Luke 22: The Symbolism of the Sacrament

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 71–72


According to Heavenly Father’s will and in preparation for the Atonement, Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament in an upper room in Jerusalem. This symbolized the infinite and eternal sacrifice that was carried out because of the Savior’s love for us. As you read Luke’s testimony of what happened in that upper room and in Gethsemane, consider how important the Atonement is in your life. How blessed are you because of Jesus’ sacrifice? How does partaking of the sacrament help you build faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and increase your testimony of Him as your Savior and Redeemer?

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 22

Strife (v. 24)Argument 
Exercise lordship over them (v. 25)Rule over them 
Benefactors (v. 25)Virtuous, upright, the best of persons 
Thrice (v. 34)Three times 
Purse and scrip (vv. 35–36)Money bag or sack to put possessions in 
Suffer ye thus far (v. 51)Stop this, there will be no more of this 
Things blasphemously (v. 65)Insulting things 

Luke 22:31–34, 54–62—Peter Denies Jesus

Peter denies Christ

In a talk entitled Peter, My Brother, Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said that we should be careful about harshly judging Peter for his actions the night of Jesus’ arrest. He reminded us that Peter had forsaken everything to follow Jesus (see Matthew 19:27–28). Furthermore, on different occasions, Jesus had commanded the Twelve to not tell what they knew “until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:9; see also Matthew 16:20).

Elder Kimball then said: “I do not pretend to know what Peter’s mental reactions were nor what compelled him to say what he did that terrible night. But in light of his proven bravery, courage, great devotion, and limitless love for the Master, could we not give him the benefit of the doubt and at least forgive him as his Savior seems to have done so fully. Almost immediately Christ elevated him to the highest position in his church and endowed him with the complete keys of that kingdom” (Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, 13 July 1971, 5).

Luke 22:39–44—Jesus Bled from Every Pore in Gethsemane

Elder Russell M. Nelson taught: “The ordeal of the Atonement centered about the city of Jerusalem. There the greatest single act of love of all recorded history took place. Leaving the upper room, Jesus and His friends crossed the deep ravine east of the city and came to a garden of olive trees on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives. There in the garden bearing the Hebrew name of Gethsemane—meaning ‘oilpress’—olives had been beaten and pressed to provide oil and food. There at Gethsemane, the Lord ‘suffered the pain of all men, that all … might repent and come unto him.’ He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all mankind, bearing its massive load that caused Him to bleed from every pore” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 46–47; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity B and one of the other three activities (A, C, or D) as you study Luke 22.

Activity A iconExplain It to a Child

Read Luke 22:7–20 and look for reasons why these verses might be describing the first sacrament meeting. Imagine being asked to explain to a primary class what Jesus meant in verses 19–20. Write what you would say to those children.

Last Supper

Activity B iconWhat Does It Mean to You?

After reading Luke 22:39–53, consider the following testimony by President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Here we have the Son of God carrying the burden of my transgressions and your transgressions and the transgressions of every soul that receives the gospel of Jesus Christ. … He carried the burden—our burden. I added something to it; so did you. So did everybody else. He took it upon himself to pay the price that I might escape—that you might escape—the punishment on the conditions that we will receive his gospel and be true and faithful in it” (Fall—Atonement—Resurrection—Sacrament [address at the Salt Lake Institute of Religion, 14 Jan. 1961], 8).

Picture in your mind those events and Jesus alone in His suffering. Explain what Jesus’ suffering means to you.

Christ praying in Gethesemane

Activity C iconCompare Two Men

Read about Judas in Luke 22:1–6, 46–48 and about Peter in Luke 22:31–34, 54–62. Answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Why do you think Judas did what he did?

  2. 2.

    Why do you think Peter did what he did?

  3. 3.

    Judas hanged himself; Peter was later called to lead the Church. What does that show about the differences between those two men?

Activity D iconReport the Facts

Reporters today who cover trials record and report the facts. If you were a reporter assigned to the trial described in Luke 22:66–71, what would you write? Write a report and include a headline that could be used in a newspaper.