Welcome back to our series on the Passion Week. On Thursday a Jewish holy day, Passover, was coming. For me, this is one of the most powerful symbols of what Jesus did.
Jesus knew that it was nearly time for Him to be betrayed. This verse has always stood out to me.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. – John 13:1
Passover was a holiday the Hebrews had celebrated for centuries beginning with the Exodus from Egypt. The Hebrews were slaves, and God was going to deliver them from bondage and set them free. That night, the firstborn in each family would die. Any family who sacrificed a lamb and put the blood on the doorway to their home would be spared. Once this happened, God took them out of Egypt and started the journey toward the promised land.
Jesus lived under the Old Testament law, so He observed this feast with His apostles. Jesus also began the Lord’s supper during this time. While they ate in the upper room, Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him. They were upset, and each of them asked Jesus if it would be him.
Jesus told the apostles it was the one He would give bread to. He then gave a piece to Judas and told him, “What you do, do quickly.” (John 13:27) The Bible says that Satan had already entered Judas’ heart to do this. (John 13:2) The apostles still didn’t understand what was happening or why Jesus said this. Judas left the group to go to the priests. Jesus and the rest of the apostles ended the meal with singing a hymn, and then went to the Mount of Olives.
When they got to Gethsemane, Jesus asked the disciples to stay and watch. He went ahead by Himself to pray. “And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.'” (Mark 14:36) Jesus was the divine Son of God, but He dreaded dying. Maybe sometimes we forget that Jesus was also human like us, but losing sight of that takes away much of the impact of what He chose to do.
Jesus went back to check on the apostles, but they had fallen asleep. He did this three times, and then He said His betrayer was coming. “And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.” (Mark 14:43) Even though Jesus had been peaceful and been with them in the temple daily, they came to arrest Him like a common criminal.
Judas went up to his Friend, his Teacher, and kissed Him as a sign that it was Jesus. The disciples realized then what was happening. Peter, ever the impulsive one, pulled out his sword and cut off the high priest’s servant’s right ear. Even during this time, Jesus cared for all those around Him. He healed the man’s ear and told Peter to put away his sword.
They led Jesus away, and Peter followed them. When some people recognized Peter as being with Jesus, he denied knowing Christ three times. Just as Jesus had prophesied, the rooster crowed. Luke 22:61-62 says, “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
They took Jesus to where the high priest, chief priests, elders, and scribes were together. They tried to find people to speak against Jesus, but even the people who lied against Him didn’t agree. Jesus didn’t say anything, and the high priest asked Him to defend Himself, but He wouldn’t. When the high priest asked if He was the Christ, Jesus answered that He was.
The high priest declared it was blasphemy and that they didn’t need further witnesses. They said He deserved to die. They made fun of Him, blindfolded Him, and beat Him (Luke 22:63-65).
This is how Jesus spent His last night before He died.
Join me tomorrow as we walk through the shadow together.
May the Lord bless and keep you,