March 24, 2018
Still in the burbs, anticipating the feast days, the disciples ask for a plan to prepare the Passover. As with the colt for the entry, Jesus sends the lads to town, predicting whom they will meet, and what they will say. They set up a Passover meal, in an upper room.
Once they were all eating, Jesus says – ‘one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me’. What a way to wreck a party! Each one denies, but he says it’s one who is dipping bread in the bowl with him, an intimate, one of the 12. It’s universal, and particular – we always fear the stranger and the other, and always risk more closer to home. So for Jesus – who warns it would be better for that one to have never been born.
Here is the institution of the sacrament of communion. In this version, his words are brief over the bread, and long after the cup.
Nothing here about forgiveness – but rather anticipation of resuming this eating and drinking together ‘on the other side’, in God’s world, now colliding with this one.
They sing and head out to Mount of Olives, and Jesus warns them again that they will all fail him, and be deserters, scattering like sheep without a shepherd.
Not only are they thick and stupid all the way through the gospel, now one is a traitor, and the rest are weak runaways. Great role models! At least, we can imagine fitting in to such company, eh?
Jesus promises to go ahead to Galilee after he’s raised. Not before Mark ends!
Peter’s protest is brief – maybe those guys will desert, but not me!
Jesus’ prediction is simple, and Peter objects.
So do the rest of the disciples – who sure enough will prove Jesus right again.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread,
when the Passover lamb is sacrificed,
his disciples said to him,
‘Where do you want us to go
and make the preparations
for you to eat the Passover?’
So he sent two of his disciples,
saying to them,
‘Go into the city,
and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you;
and wherever he enters,
say to the owner of the house,
“The Teacher asks,
Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover
with my disciples?”
He will show you a large room upstairs,
furnished and ready.
Make preparations for us there.’
So the disciples set out
and went to the city,
and found everything as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening,
he came with the twelve.
And when they had taken their places and were eating,
‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me,
one who is eating with me.’
They began to be distressed
and to say to him one after another,
‘Surely, not I?’
He said to them,
‘It is one of the twelve,
one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me.
For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him,
but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!
It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’
While they were eating,
he took a loaf of bread,
and after blessing it
he broke it,
gave it to them,
‘Take; this is my body.’
Then he took a cup,
and after giving thanks
he gave it to them,
and all of them drank from it.
He said to them,
‘This is my blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many.
Truly I tell you,
I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine
until that day when I drink it new
in the kingdom of God.’
When they had sung the hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.
And Jesus said to them,
‘You will all become deserters;
for it is written,
“I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.”
But after I am raised up,
I will go before you to Galilee.’
Peter said to him,
‘Even though all become deserters,
I will not. ’
Jesus said to him,
‘Truly I tell you, this day,
this very night,
before the cock crows twice,
you will deny me three times.’
But he said vehemently,
‘Even though I must die with you,
I will not deny you.’
And all of them said the same.