Friday, 22 June 2012
Mark 14:12-26 - The new Passover
Passover was a big deal in Jewish culture and we first read about it in Exodus 12. It was a serious reminder of Israel's slavery in Egypt and a joyful celebration of the miraculous way God rescued them. This particular Passover would be one that Jesus and his disciples would never forget.
Jesus drops the news that one of the disciples will betray him. Judas knows what he's on about because he's already decided he's going to do it (Mark 14:10-11) but the rest assume that Jesus is telling the truth because they know he knows the future. It was only a few hours ago he accurately predicted the specific details of the preparations for the meal they're now sharing and they know Jesus must be right about this too. One of them will betray Jesus and it will be worse than any of them can imagine right now.
Jesus continues to talk about the near future by using the bread and the wine to show the disciples about his death. Jesus has spoken a lot about his death and they know it's going to be important somehow but they can't see it all yet. He uses the bread to show them that his body will be broken and the wine to show that his blood will be poured out. He speaks of his death as a sacrifice for people and he says enough for his disciples to know that it's all going to happen very soon.
This particular Passover meal became a new reminder and a new celebration. Christians today regularly share bread and wine together to remember the death of Jesus. Like Passover, it's a serious reminder of our old slavery to sin and a joyful celebration of the miraculous way that God has rescued us through Jesus.