Jesus Passover and Passion

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INTRODUCTION

Today in a empty Vatican, Mt 26,14- 27 ,66. in Italian is read. I wont dedicate this post to the whole reading as it is very long.

I normally focus on the kerygma of Jesus. but this time my focus is on what he told the disciples to do before the passover and a few more passages I wrote about in previous posts.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 26,14- 27 ,66

Passover and Passion

26:2 Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
26:18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’”

they prepared the Passover.

at the table with the twelve disciples.

26:21 As they were eating, he said, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.”
26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?”
26:23 He answered, “He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me.
26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You said it.”
26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,
26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

to the Mount of Olives.

26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into gethGalilee.”
26:33 But Peter answered him, “Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”
26:34 Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
26:35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” All of the disciples also said likewise.
26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.”
26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?
26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit in deed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”
26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.
26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
26:46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

Judas, one of the twelve, came,

26:50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came an  laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
26:51Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
26:53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”

26:61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’”

26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”

as the Lord commanded me.”
27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “So you say.”
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The message

About passover

Passover starts  this year at sundown on Wednesday, April 8  “What is often called Passover today has its origins in two ancient observances. Nissan 14 was the Passover (Pesach) as mentioned in the Torah” but the Catholic church always moves it to the weekend before. ( read more in www.almanac.com 

Jesus actually eats a passover meal before he dies,
in John’s gospel he doesn’t. In Matthew, Jesus actually eats a passover meal before he dies. But Matthew makes Jesus be very vague in his instruction to the disciples. We read:

26:18 He said,Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’

How could the disciples find the right person in a big city like Jerusalem, with such a instruction?

The author of Matthew who must have read Mark, probably did not believe in the detailed instruction that Mark shares in his Gospel.

Mark 14:12-15 let Jesus be much more detailed:

Mark 14:12-15:
14:12 On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and 
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. Get ready for us there.”

 Luke accepted Marks version and almost copies it:

 Luke 22:10-12
“Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters.
22:11 Tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’
22:12 He will show you a large, furnished upper room. Make preparations there.”

David Instone-Brewer is a research fellow at Tyndale House, a research library in biblical studies located in Cambridge, England.

According to Instone-Brewer “The Synoptics say that the Last Supper was on “the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover” (Mk. 14:11// Mt. 26:17; Lk. 22:7). The term “first day of unleavened bread” would normally refer to the 15th Nisan, which was the first day on which unleavened bread was not permitted in the house, but it can also refer to the 14th when the unleavened bread was removed from the houses.”  Read more here here

I do not find the date issue so important.

I thought that John did not tell about Jesus Passover as he somehow like Matthew, did not believe in the words shared by Mark and Luke. but I found another explanation in the article

“The Gospel of John –
Embedded in the so called “spiritual gospel” is an architectural hostility toward Judaism.” 

The article in  www.pbs.org  concludes saying that:
“John’s gospel is witness to a Christianity that’s moving farther and father away from Jewish tradition. And in fact it’s seeing Jewish tradition often as actually hostile to the Christian movement.” Read more in  www.pbs.org:

I presume that Mark and Luke are correct about what Jesus said to the disciples.

But in that case, how could Jesus foresee what was going on in Jerusalem? I have talked before about entanglement.

I am quite convinced that Jesus maybe like many prophets were entangled with God. Jesus saw what God could see was going on in Jerusalem.

This is my body and blood

26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,
26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it a new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

This part had led me to believe that the Universe is the body or incarnation of God. I wrote about this 2019 in a separate post.

26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”

this lead to a funny part of the Gospel when Jesus appear suddenly with the disciples who did not recognize him. Read more in this post

6:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.”

Gethsemane, garden across the Kidron Valley on the Mount of Olives (Hebrew Har ha-Zetim), a mile-long ridge paralleling the eastern part of Jerusalem, where Jesus is said to have prayed on the night of his arrest before his Crucifixion. (Source: www.britannica.com )

So they left Jerusalem.

26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”

So who was near him hearing Jesus. Like with the story of the desert, i wonder if Jesus really said this or jesus told his disciples what he asked God for. as…

26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping,

26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit in deed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

This is a important kerygma. Watch that you do not enter in temptation. Like moder Suor Mirella said in “Voci dal silenzio”. “We must watch our thoughts.”

26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”
26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.

Again and for the same reason, I am critical to the autenticity of these words as we read 26.43.

26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Without any time in between….

26:46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
26:50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came an laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

This is remarkable. He says to Jude “Friend”. he loves the enemy like he teached. But the question is rethoric as he knows  why.

26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
26:53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”

The question is “Can we ask our father to send legions of angels” to protect ourselves from sick leaders like Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and similar?
This is not  message of peace “Asking our father for revenge”  but these words have not been useful for the Church, so I presume these words were really Jesus words.

Jesus is taken to Caiaphas

Jesus is not a bragger

26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”

Jesus was not the kind of man who bragged like this. And who has been able to write down Jesus answers. Did Peter who was outside the court, allowed to hear this? I do not believe Jesus said this. Jesus did not need to brag. As Jesus later said ” So you say”: 

27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “So you say.” and he preferred to be silent (27;14) or if he could go away as he did from the mount Kedumim in Nazareth. Luke 4.29

I talked about “Jesus is not a bragger” in a previous post.

About Peters denial 26:69-26:75

Jesus up to Pontius Pilate 27:2-31

27:13 Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?”

27:14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

A cross?

27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross.

As you can read in greek he helped to carry the stauron.  A cross is to heavy to carry for a man. The romans had the condemned nailed to the patibulum, the horizontal beam and then they hanged up the patibulum on the stake that was alreadt fixed in a deep hole. Read more in my previous post about crucifiction.

 

The crucifiction  27:33-47

27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, limaa sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

I dont believe in this translation. God is not a human that needs to forsake or abandon. Read more in my previous post about this.

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conclusion

The Passover and Passion  story is really a horrible and depressing story. I personally prefer to read what happened after his passion.

But there are a few things/pearls to learn and understand in this story. I tried my best to share my thoughts about these pearls. You may share others with me if you want by writing a comment below.


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