Here we are in Mark 14. We find Jesus and his disciples celebrating the Passover. Now if you remember the Passover was the time when the Jews remembered and celebrated God’s deliverance of them from slavery in Egypt when they put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts to save them. This Passover God would again rescue his beloved people through the death and blood of his own son Jesus.
Through the meal of the Passover, Jesus reinforces the new covenant-the promise between God and his people.
While they ate Jesus broke apart the bread, passed it out and told them to take it -this is my body. He took the cup-gave thanks and they drank. He explained that this is my blood the blood of covenant which is poured out for many.
Sound familiar? This is the celebration of communion that we take to be reminded of the covenant sacrifice of Jesus- a covenant of love-not law.
Jesus and His disciples then went to Gethsemane to pray. He left his disciples and took Peter, John and james further in. He instructed them to keep watch.. He knew the priests were coming to arrest him.
When he went to pray, Jesus fell to ground in deep sorrow and said, Abba Father, (or as we would say, Daddy) you can do anything. Please, I don’t want to have to go through this..But I will do as you ask.
This speaks to me of his great love for his Father and for us. He knew to give his life was going to be terrible, humiliating and painful but God had asked that he do this to save us all.
He was then betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas. He loved Judas and Judas had followed him and seen who he was and what he could do. How deeply that must have hurt.
He was then taken to the Sanhedrin-the highest Jewish court. They were given permission by Rome to rule the Jews in matters of religion. It was here that he declared that he was the Messiah. He was condemed to death even though the testimonies against him were false and inconsistent.
At any time Jesus could have just said, Enough! I am God’s only begotten Son. I don’t have to put up with this! Yet he endured it all, the torture, the humiliation, the betrayal and death because he was first obedient to his Father, God and then loved us and desired us to belong to God’s family.
How great His love for us! How wonderful His love for you and me.