The City was full of people and our arrangements had gone off silently and without a hitch. Lucky for us. The Pharisees were hot and looking for our Master. How they ever imagined that they could get the better Him, I do not know. Hadn’t they seen all the miracles; heard the wonderful teaching?
Passover meal and the great remembrance of the Exodus. Lounging on the floor, tableside. Accepting the unleavened bread, the lamb, the raisins, the salt, the bitter root, the Cup. It was all customarily solemn. But Jesus was smiling and looking around the table face to face. John was at His side. That seemed fitting after all. There had been times when some of us entered into jealousy. But John really seemed to click with the Master in a unique way. His face suggested that this meal somehow would be different.
Suddenly Jesus raised a portion of the bread, thanked the Lord for His bountiful mercy to all, and broke it. His jaw tightened with the act. His clear-set eyes focused on that staff of life, and He spoke:
“This is my body broken for you. Eat ye of this. Do this in remembrance of me.”
There was a collective gasp around the table. Arms and necks stiffened for a second, and then the loaf was circulated broken and eaten. No other sound. Then it was gone.
Had He not said that He was the Bread of Life? But this was different…dreadfully different.
He did something similar with the wine. His blood of the New Testament He called it. Rich, dark and reflecting back each face from the chalice.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. (Isaiah 52)
The men at the table appear to be in dismay. Jesus is probably mentioning the soon breaking of His body for them (bread). The Gospels often illustrate how they refused to countenance His shameful execution. At the dinner however there was some sort of special anointing for them to really hear. This was His fervent desire for their last meal together (John 13-17). They were astonied (Old Testament word in Isaiah 52)
God the blameless, the untarnished, the selfless -dies for us. What kind of a King? Our minds can’t take it in. It is interesting to go through the Epistles and see use of the word “mystery”.
And there are still mysteries…