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// Passover, the Last Supper, and the Garden* ↓↓   ↓

Thursday marks the beginning of Passover as it did the very night that Jesus celebrated His Last Supper. When the Lord instituted the Eucharist, His redemption process came into being in a more complete way; continuing in the garden, and to the cross. Actually, it really started in the Old Testament, with prophecies given by God, since the beginning, when it was decided there would be “a way out” from what Adam had done.

Jesus compared His body to manna (John 6:32, 6:58) and stated that He would provide the “Bread of Life” (John 6:33, John 6:35). God knew about this sacrifice when the Passover first started and the blood of a lamb was placed on the doorposts back in Egypt. Unleavened bread became a part of the meal, and continues today. Leavening is forbidden as it represents decay; the Isrealites had used old bread which turned into yeast for the “new” bread, and God forbade this process during the subsequent Passover celebration. God had actually foreshadowed the time when Jesus would change Passover into a New Testament.

That night, Jesus likely broke, wrapped, and then set aside a piece of matzah*, saving it until the end of supper, as is done in the traditional Passover meal. This last piece of unleavened bread is called the Afikomen, and was probably the same piece that the Lord named His Body; thus (once again) proclaiming Himself the Messiah.

Jesus and His disciples later went into the garden (Gethsemane) to pray. Unfortunately, His beloved disciples could not remain awake, probably because they had traveled such a long journey and eaten well into the night, consuming four cups of wine during the traditional Passover meal. During His time of prayer, Jesus continued the process of “undoing” what Adam had done in the original garden. The very depth of sin and grief caused Jesus more than can be summarized in words. Our Lord felt the weight of the sins of the world, not only while bearing His cross, but even now, here in the garden, where He struggled with all of humanity throughout all the ages, summarized in His own flesh, and the agony therein. Jesus sweat blood, not out of fear; for the very Son of God did not fear death. He did not fear the suffering and pain He would endure physically; He agonized over much, much more.

It is no wonder that the loss of mankind’s walk with God, the closing of the gates of heaven, the appearance of death, the very knowledge of evil, the sin of disobedience, the fall of humanity - all came upon the Lord in that garden, causing Him to proclaim: “ My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38).

Jesus turned His focus to God: “Thy will be done...” was repeated as He prayed - just as He had taught others to pray. Let us emulate him in our prayers, as best we can: “Thy will be done”. Oh, Lord, help us to focus upon You, and to see and recognize what Your Son, Jesus Christ, has done for us. Increase our faith to learn and to trust in Him as He trusted in You. Amen.

*Matzah is unleavened bread that is striped and/or pierced. Jesus was “.....wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). Prior to the Passover meal, matzah is broken and the larger half (called the Afikomen) is wrapped in linen, and hidden away until the meal has ended. Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen, buried, and raised (on the third day). The afikomen symbolically represented the Messiah.


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