Wednesday after sundown is actually the beginning of Thursday on the Jewish calendar, and the day Jesus instructed His disciples to go ready the room for the Passover meal in the city. The events of what took place in this one scenario are nothing short of amazing so check this out!!!
Luke 22:7-13; “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the good man of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover.”
Okay put yourself in either Peter’s or John’s shoes. Imagine this happening to you and you’ve already had the experience of going into the village to get the donkey. Now you go into Jerusalem and the guy with the water pitcher is there and he shows you the furnished upper room…
When the rest of the day unfolds and you find yourself sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane dozing off do thoughts of what’s already taken place go through your head or are they a long forgotten memory? I don’t point this out as a judgment against the disciples, rather as a reminder for us of what Jesus told them in the Olivet Discourse. Watch. Always be ready.
It is the 14th of Nisan and it’s the day the lambs were sacrificed. At twelve noon the lambs were taken to the altar for all to see its perfection. From 3-5 pm they’d be sacrificed and at the end of the ceremony the family would receive the animal back to take home and prepare for the feast later that evening. It was to be roasted whole with no legs broken.
Exodus 12:6; “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”
With the advent of the Day of Unleavened Bread (Passover) which is what we now call the Last Supper, we’re given one of the two ordinances Jesus gave to us as Christians. Baptism and Communion. As they began eating Jesus told them He was about to give His body for the remission of sin. Their friend Jesus is the Paschal Lamb.
Matthew 26:26-30; “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”
He then revealed that one of them would betray Him –
Mark 14:17-23; “And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. 18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? 20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. 21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 22 ¶ And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.”
At sundown it would become the 15th of Nisan and the beginning of the day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For us it’s still Thursday night.
After singing a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Stop for a moment and ponder upon that scenario. What an honour it would be to sing a hymn with Jesus! Can you just imagine?! It’s said they sang Psalm 138.
“A Psalm of David.
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”
Now the rest of the evening is something I pray that Mormons will read and think upon.
The Lord went to the Garden of Gethsemane, not to atone for sin; rather He went there to pray. He knew what the events of the morning would bring His way and He needed to be prepared. And take notice of what He reiterated from the Olivet Discourse; watch and pray (vs. 38, 41)
Matthew 26:36-46; “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto 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. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”
Notice in the gospel of Luke 22:40-46 that we’re told of His agonizing experience in the Garden – take special note of vs 44;
“And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”
Nowhere in the passage does it say our sins were paid for in His sweat.
Immediately after He prayed He was arrested. But we’re going to stop here for now and tomorrow we’ll go through the trials, the condemnation, the crucifixion – tomorrow is Good Friday. Praise God for His Sovereignty, Praise God for His Son!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18