Thursday: The Passover
”Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.“ Luke 22:8
As they recline at the table Jesus expresses to His disciples His own eagerness to spend this brief moment with them. It is clear that He has been looking forward to this for a long time. That He has known it would come. That He has pictured in His mind this very place, the room, the motif, the table, the food, the smells, the voices and the faces of His friends around Him. Just so, He has also been aware of the one betrayer who sits among them, and though He has known it for a very long time, He has never judged, or treated Judas any differently than He has treated the others. But Judas, in his weakness, has succumb to Satan’s whispered suggestions that he can save Jesus’ life by turning him over to the rulers of the temple. In the most frightening words in the Bible, Jesus warns Peter that he would fall into the same trap, but for his Saviors intervention. ”Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you turn back, strengthen your brothers.“
In typical fashion, Simon, impetuous Peter, with much bravado declares his loyalty and his willingness to go to prison for Jesus, or even die for Him should that be necessary. Jesus in His infinite, a-priori knowledge informs Peter of the truth, ”I tell you Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.“
Jesus then warns them that things will quickly change and dangerous times lay ahead for them all. He warns them that, for a time, He will not be with them to protect them or provide for them, but, in typical fashion, they fail to understand. They are incapable of discerning spirit from flesh. But ”enough“ has been said. They have been informed of things to come. He has given them a tradition to keep, ”This do in remembrance of me.“
A time is coming when He will give them a councilor. Then they will understand all. For now, one task remains. The atonement. The sacrifice must be made.
To Judas He whispers, ”What you are about to do, do quickly.“
To those who truly believe today He says, ”Go and make preparations… “ Prepare to know His death, burial and resurrection. Make it real in your own life and prepare for His return.