120: Preparing for the Passover
It was Thursday. That evening the Jews would eat the Passover meal. Through that celebration they would remember their deliverance from slavery in Egypt centuries before.
Jesus summoned Peter and John. He said to them, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."
"What place do You have in mind?" they asked.
Judas listened closely. If he knew the place, he could perhaps have Jesus arrested there without anyone knowing what was happening. The people of Jerusalem would be indoors eating the Passover meal!
Jesus knew what Judas was thinking. He would not let Himself be arrested that evening. He wanted to celebrate the Passover with His disciples, undisturbed, for the last time. He made sure Judas would not know in advance where the Passover meal was to be held.
Jesus said to the two disciples, "When you come into the city, you will meet a man carrying a jug of water. Follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, 'The Master wants to know what room He can use to eat the Passover with His disciples.' He will show you a large upper room fully supplied. Get things ready for us to eat the Passover meal there."
Peter and John went away with this amazing set of instructions. Everything worked out just as their Master had said it would. They met the man carrying the jar of water. They talked to the owner in the house he entered, who must have been a friend or admirer of Jesus. He showed them the most beautiful room in his house, a large upper room where they could be alone and undisturbed.
The two disciples went about their work eagerly. They slaughtered the Passover lamb in the temple. The lamb had been selected four days earlier, and it was free from blemishes and broken bones. Then they joined the crowd in the outer court to offer the lamb's fat on the altar of burnt offering. They took the meat with them to be cooked and prepared for the Passover meal.
They also made sure there was hard, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The herbs would remind them of their bitter slavery in Egypt. They placed a sauce in which the bread would be dipped on the table. Finally, they added some red wine with a pleasant scent.
They prepared the couches. They placed a washbasin and a pail of water to wash the feet of the guests by the door.
When all the preparations were completed, they only had to wait for Jesus and the other disciples.