My flat-mate and I were discussing Luke 22:15-18, where Jesus says that he will not "eat it again it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God" or drink again... "until the kingdom of God comes." In verse 16, does the word "it" refer to the Passover and so is Jesus saying the Passover is complete when the kingdom of God is fulfilled? If so, is this a reference to his eating with his disciples after the resurrection? Or is Jesus referring to a time after Pentecost or even after Judgment day? It seemed to us that the day of Pentecost would be the more obvious answer, but Matthew 26:29 reads "...I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." (Heaven?) This knocked us for a six. -- Stewart and Paul (New Zealand)

Since the New Testament teaches that the communion meal is not just a fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ but also with Christ himself ("this is my body"), it seems most reasonable to consider the Lord's Supper as the event in which the fulfillment mentioned takes place. As far as we know, the disciples first observed the Lord s Supper in obedience to Jesus' instructions (in all four gospels as well as the account in 1 Corinthians 11) after Pentecost. The kingdom in this passage is not heaven but the church on earth.

As you notice, how you define "kingdom" has quite a bearing on how you interpret a passage. "Kingdom" may refer to heaven (2 Timothy 4:18), the will of God (Matthew 6:10), God's rule over the entire earth (as in the Psalms), the kingdom of Israel (Matthew 21:43), or the church itself (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:10). Furthermore, the Bible often speaks of the kingdom "coming" whenever the King "comes" -- whether bringing reward or punishment -- and we witness such "comings" in a number of verses in both testaments. (See, for example, Isaiah 19:1.)

In Luke 22, Jesus anticipates a time when he will again join his disciples in a fellowship meal. But before that could happen, he needed to fulfill his work of redemption and ascend to heaven. There crowned King, he would reign over the kingdom of light which all the saints enjoy (Colossians 1:6, 10-11).

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