 but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 22:23
So 57 they began to question one another as to which of them it could possibly be who
would do this.
1. Why do you think Jesus took such precautions and care in setting up the Passover
2. What impacts or impresses you most from this passage?
3. How does Jesus’ meal and sacrifice continue for us today?
The preparation of the Passover meal: Lk 22: 7-23
Luke portrays Jesus as a faithful
Jew who kept the Law and
celebrated the important feast of
the Passover. When the day
arrives he sends Peter and John
to prepare the place and the
meal for the Passover. Because
Jesus was aware of Judas’ plan
to betray him, he kept secret the place of the meal. Even Peter and John did not know where it was to
be celebrated until they were led by the man carrying the water jar. Jesus planned everything
beforehand. He protected his disciples and he took every precaution to make sure that he would
celebrate this meal with his followers.
The Holy Eucharist Lk. 22:14-20
Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper: It inaugurates the New Passover. It begins another divine
deliverance from the enslavement sin and death. It launches the journey of full freedom into the
kingdom of God. He will not eat with his friends again until he has opened for them the kingdom.
The new banquet greatly surpasses the original Passover meal. Jesus identifies the unleavened bread
as his own body and the wine as his own blood. He also identifies himself as the sacrificial lam of
God whose blood will seal the New Covenant.
Jesus words at the Last Supper will be enacted upon the cross and vindicated in his resurrection. In
our celebration of the Eucharist we celebrate in Jesus’ meal and sacrificial death. In our sharing in
the Eucharist we receive his resurrected body and blood we receive his glorified life, power and
(Read Lk 22:21-34)
Day Three: The betrayals. (
22:21 “But look, the hand of the one who betrays 54 me is with me on the table. 55 22:22
For the Son of Man is to go just as it has been determined, 56 but woe to that man by
whom he is betrayed!” 22:23 So 57 they began to question one another as to which of
them it could possibly be who would do this.22:24 A dispute also started 58 among them
over which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 59 22:25 So 60 Jesus 61 said to
them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them are
called ‘benefactors.’ 62 22:26 Not so with you; 63 instead the one who is greatest among
you must become like the youngest, and the leader 64 like the one who serves. 65 22:27
For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, 66 or the one who serves? Is it not
the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one 68 who serves.22:28 22:28
“You are the ones who have remained 69 with me in my trials. 22:29 Thus 70 I grant 71 to
you a kingdom, 72 just as my Father granted to me, 22:30 that you may eat and drink at
my table in my kingdom, and you will sit 73 on thrones judging 74 the twelve tribes of
Israel.22:31 “Simon, 75 Simon, pay attention! 76 Satan has demanded to have you all, 77 to
sift you like wheat, 78 22:32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, 79 that your faith may not
fail. 80 When 81 you have turned back, 82 strengthen 83 your brothers.” 22:33 But Peter 84
said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” 85 22:34 Jesus
replied, 86 “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow 87 today until you have denied 88
three times that you know me.”
Jesus is fully committed to his followers and completing his mission of salvation. His apostles will
all fall short and fail in their commitment to Jesus. This will not change Jesus’ resolve in the least.
1. Does Jesus hold Judas responsible for his betrayal? Why?
2. What does Peter’s denial say about us?
3. When has a failure or weakness on your part been turned into strength?
The Disciples have shown themselves as woefully unprepared for the coming crisis. They also reveal
that their lives have not been given over to Jesus. The peace and meaning of the Last Supper gives
way to their betrayals and petty attacks of one another’s importance. They are not ready for Jesus’
walk to the cross. Nevertheless, Jesus and his Father know exactly what they are doing. They have
always been ready for this moment.
Peter’s Denial is foretold. (Read Lk 22:31-34)
All four Gospels predict Peter’s denial of Jesus. Luke alone refers
to Satan’s role in the betrayal and Jesus’ prayer for Peter’s faith.
Peter would fall because of Satan’s influence. But Jesus’ concern
and prayer for Peter would deliver him from despair. Jesus’ prayer
and encounter with Peter in the resurrection would transform him.
In fact, Jesus points out that Peter’s encounter with his own failure
would be used to strengthen his brothers
for the mission.
“I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you turn back you must strengthen your
brothers.” Through Jesus’ intervention, Peter would grow strong in faith.
Instructions for the time of crisis. (Read Lk 22:35-38)
22:35 Then 89 Jesus 90 said to them, “When I sent you out with no money bag, 91 or
traveler’s bag, 92 or sandals, you didn’t lack 93 anything, did you?” They replied, 94
“Nothing.” 22:36 He said to them, “But now, the one who 95 has a money bag must take
it, and likewise a traveler’s bag 96 too. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak
and buy one. 22:37 For I tell you that this scripture must be 97 fulfilled in me, ‘And he
was counted with the transgressors 98 For what is written about me is being fulfilled.”
22:38 So 100 they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” 101 Then he told them, “It is
Jesus teaches that a new time has come for his followers. He contrasted the past mission of the
disciples with the changed situation that was about to take place. On their earlier missions the
disciples went out without provision. They depended entirely on the hospitality of their hearers. In
the new situation brought about by Jesus death, they must go equipped and be prepared to face
hostility and violence.
When Jesus tells them to buy a sword, he teaches that a time of opposition and persecution has
come. They must be as soldiers to not only to face the evil and suffering but to continue Jesus’
However, the disciples still do not understand what Jesus is about to do. They do not grasp that he
will suffer and die to usher in God’s kingdom.
(Read Lk 22:39-48)
Day Four: The Agony and arrest of Jesus. (
22:39 Then 103 Jesus 104 went out and made his way, 105 as he customarily did, to the
Mount of Olives, 106 and the disciples followed him. 22:40 When he came to the place, 107
he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 108 22:41 He went away
from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 22:42 “Father, if you are
willing, take 109 this cup 110 away from me. Yet not my will but yours 111 be done.” 22:43
[Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 22:44 And in his
anguish 112 he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to
the ground.] 113 22:45 When 114 he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found
them sleeping, exhausted 115 from grief. 22:46 So 116 he said to them, “Why are you
sleeping? Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation!” 117 Betrayal and
Arrest22:47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd appeared, 118 and the man
named Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He walked up 119 to Jesus to kiss
him. 120 22:48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a
Luke now directs his narrative to the events surrounding Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. The scene is
now on the Mount of Olives.
1. What human emotions do you see in Jesus?
2. What does Jesus’ prayer reveal about His relationship with His father?
3. What current trial or temptations, if any do you need to pray about?
The prayer of Jesus. (Read Lk 22:39-46)
Jesus has led his disciples to the Mount of
Olives to pray. He had taught them that they
needed to pray so that their faith would not
fail. The need to pray the prayer he taught
them, “Lead us not into temptation” (Lk
11:4). Their lack of prayer at this crucial
moment help us understand Peter’s failure in
the temptation that follows. It also,
impresses us on the centrality of prayer in
our lives with Jesus.
Jesus’ prayer serves as a pattern for all of us
who are called to walk in his footsteps. The
most important priority in our lives is to do
God’s will. To do the will of God it is
essential that we be men and women of prayer. Fr. Judge put this priority in these words, “The will
of God is learned in prayer. There we become courageous.”
While Jesus was in deepest prayer with His Father, the disciples were in deep sleep. They failed to
grasp what Jesus was about to encounter.
The arrest of Jesus. . (Read Lk 22:47-53)
22:47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a
crowd appeared, 118 and the man named Judas,
one of the twelve, was leading them. He walked
up 119 to Jesus to kiss him. 120 22:48 But Jesus
said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of
Man with a kiss?” 121 22:49 When 122 those who
were around him saw what was about to happen,
they said, “Lord, should 123 we use our swords?” 124 22:50 Then 125 one of them 126 struck
the high priest’s slave, 127 cutting off his right ear. 22:51 But Jesus said, 128 “Enough of
this!” And he touched the man’s 129 ear and healed 130 him. 22:52 Then 131 Jesus said to
the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, 132 and the elders who had come out
to get him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs like you would against an
outlaw? 133 22:53 Day after day when I was with you in the temple courts, 134 you did not
arrest me. 135 But this is your hour, 136 and that of the power 137 of darkness!”
A crowd comprised of Judas, the chief priests, and officers of the temple guard, approach Jesus, at
night to arrest him.
Before Jesus could stop him, one of the disciples cuts off the ear of the servant of the high priest.
John’s Gospel names Peter as the one who struck the blow. Jesus rebukes his disciples for using
violence and healed the servant.
Then Jesus confronted his opponents and rebuked them for their cowardice. They would not try to
arrest Jesus as he taught daily in the temple area. They waited until late at night when he was in an
Jesus pointed out that this was more than a crowd of enemies. It was the last desperate attempt of
Satan to thwart God’s plan. This was the time for the power of darkness.
Day Five. Peter’s denial and the Sanhedrin’s deceit. (Read Lk 22:54-71)
22:54 Then 138 they arrested 139 Jesus, 140 led him away, and brought him into the high
priest’s house. 141 But Peter was following at a distance. 22:55 When they had made a
fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them.
22:56 Then a slave girl, 142 seeing him as he sat in the firelight, stared at him and said,
“This man was with him too!” 22:57 But Peter 143 denied it: “Woman, 144 I don’t know 145
him!” 22:58 Then 146 a little later someone else 147 saw him and said, “You are one of
them too.” But Peter said, “Man, 148 I am not!” 22:59 And after about an hour still another
insisted, 149 “Certainly this man was with him, because he too is a Galilean.” 150 22:60
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” At that moment, 151 while
he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 152 22:61 Then 153 the Lord turned and looked
straight at Peter, and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, 154 how he had said to
him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 22:62 And he went
outside and wept bitterly. 155 22:63 Now 156 the men who were holding Jesus 157 under
guard began to mock him and beat him. 22:64 They 158 blindfolded him and asked him
repeatedly, 159 “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 160 22:65 They also said many other things
against him, reviling 161 him.22:66 When day came, the council of the elders of the
people gathered together, both the chief priests and the experts in the law. 162 Then 163
they led Jesus 164 away to their council 165 22:67 and said, “If 166 you are the Christ, 167
tell us.” But he said to them, “If 168 I tell you, you will not 169 believe, 22:68 and if 170 I ask
you, you will not 171 answer. 22:69 But from now on 172 the Son of Man will be seated at
the right hand 173 of the power 174 of God.” 22:70 So 175 they all said, “Are you the Son of
God, 176 then?” He answered 177 them, “You say 178 that I am.” 22:71 Then 179 they said,
“Why do we need further testimony? We have heard it ourselves 180 from his own lips!”
The dignity and strength of Jesus dominates the story of his arrest. Jesus is in control. The disciples
make a feeble attempt at his defense. The religious leaders clumsily attempt to trap Jesus in his
words. Jesus stands up to his interrogators and denies nothing. He is the Messiah.
1. Consider Peter’s reaction when he realizes he has allowed temptation to defeat him so
easily. What has he learned about himself?
2. What does the denial by Peter teach you?
3. Why is the trial before the Sanhedrin a farce?
Peter was the apostle who proclaimed that he would never
deny Jesus. He was the one who aggressively used the
sword at Jesus arrest. Now alone, among strangers his fears
overcame his bravado.
After denying Jesus he remembered what Jesus had
predicted. He went outside and wept bitterly. Once again,
Peter finds himself in Jesus’ presence as a sinner. (recall
Peter’s first encounter with Jesus at the miraculous catch of
fish Lk 5:8.) Jesus promised Peter then that he should
become a ‘fisher of men.’
Jesus will seek out Peter in the resurrection to forgive him
and empower him to be the ‘fisher of men’ in a new
The new community will be comprised of those who
recognize their sinful limitations and are reconciled bye
Jesus. Peter becomes the model of reconciliation for all
Jesus before the Sanhedrin. (Read Lk 22:63-71)
The Sanhedrin was a Jewish court of 70 members plus the high priest Sadducees and Pharisees
comprised the main membership of the court. They exercised authority over the religious life of the
Jewish people. They operated under the jurisdiction of the Roman authorities. It had no power to
condemn a subject to capital punishment. Only roman authority had the power to sentence anyone to
The fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. resulted in the total abolition of the Sanhedrin
Jesus betrayal and arrest were the results of a plot carried out illegally bye the religious authority.
The Sanhedrin was the highest court and ruling body in the Jewish nation. Sadducees and Pharisees
who were not friendly towards one another became allies in orchestrating Jesus’ death.
Like wise, the Jewish religious leaders would ally themselves
with their oppressors, the Roman Empire, to rid themselves of
However, what was taking place involved a for deeper
opposition of the Jewish religious leaders. It involved Satan’s
opposition to Jesus. Judas, the religious leaders and the Roman
authorities will collaborate with the Prince of darkness in
putting Jesus to death.
Jesus remains one with the Father and will obey the Father’s
will above all things.
Fr. Judge and accompanying the suffering Jesus.
“The passion and death of our dear Savior is the unfailing grace to
the Church and the inspiration of sanctity in her children. Devotion
to the sorrows of our blessed Savior renders us most pleasing to Him
and in this we do His Holy Will, inasmuch as he has expressly stated
that the Holy Sacrifice would be a remembrance of his passion and
death. ‘Do this in memory of me.’ (Lk 22:19). The Mass is the
renewal of that offering.
May our agonized Savior find us watching with him, ready to
sympathize and console, and ready to serve him. Devotion to the
Passion of our Lord and the sorrows of our Blessed Mother - may
this be, O dear Savior, a characteristic devotion of the Missionary
Cenacle. May our hearts everywhere beat in most loving accord with
the sorrowing Hearts of Jesus and Mary and may each and every one of our members imitate the
love and strength and the image of our Blessed Lady herself.
Follow him then, with her, these days. Stand at the cross with her; console him. Adore and thank
the crucified Savior, our dear Lord and elder brother Jesus crucified; crucified for us. Mourn with
her over the cruel work of Calvary and with her wait the glory of the triumph of the Resurrection.:\”
(Fr. Judge. Meditations p. 131)