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Passover, Jerusalem, 33 AD: A Drama in Three Acts

Act 1 – Dinner Reservations, The Last Supper

Jesus knows His time as Son of Man on earth is nearing an end. It is time for the Passover. He instructs His disciples to prepare the Passover meal.

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” He told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says; My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.'” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.

When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, He said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be better for that man if he had never been born!” Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him. “You have said it.”

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words – I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:1-30 NLT

Act 2 – The Garden At Gethsemane

After dinner the group head for the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus prays passionately to God, His Father. We witness His humanness and despair.

“And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” And He came and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going, see, my betrayer is at hand.” Mark 14:32-41 ESV

And from Luke. “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:43-44 ESV

Act 3 – The Arrest and Trial

Judas Iscariot arrives with a large contingent of Roman soldiers and temple guards, supplied by the chief priests and elders. Judas greets Jesus with a kiss, the prearranged sign to indicate who is to be arrested. A scuffle breaks out but Jesus squelches the resistance – even healing a high priest’s servant whose ear had been cut off by Simon Peter. Jesus allows Himself to be arrested.

“Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture me? Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”. Mark 14:48-49 HCSB

The scene changes suddenly. Jesus’s disciples run away. Jesus is taken before Caiaphas and other Sanhedrin high priests. Through the night Jesus endures a trial of mocking and lies. He is eventually sentenced by Governor Pilate to death by crucifixion.

To be continued.

#Easter2023, 9/42

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