Scripture: Mark 14:12-31 & John 13:1-20
Though I did not grow up in a Christian home and did not have much understanding about the things of GOD or who JESUS was our family had the traditional picture of a blue-eyed JESUS and I saw many pictures depicting the Last Supper. It was many years after I had become a believer that I came to understand that what I had always known as the Last Supper was actually a Passover Meal and it has taken me years longer to understand the significance of this meal.
As I read Mark 14:12 today, I was impacted in a fresh new way by the statement: “On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed . . . .” Do you see the amazing picture taking place here? It would be helpful to read the story of the first Passover especially Exodus 11 and 12.
Every year, even to this day thousands of years later, Jews all over the world remember this foundational event by observing the Passover Feast which includes a Passover Seder (a retelling of the Exodus from Egypt). There is also expectation of the coming of the Messiah who will re-establish the kingdom of Israel.
In our scripture today we read of JESUS calling His disciples together to observe the Passover meal (Last Supper) as Jews everywhere were doing. But this one was different from all the others. JESUS took some of the bread they were eating during their Passover meal and said, “Take it; this is My body” (v. 22). Then He took the wine they were drinking during their Passover meal and said, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (v. 24). JESUS could not have done or said a more insulting thing to incite the religious leaders. JESUS was clearly declaring that He was the long awaited Messiah . . . the Son of GOD . . . . He was boldly declaring He was the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover Seder . . . He WAS the Passover Lamb!
In the midst of disciples’ pridefully clamoring about who might be the greatest or who might have the best position of authority and honor in the new “administration” JESUS declares His identity. JESUS gives an example of the kind of king He is going to be and the kind of kingdom in which He will reign by washing their feet. I don’t think they go it!
The religious leaders didn’t get it either. They felt so threatened by JESUS they were ready to implement the evil plan of ending all of this . . . the irony of it all . . . they were playing a role in the redemptive story of GOD and they were being led by one of JESUS’ own. He was present at the Passover meal with JESUS. And JESUS, knowing all along what was coming down, washed his feet. I am amazed!
JESUS is Risen . . . !