Matthew chapter 26: "Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread
the disciples came to Jesus to say,
‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’
‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied
‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near.
It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’
The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came, he was at table with the twelve disciples."
As far as Matthew was concerned, Jesus was keeping Passover that night.
It was Passover with a twist.
Now we've reached the other side of Holy Week, it becomes clear just how difficult it was to be a follower of Jesus.
Observant Jew, but radical in His religious practice;
Galilean, so "tarred with the same brush" as others
who proved to be trouble to the Romans.
Thought to be a revolutionary, assumed to be a disturber of the peace,
attractive to "the wrong sort", spokesperson for those on the margins.
Jesus transformed the Jewish Passover into the Eucharist
for those who were willing to follow His radical path.
After the meal, following His agonising watch of prayer in Gethsemane,
Jesus was arrested, judged, found guilty and condemned to die,
held captive overnight.
If I were arrested and held this night, of what would I be found guilty?
That I made friends with people irrespective of their colour, creed or class?
That I shared my bread with the poor? That my words… and actions… brought healing and forgiveness? That I stood-up for justice and didn’t count the cost? That I sought the truth and then spoke of it? That I recognised my neighbour and loved them as my very self? That I accepted hospitality at many different tables? That I listened to others? That the love of those about me taught me to love myself?
Pray: You call us out of brokenness to mend and remake your creation.
Grant us the courage to stay with all those who are held captive this night,
and be a constant presence with those who are restless, in pain, troubled.
In the name of Jesus, who is good news for all.