Luke 22: 1-2 – Conspiracy of Jews against Jesus

As in the gospel of Mark 14: 1-2, gospel of Luke begins his passion narrative with a brief notice about the murderous plot of the Chief Priests and Scribes. Evidently, Luke 22: 1-2 is based on Mark 14: 1-2 (cf. Mt 26: 1-5). Luke identifies the feast of the Passover with the feast of the Unleavened Bread; and the Lukan time reference is more generic as compared with the Markan precise dating. The Passover feast, which was celebrated on 14th – 15th of Nisan, was the solemn, yearly commemoration of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. The feast of the Unleavened Bread, originally a harvest festival, was held from 15th to 21st of Nisan. Eventually these two feasts were closely linked together and were virtually identified, and the celebration lasted from 15th to 21st of Nisan. According to the evangelists, the events of Jesus’ passion are connected with the national Jewish feast of the Passover. The Christian expression “Paschal Mystery” in reference to the mystery of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection, is derived from the Greek word for ‘Passover’ – “Pascha.” The Passion of Jesus is thus understood as his own Passover, his ‘exodus’ from this world to the Father (God) (cf. Lk 9: 31).

The religious leaders had already decided to destroy Jesus, but they could not execute their murderous plan because of Jesus’ popularity with the crowds (cf. Lk 19: 47b-48; 20: 19). Now on the occasion of the feast of the Passover they are again said to be seeking how to put Jesus to death without causing adverse reaction from the people (Lk 22: 1-2). Judas, one of the twelve, offers to help them in executing their plot against Jesus.

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