Passover to Pentecost – Lord of the Sabbath

Lord of the Sabbath

In Matthew 12:8, Mark 2: 28, and Luke 6:5 is the story of the disciples harvesting and eating grain on the Sabbath.  Jesus’ replied to those complaining, “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.”  Then not much more is said about this passage/idea. In John’s story of the crucifixion that statement is made very clear!

John’s Gospel has the most references to Passover, especially the three that Jesus spent with His disciples, but the last one, John 12 -20, will be our focus for this blog.

  • John 12: 1 timestamps the action as “six days before Passover.” This is when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet.
  • John 13: 1 is “just before Passover” and it would have been the Thursday of that week.Jesus sends Peter and John off to prepare for the eating of the Passover meal.  But Thursday is before what the Jews would call the “Day of Preparation”, when they would kill the Lamb and paint the doorframe.
  • John 18: 28 is early on Friday morning the “Day of Preparation” and the Jews are trying to stay “Clean” so they can eat the Passover.
  • John 19: 14, 31, and 42 again mentions the “Day of Preparation.” Christians now call this Good Friday.  This is when the Jews would have killed the lambs and is when Jesus died.
  • John 20: 1 is “early on the first day of the week.” Christians call this Easter!

So why does this make Jesus Lord of the Sabbath?  Is our communion really the same as the Passover sharing of wine and bread?  Is Easter and Passover the same thing?

I will answer these questions this way: Jesus and the disciples broke tradition and ate the “Passover Meal” and shared communion twenty-four hours to soon. So even though these things happen around Passover they did not happen ON Passover!  Jesus did something new but He had to so that He could fulfill the requirementsof Passover.  It is probable that He died just as the lambs were being killed in the Temple for the Passover meal.

I see this as Jesus doing what had to be done to fulfill all things of the Law!  I am not sure that for us it should cause a major change in traditions, but it does show that Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath and all of our holidays.

SECOND THOUGHT – Did the disciples understand what was happening when they ate early?  If they did were they questioning Jesus as to why?

pic : http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1395312061/Communion Clipart/Communion005.jpg

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Jesus Eagerly Desired

Luke 22:15 is the only Gospel account that records the statement, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”(NIV)  Luke, the only Gospel writer, who was not present for this meal gives us some very important details, like which disciples went and found the room (Peter and John) and comments of the sharing of the communion. (If all of the accounts had been exactly the same that would be a problem but variations would point that they are remembering it as they saw it/ were told about it.)

Communion005This was not the first Passover meal He had had with them but He included before “I suffer.”  I feel the disciples thought that the suffering, betraying, and death were in the distance future instead of that evening and the next day.  This few hours were very important for them and the direction Jesus wanted them to go.  If you put all of the accounts together it forms a serious block of teaching and Christian doctrine.  (Please note that Judas was allowed to stay through the foot washing and communion; I feel it sealed the guilt that would over take him the next day.)  Five chapters in the Book of John are centered on this meal and they contain marvelous prayers and teaching.

Jesus knew what He was about to face in the coming hours but the meal and what it represented was that important.  He “eagerly desired” the company of His friends and those few moments of fellowship when they would truly realize that He had come from God.  This love and joy on His part is in spite of the fact that they were about to leave Him alone to religious hatred and Roman cruelty.

See Holy Week – Thursday

Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22: 7- 65, John 13:1 -18:27

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