The Seeker writes Luke 22:20 on a white board / butcher paper in a manner that might be helpful for thought
and discussion. Here is an example of how one might parse the passage:
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured
out for you is the new covenant in My blood." (Luke 22:20)
This important historical narrative is the only eyewitness account recording Jesus explicitly speaking of the
New Covenant. It is also worthwhile to note that the apostle Paul, who was not present at the Last Supper, was
aware of this (1 Cor 11:25).
The Seeker might introduce the cross references: Matthew 26:26-30 and Mark 14:22-26.
Using a resource like a commentary, the Author might report that Luke was a Gentile physician (Col 4:10-17)
and faithful companion of Paul (2 Tim 4:11). He was the only non-Jewish author included in the works comprising
the Bible and was a careful historian (Luke 1:1-4)
Using a lexicon, the Geek might study some Greek words in this passage.
New (Greek: kainos) means something fundamentally new (i.e. fresh).
Covenant (Greek: diathēkē) means a pledge / contract / guarantee that is irrevocable and cannot
be cancelled. When used in the context of the Last Supper, "diathēkē" has a connection to the cup, and the death
of Jesus is the basis of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34), which is very different from the sacrifice of animals
for the Old Covenant.
Blood (Greek: haima) is used to refer to the blood of both animals and human beings, and is
understood as the life of the object; thus, "shedding blood" was a synonym for "kill."
When Jesus says, "My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins"
(Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24), He is referring to the concept of sacrificial blood, covenant making, and forgiveness
(Heb 9:22). The "blood of the covenant" finds its basis in the Law of Moses which explained that blood was the
means of ratifying a covenant with God (Ex 24:8).
This moment, Passover meal, is known as the Last Supper which is memorialized as the church ordinance of
Communion. This evening would be the last time Jesus would be with His disciples before His death, and the
discussion He would have with them would be known as the Upper Room Discourse.
Passover was celebrated in early Spring on one evening (Nisan 14-15). The Feast of the
Unleavened Bread was celebrated for the next seven days as a permanent ordinance (Ex 12:15-20).
Jewish Religious and Political Parties
Pharisee – Pharisees composed the largest group of Jews who taught Judaism and through that,
controlled most of the population. As teachers who transformed Judaism to salvation by obedience to Jewish ritual
laws and the traditions surrounding them, they opposed Jesus on religious grounds. However, they did believe in
the resurrection of the dead.
Sadducees – Composed of wealthy landowning and merchant families and high priestly families,
Sadducees were in charge of the temple, its services and concessions. They did not believe in the Pharisees'
practice of ritual traditions in addition to the Law, only the Law was binding. They did not believe in the
immortality of the soul, resurrection of the dead nor the existence of angels.
Roman Deities and Pagan Practices
While each is presenting their findings, each should feel free to write on the Bible passage on the white board /
butcher paper. If anyone has a question, save it for the end of the presentation. With the Seeker moderating, each
question can be discussed. This may lead to further study in the following weeks, and everyone changes roles. Some
sample questions may include:
What is the New Covenant?
How is it related to the Abrahamic / Mosaic Covenant?
What is atonement?
Is this related to Jesus' last words?
What is communion / Eucharist? Is it for everyone?
Why does Jesus say to do this in remembrance of Him?
With this form of study, you'll be building blocks of knowledge. In time, you'll be able to integrate these blocks
and build a more thorough understanding of theology. You'll also learn how each book of the Bible is related to each
other and its relationship to ancient history!