Passover, or the feast of the passover was or is observed to remember Israel’s deliverance, and the feast of Unleavened Bread their quick departure from Egypt.
This chapter deals with Passover preparations preparatory events;
- The chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to seize Jesus and kill Him. Recent events and intense debates convinced them Jesus must be killed. They thought the most fitting time would not be during the festival for huge crowds, including many Galileans, would provoke unwanted riots.
- On the other hand Jesus and his disciples are also preparing. Jesus ate in the home of Simon the leper, and while there Mary anoints Jesus with expensive oil. She poured the contents over Jesus’ head. Some disciples led by Judas Iscariot responded with indignation. He believed the perfume had been wasted, but should have been sold and the money given to the poor, a generous deed expected during Passover, but Judas’s real concerns were selfish.
Then "Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Mark 14:6-9.
This rebuke annoyed Judas Iscariot, and he started looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus and he went to the chief priests to betray him to them. And when they heard this, they were glad and promised to give him money.
Preparation of the passover
On "the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?" Mark 14:12.
The Passover lamb had to be eaten in Jerusalem. The disciples asked Jesus where they should make preparations for the meal. Two disciples were sent to Jerusalem and told to look for a man carrying a pitcher of water. The disciples were to follow him to a home and say to the owner: The Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ So they went and were shown a large upper room furnished and readily prepared. They found everything as Jesus said, and "they made ready the passover." Mark 14:16.
"And in the evening he cometh with the twelve." Mark 14:17. "And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me." Mark 14:18.
And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I?
Each disciple said, Surely not I? But the betrayer was one who dipped with Him in the bowl. He chose to make the Pharisees happy and his own camp sorrowful.
It was a treacherous move to eat with someone and then betray him. The Son of Man would accomplish God’s will. Jesus’ death was under God’s providence, planned before creation. But Judas also acted freely as a morally responsible individual. It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. Judas would suffer the consequences of his unbelief.
Anyway, "as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." Mark 14:22-26
He took bread, his own body and sacrificed it, and gave to them, and his own blood, said, Take, eat and drink, he said. It's broken down and poured out for you. I said they were sorrowful, but in the other camp the Pharisees were happy.
Each giving you do is a sacrifice; an act that makes one camp sorrowful but the other happy, and while you do not look forward to a Church service others do.
We’ve all been called to preach, to proclaim or to tell the Good News of the Kingdom of God.