Time to Run

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:

‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’

“But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”

Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And they all said likewise. (Mark 14:22-31)

Something borrowed, something old, and something new. Jesus did something new and different with the old familiar patterns of the annual ceremony that celebrated God’s victory over Egypt. He took the normal matzo—a hard, cracker-like bread made without yeast—and said it represented his body. The wine he compared to his blood.

Did the disciples understand what Jesus meant by the changes he introduced into the familiar ritual? Not at the time. Instead, they thought they were about to overthrow the Roman Empire. As God had overcome Egypt, so he’d overcome Rome. When Jesus told them that he would not drink wine again until the day he drank it in the kingdom of God, they thought that Jesus meant that the next time they celebrated Passover, Jesus would be sitting on a throne in Jerusalem.

Peter was not alone in his willingness to die for Jesus. All the disciples believed the same. They had seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. If they died in the coming war of liberation, then so what? Jesus could raise them just as easily. Why did Jesus think they would be scattered? How could Jesus believe that they would deny him?

Jesus knows who we are and what we need, better than we know ourselves.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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