05 April 2012
Diary of a Disciple: Day 1004
Again we awoke with no idea what was about to happen? It was the day of Passover. Me and a few of the others thought we would take the initiative, so we asked Yeshua where he would like us to prepare the Passover? He singled out Peter and John for the task.
I was more than mildly annoyed – hadn’t I done a decent job with the colt? Back down the pecking order. I hope they stuff it up. I was really disappointed at not having the honour of slitting the throat of the lamb and watch the priest scatter the blood at the base of the altar.
Anyway, he sent them into Jerusalem where they would be met by a man with a water jar whom they were to follow. He would lead them to a home and a guest room – that is the place we are to prepare. Must have some wealth to house us all, whoever it is. Perhaps one of our friends in the Sanhedrin, like Nicodemus or Joseph. Just as with the donkey colt, I am not sure whether it was a set-up or some prophetic moment? Feels like a set-up this one. So Peter and John took some of the women with them (men don’t cook the Passover) and left to get things ready.
We mooched for the day, and followed later and arrived at the home. Everything was ready. I wasn’t expecting what happened next. Yeshua rose, took off his robe, still full of the fragrance of the perfume poured on it the previous night. He took a towel, poured water in a basin and called us forward to wash our feet – all of us, women and men. We were stunned; this is the work of a slave. Peter alone had the courage to put up resistance – no way are you washing my feet Lord! Yeshua put him in his place, and he complied, as did the rest of us. Jesus then told us that we were to do the same for others.
We then reclined to eat. Jesus told us again the great story of the Exodus when God had redeemed our people from Egypt. No-one tells it like Jesus! It was as if he were there! I love Passover, it always gives me hope. What better time to prepare for the redemption of Israel from Rome – hope began to rise in me again. Perhaps he was waiting for this? Genius!
As we ate the tasty lamb and bread, Yeshua spoke. “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me – one who is eating with me.” After a second of stunned silence I burst out, “not me Lord, never!” All the others in unison joined in. We were shocked! Another parable? We looked at each other suspiciously – surely none of these blood brothers would do such a thing?
Things settled. He took up the cup, and said, “this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.” He went on,” I will never drink of the fruit of the vine until I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God. Again I was confused? I understood the idea of a covenant, blood and sacrifice. But “my blood?” What covenant? I sensed deep confusion in the room. It was certainly not like any Passover I had taken – seemed that it was pointing forward to something I couldn’t quite grasp. The power of the wine then muddied my thinking – I am sure he knows what he is doing.
As is usual we sang from the Psalms, Pss 115–118 – in fact the same song sung as Jesus entered Jerusalem, and the one he quoted to the Pharisees in the story of the Tenants. This Psalm seems very important this week. The refrains “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,” “his love endures forever,” and “hosanna” resounded forth! We left to the Mount of Olives. I noticed that Judas was gone. He really has been acting strangely. I am sure he will rejoin us.
We settled in a grove, weary from the meal and wine. Yeshua spoke. He spoke of the scattering of sheep, of getting our bags and weirdly of taking a sword, and of going again to Galilee. I was lost with all but the mention of a sword – yes, we will need it for the Romans!
Then he turned to Peter and out of the blue said something about Satan choosing him to test and that Peter would deny him. Peter and Satan again! I was horrified! Was he accusing Peter of betrayal? Is he the one? Or is this something different? Surely not Peter!
As you can imagine, Peter was shocked – “no way will I betray you,” he cried, “even if the rest do! “
I don’t blame him. The truth is I took that personally – as if I would ever betray the Messiah! I wondered if Peter is a betrayer?
Yeshua fixed his penetrating eyes on Peter, and told him that before the rooster crows to raise the dawn, he will disown him three times. Peter kept protesting his innocence; as did we all! The truth is, we had no idea what was going on? We were about to find out.
We went onto the garden of Gethsemane, the valley of oil. We were tired. Jesus told us to wait, and left us with Peter, James and John. As I like to do on such occasions, I followed at a distance, to see what would happen. He told the three to watch and pray and he went deeper into the grove. He fell to the floor, tears streaming from his face like blood, in horrific anguish. I have never ever seen him like this – I was moved. He cried, “Abba, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
I felt a growing sense of excitement! This is it! The cup – yes, I remember him speaking to James and John about the cup of suffering – the war! It is about to begin! Tomorrow! Of course, after the Passover – a new Passover, a new covenant! Glorious! The blood of the Romans will be the sacrifice for the new covenant. Blood would be shed tomorrow! That is why he is so full of concern!
Yet something troubled me about his words, they didn’t quite fit what I was thinking, but I shook it off. No, that must be what it means. I shrunk back, lay down to rest, and slightly inebriated, was soon asleep – dreaming of the liberation that was about to begin! Was I ready? I would soon find out!
The next thing I knew, all hell broke loose. At first I thought it was on! But no, there was Judas with a crowd of hooligans armed with swords and clubs. Yeshua faced him, the other ten disciples were gathering behind him, waking from their slumber. It’s not Peter, it’s Judas! Not him, we are great mates! Everything was a blur. Judas greeted Yeshua with a kiss of greeting. They exchanged words. The men grabbed Yeshua. Peter proved he is no betrayer or denier and swung his sword at one of them slicing off an ear. I was about to wade in but Jesus cried, “no more of this!” He reached out, touched the ear of the man and healed him! He said something about not leading a rebellion – I thought, “Really? I thought you were.” He said something about arresting him in the temple. He put up no resistance. We were in disarray, confused and scared. I saw some of the crowd move to grab us. I saw others begin to run, clothes flying. Then I ran myself, fled with all my being. What the hell is going on?