“The chief priests and the scribes” not only rejected Jesus as the Messiah, but they were “seeking how to put Him to death.” We are told that “Satan entered into Judas” and their plan began to come together, since Judas agreed to betray Him away from the crowd.”
The death of Christ would take place at the time of the Passover shortly after Jesus instituted the New Covenant meal that the church still celebrates today. Jesus, who “earnestly desired” to mark the transition to a new era with the sacramental use of bread and the cup, solemnly instructed the apostles, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Simon Peter and the others were still discussing among themselves who should be regarded as “the greatest.” Jesus gave them the answer as all reclined at the table: “I am among you as the One who serves.” They would all be scattered in accord with the Scriptures of the Old Testament prophets. Peter would deny his Master and weep bitter tears, but Jesus would come to His place of preeminence through the gift of His body and His blood.
There was nothing easy about the path that our King was determined to follow. His own prayer as He knelt before the Father said it best: “If You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Almost immediately the moment of “the power of darkness” was upon them as Judas came to do his part. Jesus would suffer cruel indignities from rough men. When daylight came, the leaders of the Jews “led Him away to their council.” He testified that He was the “Son of Man” written of in Daniel 7:13-14, and that they would see Him “seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all questioned Him, “Are You the Son of God, then?” By their own words they had uttered a profound truth. Jesus’ simple reply as the I-AM of eternity echoes down through the centuries: “You say that I am.” He is the Suffering Servant of Jehovah and God with us.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Almighty Sovereign, Jesus is our Passover. His sacrifice as the Lamb of God was through the hands of wicked men, but also according to Your express purpose and plan. He instituted the sacrament of communion for our good. Help us to earnestly desire this meal, as our Messiah longed to initiate this ordinance for our remembrance of Him. He has brought about a new covenant by His death and resurrection. He performed the greatest service for Your church that could ever be accomplished, for He gave His life for us. Surely our salvation is dependent on Your strength and not on our own power. He was numbered with the transgressors and atoned for our sins. When our Savior offered up loud supplications and tears to You, He was heard. You will not abandon the faithful that He bought with His blood. Preserve us during our times of deepest darkness, that we might walk by the light of the cross. We will not utterly fall, for You will be with us in all our trials.