At Saint Paul’s, we remember this week by walking with Jesus day by day through the Gospel of Mark. As such, I’ll be reflecting on those daily lessons here at Draughting Theology. Today’s lesson is Mark 14:12-25.
I’m an ISTJ on the Myers Briggs personality scale. I’m a solid Type-A. I love a good plan, I love it even more when that plan is set weeks in advance, and I love it the most when all of the pieces of that plan are finished 15 minutes ahead of schedule. It is no wonder then that I find myself drawn to the pre-planning that Jesus had done ahead of dinner on Thursday night.
With the exception maybe of Judas the CPA (let’s ignore what that says about me), all of Jesus’ disciples are clearly Type-B personalities. We can tell this because Mark says it isn’t until Thursday afternoon that anyone thinks to ask, “Hey, what are we going to do for Passover?” Never mind that they need to find an unblemished lamb to be killed within a few hours, they don’t even have a place to hold the Seder meal. This is akin to not having dinner reservations on Valentine’s Day. Good luck guys.
But Jesus has a plan. He’s already secured a place, and has a water jug carrying man who will lead them there. Jesus knows that tonight is the night. He’s keenly aware that Judas has already struck a deal for his life, and he’s got his farewell discourse prepared and rehearsed. Jesus is in control, even as it seems that everything and everyone is spiraling out of control around him. He’s got the pieces in place to show his disciples what sacrificial service looks like. He’s ready to give them the custom by which they will remember his teachings and be nourished by his Spirit. He’s whittled down three years of teaching down to a new commandment and a prayer of encouragement.
Tonight won’t be an easy night, but it won’t be for lack of planning. Instead, when Jesus leads his disciples to the Garden after dinner, he will do so knowing he has done everything he can to prepare them for life without him.
Tonight, Christians of many traditions will gather to hear these familiar words. They’ll take and eat in remembrance. As oft as they shall drink it, they will do it in remembrance. Some will even stoop down to wash another’s feet, following the example of sacrificial love that Jesus set for his disciples. We will do so not simply to reenact an ancient ritual, but to bring Jesus forth afresh in our world. We will take his body and blood that we might be his body in the world, becoming servants and reaching out in loving service to those in need. And it’ll al be according to Jesus’ plan.