THE GOSPEL OF MARK – PASSOVER – THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW

PASSOVER – THE BRIDGE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW

12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So, they prepared the Passover. Mark 14:12-16

Passover was on them. How did Jesus approach this season, with eagerness or dread? How did He feel about His disciples’ three years of training? Had they really understood who He was and what He had come to do? How accurately would they interpret His sacrifice and carry on His mission on earth?

The next step in this unfolding drama was Passover – to Jesus a significant piece of the puzzle. It would not just be another Passover meal, a commemoration of Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. This time it would be a transition from Old to New Covenant, from animal sacrifice to the once-for-all sacrifice of the Son of God, from many lambs year after year to one lamb for all people for all time.

As a rabbi, Jesus was thoroughly versed in Old Testament prophecy but, more than that, He was fully aware of every prophetic Scripture reference to Himself. He was prepared and equipped for the path ahead but not His disciples. They had not yet caught on to the significance of His coming. How many of them took time out to follow His example of intimacy with the Father? Probably none at this point. They were still spectators of His life – watching and wondering but not yet involved. He urged them to participate but their desire was not yet strong enough to drive their passion.

The instructions He gave for the preparation of the Passover seem to indicate that He had already set up a liaison with a homeowner friend, or that He had a prophetic insight into the events ahead. Whichever way, the disciples followed His instructions and everything happened just as He had predicted.

Unknown to His disciples, this would be His last and most intimate time with them before His arrest. As one reads through John 13-17, one detects a deep tenderness in Jesus in this time with His disciples. What would they remember of those last hours with Him? What would they treasure on hindsight? Once the horror of these events was past and their beloved Master was alive again, what would be uppermost in their minds as they reflected on the drama which had unfolded before them?

Pentecost would change everything!

 

Luella Campbell


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