We see, lastly, in these verses, the close connection between our Lord’s death and the Feast of the Passover. Four times we are reminded here that the evening before His crucifixion was the time of the great Jewish feast. It was “the day when the Passover must be killed.”
We cannot doubt that the time of our Lord’s crucifixion was overruled by God. His perfect wisdom and controlling power arranged that the Lamb of God should die, at the very time when the passover-lamb was being slain. The death of Christ was the fulfillment of the passover. He was the true sacrifice to which every passover-lamb had been pointing for 1500 years. What the death of the lamb had been to Israel in Egypt, His death was to be to sinners all over the world. The safety which the blood of the passover lamb had provided for Israel, His blood was to provide far more abundantly for all that believed in Him.
Let us never forget the sacrificial character of Christ’s death. Let us reject with abhorrence the modern notion that it was nothing more than a mighty instance of self-sacrifice and self-denial. It was this no doubt; —but it was something far higher, deeper, and more important than this. It was a propitiation for the sins of the world. It was an atonement for man’s transgression. It was the killing of the true passover, through whose death destruction is warded off from sinners believing on Him. “Christ is our passover,” says St. Paul, “is sacrificed for us.” (1 Corinthians 5:7) Let us grasp that truth firmly, and never let it go.
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 2: 391–392. Ryle is commenting on Luke 22:1-13.