Friday 17 January 2014

Mark 14:1-26 - A final meal

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It's good to eat together. Something about the act of sharing food brings us closer to one another, so this final meal with his twelve closest followers must have been a poignant and very special occasion for Jesus. For the disciples it may have seemed no more than just another Passover meal, although they surely sensed from the Master that this was somehow a special and unusual event.

Mark 14:1-26 records the occasion for us. But Mark first explains how two days before this meal, the religious leaders were planning to kill Jesus and how a woman had anointed him with precious perfume. And it's clear from his reply to some who criticised her that he knew he was about to die. He wasn't executed accidentally; he didn't miscalculate; he knew what was coming and when.

There is so much here of deep significance. Even the man carrying the water seems to have meaning; Jesus is the One carrying an inexhaustible supply of living water.

In the evening, as they ate together, Jesus told the disciples plainly that one of their number would betray him. They were saddened and perhaps nervous about this. Everyone wanted to be reassured that he didn't mean them.

The symbolism of the broken bread and poured-out wine is well known to all of us. Here it represents something that was about to happen whereas now it is all about remembering. And notice that the last thing they did was sing a song of praise.

What can we learn about Jesus here? What does this passage tell us about his love, his determination, his obedience to the Father and his care for his friends [Tweet it!]. See how he goes about laying down his life. Seeing him as he appears in these verses, how can we fail to love him, to trust him, to follow him? He has always been the Lord and Master of the universe. Soon he will be the crucified Lord, and then the risen Lord. Death will take him but cannot hold him.

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