Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mark 14:12-21 Disciples Prepare for the Passover & Jesus' Betrayer Revealed

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 13 And He sent out 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. 14 “Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 “Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” 16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” 19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?” 20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of 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 never been born.”

The Feast of Unleavened Bread along with the Passover (Lev. 23:4-8; Deut. 16:1-8) which Jesus was about to observe here with His disciples on the Eve of His crucifixion; was first given by God to the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt (See Exodus 12:1-13:16). It was to be kept “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.” Lev. 23:5 Following that was the week long Feast of Unleavened Bread which was one of the three main feasts all Israelites males were required to attend after the giving of the Law by God through Moses (Exodus 23:14-18; 34:18; Lev. 24:4-8; Deut. 16:16-17). Now since the Passover officially took place at midnight the week long feast that followed it could actually begin on either the twenty first or twenty second day of the first month depending on when the Passover Lamb was eaten. And as the name implies no leaven was to be eaten or found in their homes during it (Exodus 12:15). Since its absense was to represent the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt by the hand of God. And thus it was to solemnly commemorate the Lord God of Israel bringing the armies of Israel out of Egypt with haste after they had kept the initial Passover, which preceded God’s judgment, before their exodus from Egypt. (Exodus 12:17, 40-42). Though the Feast of Unleavened Bread is not our focus here, rather the Lord Jesus keeping the Passover with His disciples so we'll try to stay focused on that.

So then returning to the Passover and its significance, it was one of the most important ceremonies for the Jews to keep for several reasons. Not the least of which was that it was initially commanded by the Lord God so that He might “pass over” all the houses of the Israelites in judgment as He struck down on the eve of their exodus all the first born of both man and beast of the Egyptians as His finial plague on Pharaoh and their “gods”. Now in order for God to pass over the Israelite’s as He executed His judgment on the land. He commanded each household to kill a lamb without blemish in its first year then take a bundle of hyssop dip it in the lambs blood caught in a basin and strike the two doorposts and lintel (i.e. the “header” above the door) of their homes. This would symbolize the Lord God striking the Egyptians before delivering the Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 12:21-23). The blood of the lamb then was foundational to the Israelites receiving mercy from the Lord God so that He would pass over their homes when He sent the plague of death on the Egyptians firstborn at midnight (Exodus 12:6-13). Now lest you miss understand what occurred then. The Lord God did not move against Pharaoh and the Egyptians without cause. For it was they who had first killed the Israelite male children in the land in an effort to prevent them from multiplying; and later as they refused to let the Israelites go and serve the Lord God as He commanded and raised up Moses to lead them out of the land of Egypt to do so. God brought a series of plagues against Pharaoh and the people, and the land; yet Pharaoh continued to harden his heart and would not heed the Word of the Lord spoken to him, nor the signs shown him through Moses and Aaron (Please Read Exodus 1-11).
And so God gave the Israelites the Passover lamb and its blood as a means for His passing over the Israelite homes when He brought His finial judgment on the land of Egypt. Now that emphasis of God’s judgment against sin, and His passing over in judgment those guilty of it, through the shedding of sacrificial blood, is what I want you to stay focused on. For ultimately all that the Israelite Passover was to do was point to a day when God would likewise deliver us all who believe from the bondage of sin and death, by His Passover Lamb. This Passover then that Jesus is about to keep with the disciples on the eve of His own crucifixion death is merely a precursor to what He is about to do for us all. For as we will see the Lord Jesus Christ is about to become the Passover Lamb of God whereby through His shed blood on the cross God would have a means for passing over everyone’s sins who believes in Him. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Therefore with the disciple’s inquiry about where they should prepare for the Passover, and Jesus knowing what lies ahead of Him. Jesus gives them some very specific instructions about what will occur as they go to prepare a place for them to eat it (vs. 13-15). The Scripture then says: “So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.” Vs. 16
Notice that though the disciples initially inquired of the Lord of what they must do to prepare a place for Jesus to eat the Passover (vs. 12). The Lord Jesus had already prepared everything for them, and so it unfolded just as Jesus said it would. Now that point I don’t want to be lost on you. For the Lord Jesus Christ has already done everything that needs to be done for your salvation! All you have to do is believe it to enter into it, as the Lord Jesus says: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

So it is as the disciples having done what Jesus commanded, and having found all things prepared for them as He said they would be. They make ready for His arrival. There is a lesson in that as well. For the Lord Jesus said His Second Coming will be something that will catch people unaware. Therefore we should all be prepared for Him as well. For there will be a day when we who trusted in Him will be celebrating the ultimate Supper with the Lamb of God Himself! As the Scripture says: 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” Rev. 19:9 Now returning to the gospel passage at hand, it states that in the evening the Lord Jesus came with the twelve and as they sat and ate Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” Vs. 18
Up until this time Jesus though knowing that Judas had gone out to betray Him, had not yet revealed that to His disciples. Only here on the eve of His crucifixion, during the Passover meal, does Jesus reveal this to them, without fully disclosing that it is Judas. It’s most likely that if the disciples had known it was Judas they would’ve prevented him from doing so. And thus Jesus knowing the Scriptures must be fulfilled only reveals what will allow there fulfillment (Mark 14:49). And so it is as Jesus warns of His betrayal to them that “… they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?” 20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of 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 never been born.” Vs. 19-21 The Lord Jesus ominous warning here though directed solely at Judas Iscariot, for he alone of all the disciples understood the Lord Jesus’ statement at that time as being directed towards him (See John 13:26-30), should not be overlooked by anyone else who would likewise consider betraying the Son of Man. For there is a day when God will judge the world in righteousness through the Man He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (See Acts 17:22-32, vs. 31-32). Therefore it would be amiss of me not to tell you that in all things Christian, in believing in Jesus Christ means more than just an intellectual ascent. It is more than just church membership or baptism. It is first ones unconditional belief or trust in what He has first done to save us by His own work and righteousness. Then it is our learning obedience to God through the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostle's commandments. That is where the Feast of Unleavened Bread which immediately follows the Passover comes in here as a kind of metaphor for the Christian life. For as the name implies there was to be no leaven eaten during it. And interestingly the Apostle Paul in the New Testament uses leaven as a metaphor for evil or sin amongst believers, so like leaven which was not to be found amongst the Israelites during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it too must be purged out of our lives (Consider 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5:9; 1 John 3:1-3). Therefore purge out of your lives the old leaven and let the new life of Jesus Christ by His Spirit fill you instead. For when Jesus Christ returns for His bride the church, or we go to stand before Him to be judged by Him, will He find us prepared and sanctifying our lives, or simply living lives filled with sin?

Now in exhorting this, that is our first trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation, then moving forwards in our pursuits of holiness, righteousness, godliness, faith, love etc. this though is not to become feigned sinlessness (since nobody obtains to perfection in this life) but rather obedience to His Word so that we might not sin. And thus there will be need for our confession when we stumble and sin as well as our accepting God’s grace when we do (1 John 1:8-2:2). For it is only by the Lord Jesus Christ’s righteousness and His intercession on our behalf as both our Savior and our High Priest which keeps us in relationship with God and Himself. 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

If you have come to believe, but have not yet made that most important decision for the Lord Jesus Christ to invite Him into your heart and life to be your Lord and Savior, then please freely do so. Simply pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner and need to be saved by You. I believe in all that You have done to save me from my sins and ultimately the judgment to come. Therefore I now invite you to be my Lord and Savior, trusting You alone for my salvation, in Your Name Lord Jesus, amen.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

No comments:

Post a Comment