The Passover

The Passover

 

Matthew 26:17-25

 

At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus once again reminds the disciples what was waiting for him at Jerusalem.

Satan had already enticed the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus to the high priest, trying to force Jesus to lead an uprising and be crowned the king of Israel.

 

 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

Matthew 26:2

 

This is now showing the account of our Lord keeping the Passover as written in the laws of the Old Testament, signifying the redemption of Israel when they would be set free from the bandage of slavery in Egypt.

Christ submitted to all the laws of the Passover, it was a tradition of the Jews, that in the days of the Messiah they should be redeemed on the very day of their coming out of Egypt; and it was exactly fulfilled, for Christ died the day after the Passover, in which day they began their march to freedom.

 

Ordinance of the Passover

 

It is a night to be observed for the Lord, for having brought them out of the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. Exodus 12:42

 

Verses 17-19: The time had now come for Christ to eat the Passover with His disciples; the time of the Passover was the usual time appointed by God and observed by every Jew.

Now on the first day of unleavened bread this particular year, was to fall on the fifth day of the week which was a Thursday and as usual the disciples would come to Jesus and ask where they should prepare the Passover meal.

 

Now the Passover, although it is a Holy celebration to the Jews, the Passover doesn’t always fall on the same day of the week.

 

On what day is the first day of Unleavened Bread?

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is to start on the 15th day of Nisan, the same month as Passover, at twilight. This is a 7-day feast and the first and last days are to be Sabbaths. These Sabbaths differ from the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) and may occur on any day of the week.

 

There has always been some controversy on how Jesus knew exactly where to hold His Passover meal with His disciples, some biblical scholars believe that the owner of the house was a friend of Jesus and as a friend offered this room in advance of the Passover celebration, other scholars believe that all preparations were made the last time that He had visited Jerusalem.

 

The exact place where the Passover would be held was only known by Jesus Himself, knowing that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him the location of the Passover meal was not known by the disciples until they had all arrived at the place so that Judas the betrayer could not forewarn the Pharisees of where Jesus would have been holding His Passover meal as they would have burst in and arrested Jesus during the meal.

 

So the Jews were looking for Him at the feast and saying, “Where is He?” John 7:11

 

Why is there always a controversy? Because people, even biblical scholars don’t return to the scriptures and prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance and to open their hearts to the TRUTH.

 

It is more likely that the disciples shared their Passover meal at the home of John Mark and his mother Mary, where the early church met shortly after Jesus’s death and resurrection (Acts 12:12-13). St Mark’s Church, in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, is believed to mark the site of the house belonging to John Mark’s family.

 

Jesus sent two of His disciples, Peter and John (Luke 22:8, And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it

He sent them into the city with His special instructions; “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The Teacher says my time is at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. Matthew 26:18

 

 

Let us first look at this account in the four gospels.

 

And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am keeping the Passover at your house with My disciples. Matthew 26:18

 

And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him. 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 And he himself will show you a large upstairs room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” Mark 14:13-15

 

And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 And he will show you a large, furnished upstairs room; prepare it there.” 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. Luke 22:10-13

 

So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, because My time has not yet fully arrived.” 9 Now having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.

10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as though in secret. John 7:6-10

 

Looking at the four Gospels, as I said many times before, we are now seeing a complete picture, so what is the information that we can see?

 

  • The two disciples that were sent into the city were Peter and John

  • The man who they were to meet was carrying a pitcher of Water, which could mean that the house where they were to hold the Passover, had their own servants.

  • The House was very big, the upper room would mean that the house would have three or four floors.

  • The room was already furnished and ready for use, people with large houses would often leave one room available for travelling Rabi’s to hold their Passover meal with their disciples.

  • The “upper room” could be also drawing our attention to the meeting place of the disciples after the Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 

The Upper Room

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upstairs room where they were staying, that is, Peter, John, James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these were continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:12-14

 

Although it doesn’t specifically mention the upper room, this does seem to have been a secure meeting place for the disciple’s whist in Jerusalem. Jesus visited the disciples twice after His resurrection in a locked room.

Prayer meetings would have been held there; the day of Pentecost was probably held in the upper room.

 

We see many artist impressions of the last supper with Jesus and His disciples sat neatly around the table. Of course, this is just in the imagination of the artist taken off our modern day of living but is very far away from the truth and not according to scripture.

 

The table was low and they would recline on a semi-circular couch (a stibadium) the disciples would rest on their left elbow and eat using their right hand.

 

The Passover supper consisted of food that was always a reminder of God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt and consisted of: This is the seder plate, and each food is symbolic for an aspect of Passover: A roasted shank bone represents the Pescah sacrifice, an egg represents spring and the circle of life, bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery, haroset (an applesauce-like mixture with wine, nuts, apples, etc.) a bowl of salted water to represents bitter tears.

 

Verse 20-25: After supper Jesus makes it known that one of His disciples would betray Him, could you imagine the heartache and unbelief that the disciples must have felt at that time, to think that anyone of them could betray their master who they have known, served and loved for over three years.

Even so, it couldn’t stop the disciples from wanting reassurance from Jesus that it wasn’t them.

 

Verse 22: Surely not I lord!

 

There was only two people around the table that knew who the betrayer would be and Jesus gave a clue, whoever dipped his hand with Jesus in the bowl would betray the Lord of Glory.

 

I have heard many who have said that Judas Iscariot would be in heaven with Jesus as he repented by hanging himself. There are pastors who also thin the exact same way.

 

I will tell you today that they are WRONG!

 

The Son of Man is going away just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Matthew 26:24

 

And Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who belonged to the number of the twelve. Luke 22:3

 

 After this, Satan then entered him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you are doing, do it quickly.”

John 13:27

 

Judas Iscariot hung himself out of remorse and guilt, he never once repented of his evil deed, which is the difference between Eternal life in heaven or an eternal separation from God in the fires of hell.

 

Judas said “surely it is not I, Rabbi, Jesus said to him, “you have said it yourself.”

 

Immediately after supper, remembering that this household had servants, Jesus wraps a towel around His waist and in the act of a servant fills the bowl with water and begins washing the disciples’ feet.

 

Jesus came to serve and not to be served and to give His life as a ransom. Jesus has shown to us what we must also do. Let each one of us with a joyful heart be a servant to all. Amen