1 After 2 days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
Messiah as a physical man was susceptible to the pleasure to be derived from the application of the luxurious ointment.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
"Given to the poor!" This is always a handy plea, but look at its injustice -- Judas on the side of the poor and Christ not! This was the insinuation.
If Christ was the subject of such a reflection, why need his brethren be over-grieved if it be turned on them -- and by the very same class? Men of God sympathise with the poor and help them as they can. But there come times when something else has a call for attention. And then the Judases, who never at other times concern themselves about the poor, except at other people's expense, are liable to step forward and grumble about "the poor" being neglected.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 48
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
There is ample field for every liberal soul who may conceive liberal things in the service of God. By liberal things he shall stand. There are not many to whom liberality occurs in this direction. But the celestial phenomenon is not absolutely unknown. Surprising instances are permitted to break the monotony of carnal stagnation, which even Paul lamented when he said,
"All seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ's".
The rule has not been cancelled which he formulated thus:
"He that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully, and he that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly."
A man seems a fool who spends on God. Final developments will show a light on this subject that all men will be able to see.
Law of Moses Ch 25
12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
The law did not require the passover to be killed on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan; but "between the evenings" of that day. The lamb was to be put up on the 10th day, and to be kept up
"until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it bain hāărbāim), between the evenings."-Exod. 12:6.
The feast was also to be kept between the evenings.
"Let the children of Israel keep the passover at his appointed season. On the 14th day of this month between the evenings ye shall keep it in his appointed season, &c."-Numb. 9:2, 3.
These evenings would be what we term Thursday and Friday evenings, between which was the fourteenth day of the month.
We have no doubt but Jesus did really eat the passover with his disciples. This appears from his sending Peter and John, saying,
"Go, and prepare us the passover, that we may eat."
Afterwards, being seated at the table, he said,
"I have heartily desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more (that is, after this eating) eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
According to Mark, the disciples said,
"Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?"
In reply he said, go to a certain place and say,
"The master saith, where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?" Having made ready, "In the evening he cometh with the twelve, and as they sat and did eat, Jesus said," &c.
But, Jesus and "the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel," doubtless, did not eat it at the same hour. Mark says, the passover was killed on the first day of unleavened bread; and this day began at even. Jesus and his companions ate the passover at the first evening; the Jews at the second, the intermediate day being their "preparation." Jesus was apprehended after eating at the first evening.
During that night he was arrested, and taken before the High Priest, and upon false testimony judged worthy of death. On what we call Friday morning, they held a council, which sent him bound to Pilate. Having confessed to him that he was the King of the Jews, he was therefore condemned to be executed for treason against Tiberius Cæsar.
Sentence being passed, they crucified him at 9 A. M.-"the third hour." At 12 M., "the sixth hour, " darkness overspread the land, and continued for three hours, or "till the ninth hour," or 3 P. M.; when the veil of the temple was rent, and the body of Jesus broken. And now when the second even was come,
"because it was the preparation, that is the day before the sabbath,"
the body was taken down, for it was not lawful for it to remain there all night; as it is written,
"If a man be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day (for he that is hanged is the curse of God); that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."-Deut. 21:21.
"And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Thus the Bible reckons.
From Thursday evening to Friday evening was the first day; from Friday evening to Saturday evening was the second day; and from Saturday evening to Sunday evening was the third entire day. The Jews reckoned this as three days.
Jesus rose very early in the morning of the Day 3. as typified in Jonah. If the law had confined the eating of the passover to the second evening of the 14th, Jesus would not have eaten; but as it was to be eaten between two evenings, Jesus could both eat the passover, and be slain as such.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1856
16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
CHRIST OUR PASSOVER
WHEN Jesus instituted the memorial supper which we have met this morning to observe, he was surrounded by his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem, where he had met them by appointment to keep the feast of the passover.
That feast was part of the Mosaic appointments. The meeting was on the basis of the law of Moses; for Jesus and the disciples were all Jews, born and bred under that law, which had been in force 1,400 years.
It was the last time they met together on that foundation, but not the last time they will eat the passover together, for he said:
"With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
The feast had been observed on countless previous occasions, and with an ostentation not to be found in that upper room among those quiet thirteen men; but never had there been such a momentous celebration of it.
The whole law, of which the passover was a part, was converging for its finish in the one sorrowful man who was the centre of that group.
"Christ our passover, sacrificed for us,"
was about to absorb in himself the significance of all that Israel had observed for ages in obedience to the law of Moses, and therefore of the passover which he was now about to eat for the last time as a mortal son of Abraham.
The memorial supper
22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
We do not find, as we might expect, that this habit of meeting every Sunday morning to break bread in remembrance of Christ, loses its interest from repetition. On the contrary, the meetings grow more powerful to help us in the direction in which they are intended to draw and develop the mind.
This is due to the nature of the matters to which they stand related. Any other subject than the subject of Christ, would become threadbare and insipid from continual treatment. The subject of Christ becomes larger, deeper to the view, and stronger in its power to interest and control the mind; that is, where the mind is unreservedly surrendered.
...Christ and his friends were a very small and despised company, even in the days of Jewish sacerdotal splendour, not to speak of Rome's imperial grandeur, and the world is not more divine now than it was then.
If we find ourselves with very few, and those the poor, the illiterate and the despised, let us remember that this was the situation of the friends of God ages before we were born.
Do this in remembrance of me
Designed for a purpose, it serves its purpose admirably. It brings him before us in the hour of his, humiliation, and introduces to notice the day of his glory. It connects the two in one act. It reminds us of what he accomplished in the days of his weakness as the foundation of the day of his glory.
A guileless partaker of our common mortality in Adam, we see him herein offered in harmony with the working of an immutable Creator, that in raising him, the Father might provide us one in whom His law has been vindicated, that through him His grace might advance without the compromise of His justice. Perceiving this, we can unite in the adoration of the Designer of this arrangement of love.
We ascribe glory to Him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb. This table of the Lord gives us a standing ground for the scriptural contemplation of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that shall follow.
They help us to realize our entire dependence on him for all our hope of goodness in the ages to come; they help us to feel our position as his servants, his disciples, his brethren; they stir up, from first day to first day, our anxiety to be diligent to make our calling and election sure, by the doing of those things which he has commanded, obedience to which will alone command his favour in that day.
To forsake the assembly of ourselves altogether, after the manner of some, is a species of wilful sinning which will cut us off from beneficial relation to that one sacrifice of sins, which was made by and in the Root and Offspring of David.
It is a disobedience of one of the leading commandments, left by the Lord for the observance of his disciples, during his absence. The assembly of the saints at the table of the Lord, is one of the sweet resting-places provided by the Lord of the highway, for his weary pilgrims in their journey through this evil world.
25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
My table in my kingdom
The literal eating and drinking by itself would be a poor affair to make the subject of promise; but as taking with it the sharing of his friendship, the participation of his glory, the enjoyment of his love and fellowship, the inheritance of his throne, and his glorious immortal nature, it becomes a very great and precious promise indeed without abating a jot of its literalness....
Some ... may reason that if Christ is glorious and real and immortal, the act of eating seems the more incongruous because it has to do with the sustaining of life, and is associated with the phenomenon of corruption.
They may ask, what need for an immortal to eat? What place in an incorruptible body for a process involving chemical decomposition? There is an answer. First, we must not govern possibility by our experience. The works of God are without measure, and without limit in their diversity. It does not follow that because we depend upon eating for living that therefore the act of eating has no higher function in higher organizations.
It does not follow that because eating is associated with corruption in our experience, that therefore corruption is a corollary of eating in whatever nature of body that act takes place. Even our present observations of nature would forbid narrow conclusions on the subject. We see even now that the power of chemically absorbing the elements of food is in proportion to the electrical and functional vigour of the constitution.
An enfeebled organization will scarcely take half the nutriment out of food, while a powerful organization will absorb it pretty completely, and reject but a small residuum.
Is it impossible to conceive of an absolutely complete absorption? It is evident that there is an ascending scale of power in this respect in even the animal organization of present experience; and by analogy, it is a matter of irresistible conclusion that in the spiritual body which is powerful (1 Cor. 15:43), this power exists in perfection, and can assimilate food to the last grain of substance without a remnant for corruption.
We must remember that all substance is spirit at the root; for out of God all things have come, and in Him they subsist. What we call matter is His energy made concrete in limited forms and conditions according to His wisdom.
Consequently, a spiritual body will presumably possess the functional capacity of reducing all substance to its first element, spirit, and assimilating food to its own spirit nature, possessed by the eater. This excludes the very idea of corruption, and at the same time, it preserves to us the act of eating without the association of corruption which belongs to present experience.
Eating in the spiritual nature will therefore be not merely a possibility, but probably a source of delight of which dull animal organisms know little: for the act of converting food, not into blood but into spirit itself will probably yield a sensation of pleasure as far surpassing the gratification of the animal palate as the spiritual body exceeds the animal body in life, glory and power.
Such a view of the case enables us to realise the act of eating and drinking in the spirit state as the occasion of much spiritual joy and friendship among those who partake together. Even now the act of eating together is the highest act of fellowship, and the occasion of the most refined enjoyment of which the human mind is capable, all other things being equal.
How much more must this be the case when weakness is eliminated, and when therefore there will be an absence of the many drawbacks to social enjoyment arising in the present state from feebleness in every function.
27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
'For it is written'
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. Zech 13: 7
"Stumbled." is the idea -- confounded -- perplexed. Their minds were fixed on him in his kingly capacity. Something was about to happen for which they were totally unprepared, though he had sought to prepare them.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 53
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Any sin is sin
Any conscious, deliberate sin, even the most trivial is a complete break in our lifeline of love that unites us to God.
The depth of sin is no direct measure of the heart, or of a man's relative wickedness. A small, mean sin, done consciously and deliberately, and brushed off with a belittling of its seriousness, and excuses, and self-justification, when pointed out, can reveal a far more sordid and poverty-stricken state of heart than a great failure-stumbled into, or committed under pressure-that is sincerely and bitterly and openly repented of.
We cannot judge degrees of guilt, or magnitude of sin. We do not know how severely God is testing a man, or what great work God is preparing him for.
We can, and must, determine between factual right and wrong, and we must follow the scripturally required course in relation to it. But we cannot judge, we cannot condemn, we cannot discern motives or relative degrees of guilt. That is God's prerogative.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.7.
72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
It may seem strange that Peter the impulsive, the weak, and (by the Lord's denial) the dishonoured, should have been afterwards chosen as the Spirit's mouthpiece on the Day of Pentecost, and employed in the specially honourable office of holder and user of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, in opening the doors thereof officially and finally for Jew and Gentile, first for the Jews on the Day of Pentecost, and afterwards for the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius.
...Peter, the humbled... He would always remember the shame of having publicly denied the Lord. He would always feel like Paul, after him, that he was not worthy to be called an apostle. He was therefore qualified to fill the highest station in the ministration of the Spirit without being lifted up, for which his undoubted affectionate loyalty fitted him on another side of his character.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 52