48 – Celebrating the Passover
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Do you think it was a good thing that the disciples doubted themselves?
Why do you think that Jesus uses bread and wine as a picture of the way he was giving his body and blood for his people?
The last thing we saw was Judas leaving Jesus and his disciples, turning his back on the people who had been like a family to him for three years, and looking for a way to betray Jesus. In his heart he had completely denied Jesus, although outwardly he continued to look like one of Jesus’s followers. And yet, as we read these words, there is no doubt who is in control of the situation.
We see Jesus’s knowledge and ability in the way that he arranges somewhere for them to celebrate the Passover together. Rather than send the disciples to find somewhere, he knows they will be able to follow a stranger to the correct place. Then, when they were eating together, Jesus shows that he knows with certainty that one of them was going to betray him. The conspiracy of Judas had not been hidden from Jesus, nor was it a surprise to him at all. This all had to happen. This was the way God had arranged from the beginning, the way the prophets had spoken about it centuries ago.
The Jews killed a sheep as a sacrifice to remember the first Passover when God saved them from being slaves in Egypt. God punished the land of Egypt through killing the eldest son in each family, but made a promise to save any household that had killed a lamb and put its blood as a sign on the door. Now, facing his death, Jesus makes a new promise to his people. He takes bread and wine and says that his body is going to be broken like the bread, and his blood is going to be poured like the wine. The reason he was doing these things was on the behalf of other people. Exactly like the first Passover when a lamb was killed in order to save the people of God and to free them from Egypt, Jesus was about to die in the place of sinners in order to free them from the captivity and punishment of sin. All that we have to do is believe that the sacrifice of Jesus is good enough and his blood will clean us from all our wrongdoings.
How ought the fact that it was one of the twelve who betrayed Jesus make us feel?
In what ways is the sacrifice of Jesus more valuable than killing a lamb?
by giving thanks to the Lord Jesus for giving his life to save his people.