Great concern and fear spread through the heavenly host when Jesus said to his disciples. “In two days it will be the Passover and the Son of man will be handed over to be crucified.”
They remembered with a mixture of joy and sadness the first Passover when so many young Egyptians were killed because their fathers had oppressed the Israelites. The Israelite homes were spared by the angel of death because angels had been sent to warn them to paint the blood of their passover lamb on the lintels of their doors.
Then they thought back over the whole testing time in the desert and how they had joined in the commemoration of the Passover on so many occasions through the centuries.
They recognised too that this occasion would be different. The sacrifice was so much greater, God’s Son himself, having become human was the sacrifice. God so loved the world, and they bowed their heads in awe, overwhelmed by such a love.
They observed the plot to betray Jesus and stood by in silent adoration as the Passover meal was eaten and the new Covenant was instituted. They honoured Jesus as the eternal High Priest, and the apostles who would be the new priests. They were close to Jesus when he went to the garden of Gethsemane and held him up in love and understanding as he sweated blood in his agony, and so they watched as he prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering away from me! But not my will but yours be done.”
There was even a tiny moment of excitement when Judas kissed his master and Jesus’ followers in a passion of anguish tried to defend him and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest.
But Jesus stepped in saying “Do you think I cannot ask my Father to send twelve legions of angels to defend me?” “Oh Son of God, we are here in your defence, use us, let us save you from this passion.” But no. The plan must be fulfilled.
Read, reflect, share, pray. Read the accounts in one or all the gospels. Have you held a Family Lenten Prayer Meal, and Family Reconciliation service? check out http://www.marfam.org.za/family-prayer-meal