November 7, 2018
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
And so we come to the fateful festival of the Passover. It’s uncanny how everything has proceeded to this particular moment in history. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world comes to celebrate the feast of the Passover lamb. The destroyer of death comes to celebrate the remembrance of death’s temporary reprieve. The blood of the lambs smeared over the door frames of Israel’s homes for the ransom of their children will become the blood of Jesus poured out for the redemption of the children of God.
How could it have worked out so divinely perfect? Exactly.
The week of the death of Jesus holds layer upon layer of revelation. The challenging thing about revelation is that it must be revealed. The week of Jesus passion can be grasped from a historical sense and still not perceived from the sense of revelation. Revelation requires “eyes that see” and “ears that hear.” To perceive divine revelation requires a pliable heart and a humble mind.
It’s just so easy to come to chapter 14 of Mark’s Gospel and be blinded by the mentality that you’ve already been here and done this. We think we know what’s going to happen, and in one sense we do. My hunch is we are barely scratching the surface of the depths of revelation contained in these final days in Jerusalem.
One of the benefits of reading these texts at another point in the calendar year and not in the traditional “Holy Week” setting is we might approach it with a different set of sensibilities. As we head into these final chapters of Mark’s Gospel, let’s together pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to behold and minds to understand like we have never seen and heard and beheld and understood before. To see something is one thing, but to be gifted with insight is another thing entirely. There is a vast difference between looking “at” something and seeing “into” it. Perceiving revelation is about seeing into the nature of ultimate reality. It is the Holy Spirit’s gift to the humble.
We will be well-served to remember Jesus great prayer of reversal as we go forward:
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matthew 11:25.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Lord Jesus, I confess it feels like I’ve been here and done this with you many times before, and yet I know there is so much I have not yet perceived. Gift me with the spirit of wisdom and revelation that I might know more of you and more of myself. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. For the glory of your name, Jesus. Amen.
How about you? Where do you fall on the spectrum between the “wise and learned” or “little children”?
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