73 – Preperation for Passover
Where: Temple, Jerusalem, Judea
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On Thursday morning some disciples asked Jesus where they would be eating the Passover meal. Jesus asked Peter and John to oversee the preparation. His instructions were simple. ‘Go to the pool of Siloam [today] and watch for a man to come with a jar and draw water [normally, if a man would draw water he would carry a wineskin rather than a jar]’. This was the signal that Jesus had arranged. This secrecy was important because Jesus wanted to share this Passover meal with his disciples “undisturbed”, yet he wanted to eat it in Jerusalem. Nobody, especially Judas, knew where Jesus and the disciples would be eating the meal, but everyone knew that Jesus would go to the garden afterward.
Peter and John did as instructed. They went to the pool [artist] at the southern tip of the City of David, sat down nearby, and waited.
Sure enough, a man, carrying a jar, did come to draw water. They followed the man across the central valley [model]. to west Jerusalem (called the “upper city” [model]) to a house [model]. They asked him where the room was in which Jesus and the disciples would commemorate Passover. The homeowner showed them a furnished upper room. They then arranged the furniture, the low table and the cushions, on which they would lie while eating.
They cleared the house of all leaven [yeast], which the homeowner took to the temple, before noon, to be burned by the priests. They made sure there were sufficient bitter herbs, spices, haroset [a fruit and nut mix], unleavened bread, and wine. All that remained to be done was the sacrificial lamb.
At the same time that Peter and John were preparing for the Passover meal, Judas was also preparing for the evening. He heard and believed when Jesus said that he would allow himself to be killed. But that made no sense to Judas. Judas was a Zealot and believed, along with the other disciples, that the Messiah, with the power of God at his fingertips, would drive out the Romans and then lead the armies of Israel to world conquest. And he also believed Jesus WAS the Messiah. What he did not understand was why Jesus consistently refused to use the power of God to attack and defeat the Romans. Maybe Jesus just needed to be pushed a bit. Then, when the pressure was on, and Jesus had no choice, Jesus then would use the power of God, call on the armies of angels, and destroy the Romans.
Judas made his choice. Jesus could not be allowed to just quit. Jesus was the Messiah, but seemed hesitant to declare it publicly, form an army, and drive out the Romans. Judas got up, gathered his cloak, and left. There was speculation that he was going on some errand for Jesus, but none of the disciples understood what he was going to do.
Judas, knowing that the leaders were looking for an opportunity to catch Jesus when there was no crowd around, decided to make contact with Joseph Caiphas, son-in-law of Annas [the real power], and “play the part” of a betrayer. Judas went directly to meet with the Chief Priests.
He had to give them a “good” reason for this act of treason. He convinced them that he was greedy, something they could understand, and that a years wages [30 pieces of silver as prophesied by Zechariah], paid in advance, would gain them the opportunity they were waiting for. They could have Jesus NOW. Before he could cause any more trouble, and AWAY from the crowds.
The deal was made. They paid 30 silver shekels and Judas told them that Jesus would be in the garden of Gethsemane tonight after the Passover supper. The leaders stipulated that Judas must lead the arresting guards. Satan, having left Jesus alone since the end of the temptations, would now test Jesus again. Now the Prince of Darkness would lead the forces of darkness against Jesus, The Messiah of God.
At 3 pm there was a three-fold blast of the Ram’s horn from the top of the southwest corner [model] of the Temple complex wall. Now was the time for the Galilee Jews to come to the temple with their lamb and to prepare for their Passover meal. John took the unblemished lamb, put it over his shoulders, and headed for the temple. Then he waited at the Nicanor gate [model] outside the Court of the Priests for his turn to enter.
Once he entered the Temple he found himself packed in tight, shoulder-to-shoulder, back to chest, with other men and their lambs. Eventually it was his turn to present his lamb for sacrifice. He handed it over to a priest who quickly inspected it for blemishes, and then passed it to another priest. The lamb was sacrificed and blood drained into a bowl. The bowl was passed to another priest who poured the blood onto the altar.
The lamb was skinned, being sure not to break a bone, and then the skin was draped over the carcass and returned to John. John carried the lamb back to the house where the homeowner placed some blood on the sides and top of the doorframe. The skin was given to the homeowner as partial payment for use of the room.
Peter and John lit the fire, got the coals hot, put the carcass on a spit, and began to roast it. When Jesus and the rest of the disciples arrived at the house late in the afternoon, the lamb was roasting and everything was ready.
No questions have been asked yet.