Countdown to Capture

Mark 14:13–15 “And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 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?’” And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.”

Observation: The countdown to Jesus’ capture is well under way, although He is the only one fully aware of that fact. For the disciples, this Passover was to be the same as all the others: one of Israel’s great annual festivals celebrating their deliverance from Egyptian captivity generations earlier.

Application: It was on the first Passover night that God’s destroying angel looked for lamb’s blood smeared on the cross pieces of Israeli doors and “passed over” those homes in search of unprotected Egyptian firstborn. Yet now, this year’s Passover with Jesus, in Jerusalem, would be profoundly different, for at the very moment that the High Priest was in the temple sacrificing the Passover lamb, the disciples asked Jesus (Mark 14:12) where He would like to commemorate God’s people having been passed over by death generations earlier. Yet He would eat this Passover knowing full well that He was Himself to be our Passover sacrifice.

The remarkable thing about this passage is that Jesus had fully prepared the answer to the disciple’s question in advance: a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; he will take you into the house; the owner will already have prepared the upper room for our last meal together. Jesus knew in advance the need they would have; the room was furnished and ready; he knew what the conversation with the proprietor would entail.

Is this not profoundly comforting for today? On the very day when the Lamb of God’s own distractions could understandably have been at such fever pitch as to have caused Him to completely forget Passover (“O, is it that day already?”), He knew perfectly what their needs for the evening would be, and had made full preparation.

Of course, it is not possible to distract Jesus; no amount of stress, no gathering flood tide of opposition could deter His plan to go to the cross. This was His Passover for you and me; this time it would be His own blood spattered upon the cross, enabling me as a spiritual Jew to escape the coming destruction. See how He cares about me? Psalm 139 says that His thoughts about me are more than could be counted; as the world spins wildly out of control, He has gone ahead to prepare a place of safety, and it is in Him. What wonderful reassurance!

Prayer: O Lord, Your sacrifice is overwhelming. I cannot conceive such love, but I gladly receive it, and I thank You.

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