Lesson 77

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:13 He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, "Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, 14:14 and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' 14:15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make ready for us there."

14:16 His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.  

Today's Lesson

Jesus had come to Jerusalem to partake of the Jewish Feast of the Passover. They had arrived in the city in advance of the Feast and Jesus had spent the time teaching in the temple. He had infuriated the chief priests and scribes. They had tried to question Him about the authority by which He performed miracles and taught. Jesus had refused to answer their questions and at every turn He had confounded their examinations. Finally they decided that He must be taken and executed before the Feast in order to avoid a riot during the delicate time of Passover.


But before Jesus would be arrested He would share one final meal with His disciples. He sent two of His disciples into the city to prepare a room for the Passover meal. Jesus gives them some peculiar instructions on how they should find this room. It is unclear whether Jesus had arranged to eat Passover in this room prior to sending the disciples or if God miraculously put together all of these arrangements. Many people believe that this upper room is the same room that was used by the disciples after the death of Jesus. This would be probable if the owner of the house was a follower of Jesus.


In any case, regardless of how the room was obtained, the important thing is that sharing the Passover meal with His disciples was a very significant event to Jesus. Not only was it to be the last night that He would have with them, but it was an important night for religious reasons. The Passover was the premier social religious event of the year. It might be said that the Day of Atonement was the single most important day in the Jewish year, but the Passover had more tradition and more opportunities for meaningful interaction between the people.


It was also very important that Jesus share this Passover with His disciples because of the symbolic significance of the relationship between the death of Jesus and the Passover lamb. Early on the church made the connection between the Passover Lamb and Jesus. Jesus was the lamb that God had sent to be the Passover Lamb for His new covenant people. When Moses had prepared to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt, on their last night they had shared the first Passover Feast. Each family sacrificed a lamb and smeared the blood of the lamb along the door. When the Angel of Death had come as the final plague on Egypt, he "passed over" those homes that bore the blood of the Passover Lamb.


There is an interesting study in examining all the traditions of the Passover in the light of the revelation about Jesus. Many of the Jewish traditions of the Feast can be re-interpreted to have a Christian significance. The Passover was a symbol meant to instruct the people. The ultimate reality that was behind that symbol is the person of Jesus Christ. He is the true Passover Lamb. Behold the Lamb who took away the sins of the world!


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