Luke 22:14-23 // 4 Reasons to Be Certain that Jesus Is Coming Back

If you check your news feed, the top headlines will probably have something to do with the coronavirus, President Trump or the Democratic party race. If you dig deeper, though, you’ll come across a lot of other stories – disturbing stories that almost seem like fiction. There is so much confusion, evil and discord going on in the world.

In the midst of all this, it can be hard to remain confident that the kingdom of God is still coming. It can be difficult to remember that Jesus will return, that justice will be fully carried out and that He will rule forever.

Luke 22:14-23 gives us four reasons for certainty that God’s kingdom is still coming – even when it doesn’t look like it.

#1 – Jesus Knew He Was Going to Die

The first reason to be confident that God’s kingdom will come is that Jesus knew He was going to die. He knew several things about this:

  • He was going to suffer (v. 15).
  • This was His last Passover meal before He died (v. 16, 18).
  • He was going to be betrayed (vv. 21-22).

The point that Luke is trying to make is that Jesus knew His death was about to happen. It didn’t come as a surprise.

#2 – Jesus Died on Purpose

We can also be certain that God’s kingdom is still coming because Jesus died on purpose. He remained in control. His body was not taken – it was given:

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

– v. 19

Jesus’s blood was not spilled – it was poured out intentionally:

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. …”

– v. 20

He also wasn’t dragged away kicking and screaming. Instead, “the Son of Man goes as it has been determined” (v. 22).

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Imagine how it would have weakened the early Christians if they thought Jesus had been killed because He was powerless to stop it. Would they have endured such heavy persecution if all they wanted was to preserve His memory?

Jesus was not defeated. He purposely, knowingly gave His life.

#3 – Jesus’s Death Didn’t End God’s Kingdom

The third reason for confidence that God’s kingdom is still coming is this: Jesus’s death did not end the kingdom. Just because He died, it didn’t mean the kingdom project was over. Clearly, Jesus believed that God’s kingdom was yet to be fully established, as He said in verse 16:

“… For I tell you I will not eat [the Passover meal] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

And verse 18:

“… I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Jesus knew that His death was an important part of the kingdom project. (What is the kingdom project? See “The Kingdom Project.”) Many people wanted to crown Him then and there, but He knew it wasn’t time.

It’s important for us to remember that Jesus’s death did not end God’s kingdom. Even though He was humiliated, tortured and killed, it could not stop the kingdom of God. And even though evil exists today, we can be confident that the kingdom is still coming.

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When we’re caught in the currents of our culture, we can find a way to withstand it with love and truth. We can show the radical, loving grace of Christ while sticking firm to what’s true.

Nothing you see in the news, nothing you encounter, nothing that you yourself are dealing with will stall the coming kingdom of God. Our King, Jesus Christ, is going to return – that is certain.

#4 – Jesus’s Death Secured a Way to Enter the Kingdom

Fourth and finally, we know that God’s kingdom is coming because Jesus’s death made a way for us to enter it. His blood opened a new way for us sinners to be made right with a holy God, pardoned, cleaned up and granted citizenship in His kingdom.

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. …”

– v. 20
So, to wrap things up . . .

Jesus knew He was going to die, and He gave Himself up on purpose. His death did not end the kingdom of God and it secured a way for us to enter it. Knowing these four truths, we can be confident that God’s kingdom is still coming.

With that in mind, ask yourself these questions: “Have I begun to doubt the kingdom of God? Have I begun to waver in my commitment as a citizen of the kingdom? Am I apathetic or weary of seeking God’s kingdom? Have I gotten off-task, chasing after things of lesser kingdoms? Have I given up fighting sin and just embraced it?” (Want to learn more about God’s kingdom? Try “The Kingdom of Heaven.”)

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If you believe with 100% certainty that Jesus is going to return possibly very soon, what would your life look like this week?

> Read more about the kingdom of God here.

Discussion Starters

  • Jesus knew He was going to die – how does that give us confidence that God’s kingdom is still coming?
  • Jesus died on purpose – what does this tell us about God’s kingdom?
  • The crucifixion did not stop the kingdom – what does this mean for us?
  • Jesus secured our citizenship with His death – how does/will this change your approach to life?
  • What does it mean to “seek the kingdom of God”?

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