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CCCCLXXIII.

THE LAST PASSOVER.

St. Luke xxii. 7-13.

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Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare ? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water ; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And

ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples ? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished : there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. . This was

“ the first day of the Feast of unleavened bread," I as the Passover was otherwise called ; the religious Festival which was yearly celebrated by the Jews in thankful remembrance of the destroying Angel having passed over their houses, when all the firstborn of their enemies were destroyed in the land of Egypt. The Feast lasted seven days, during which nothing leavened was allowed in their houses. On the evening of the first day of the Feast ? a 1 St. Matt. xxvi. 17.

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selves as to the proper time, as after2 Of the much controverted ques- wards among the Christians concerntion which arises here, the simplest ing the date of the observance of solution seems to be, that our Lord Easter. It would seem as though the and His Apostles partook of the Pass- Jews generally regarded the fourover on this occasion on the evening, teenth day (Exod. xii. 6) as included i.e. at the very beginning, of this first in and closing the period before the day of the Feast (the Feast beginning Passover, which they considered to with the evening of its first day, Lev. begin on the fifteenth (Lev. xxiii. 6) xxiii. 5) while the great body of the reckoning that day from the previous Jews did so on the evening of the even (Lev. xxiii. 5). Some of the day following. The former on the Jews, it would appear, were in the fourteenth day of the month, the latter habit of doing as our Lord on nis on the fifteenth. Lev. xxiii. 5, 6. It occasion did. In any case the Lord seems that there was a division of of the Passover might anticipate it. opinion even among the Jews them- He could not both partake of the

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lamb, which must be without blemish, was slain and solemnly eaten by each household; in remembrance of that blood which protected them in Egypt, and in type and anticipation of the blood of Christ, which sprinkled on the heart, as that was on the house, protects us from the second death. The same two Disciples who afterwards together visited his empty tomb,' are sent to make the necessary preparations. Now He gives them another proof of His fore-knowledge; as before, to two of their number He gave those like instructions as to finding and being furnished with the ass and the ass's colt. So “one bearing a pitcher of water proved a sign to the servant of Isaac,” 3 type of Him who “came by water and blood.” The Font points the way to the Altar. Baptism leads on to the Supper of the Lord. It was the custom for those who had convenient houses in Jerusalem, with rooms built and set apart for the purpose, to place these at the disposal of strangers who came up from the country to keep the Passover. The Master demands this homage at the hand of His servant, who readily surrenders his room, decently fitted and furnished for the purpose, with all that might be needed on such occasions. The name of this householder was not given, it might be, lest the traitor should precipitate matters. But there is an air of mystery surrounding the whole, such as suits a Sacrament; in which there is ever something for the bodily eye, something for the eye of faith. What if that Guest-chamber were identical with that “upper room ” which soon became the first Christian Church ? 1

shadow and present the substance on xxi. 2. the same day. Tberefore He thus

3 A Plain Commentary. divides the two acts. In His words * “ This pitcher of water is an (St. Matt. xxyi. 18; St. Luke xxii. emblem of Baptism and Repentance. 15, 16) there seems to be, if such were None but those who have been needed, a justification of His thus, as cleansed by this water can eat the it were, anticipating the usual time, Christian Passover; neither can this the time at least on which the greater Passover be either celebrated or eaten, part of the people partook of their but only in the bosom of the Church.” Paschal lamb. So the original Pass. -Quesnel. over was celebrated before the deliver- 5 “He looks at the tokens and exance it was appointed to commemo- pressions of iuward reverence for a rate. Thus the first Passover and the Divine institution, which it is be last were each by anticipation.

feared those want who, to I St. John xx. 3-8.

charges, deny themselves decencies 2 St. Luke xix. 29-34; St. Matt. in the worship of God.”—Henry.

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CCCCLXXIV.

THE SAME SUBJECT —continued.

St. Luke xxii. 14-18.

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, 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. And he took the cup, and gave thanks,

, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves : for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

“The hour” was eventide, any time after sunset. They did not sit at table as we do, but reclined on couches round. The first Passover, it seems, was eaten standing, for a special

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but afterwards the ordinary posture of the Jews was adopted, and to this our Lord conformed; using also that Jewish Liturgy which was no part of the original institution. He gives the sanction of His example to the reasonable rule that the Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies which be not contrary to God's Word. He seems to be giving them a reason why He, possibly, anticipated the usual time. He is about to suffer. When the greater part of the people would be partaking of their Paschal lamb, He the true Lamb of God would be hanging on the bitter Cross. He greatly desired once more to cele

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| Acts i. 13–15; St. John xx. 19, 26. It has been conjectured to be the house of the husband of Mary the mother of St. Mark. Acts xii. 5, 12.

2 St. Matt. xxvi. 20. 3 Exod. xij. 11,

Art. xx. Of the Authority of the Church.

5 Such is the force of the Hebraism, with which may be compared St. Matt. xiii. 14, and St. John iii. 29.

These Hebraisms appear to be preserved by the Sacred Writers for the as it has been called, is altogether sake of reminding the reader that he distinct from that cup of the New has before him a literal representation Testament of which we read further of the very words used by the speakers on, v. 20. “That was the institution on the occasion described.” – Bp. of a new rite; this the abrogation of Wordsworth.

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brate with them that rite which would have no more meaning after the morrow. Then the substance would supersede the shadow; the type give place to the anti-type; the figure pass into the fact. Never more would He have the opportunity. No more need would there be for it. For it is about to be fulfilled or completed in that scene of God's Church and Kingdom which is next to dawn.' That table gives birth to another Passover, both typical and true.? This cup, a cup of wine mingled with water, seems to have been that first cup in the Paschal meal, with which the whole was introduced. Not only would He never again taste of the Paschal cup, but not till after His resurrection would He drink at all of the fruit of the Vine. Then that next stage in God's Church and Kingdom would be reached."

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CCCCLXXV.

HE WASHETH HIS DISCIPLES' FEET.

St. John xiii. 1-5.

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil

an old one.”—Alford. 1 The "until ” of v. 16 is to be 4 Acts x. 41. understood according to the mode of 5 “The kingdom of God—which in expression among the Jews, who some. one sense had come already (St. Luke times meant absolutely what they xi. 20; xvii. 21), and which in the thus relatively stated. Our Lord thus highest sense of all is yet to come intimated that He would never more (St. Matt. vi. 10; St. Luke xiii. 28) partake of the Passover.

that kingdom would then in a special Chry. Ser. xxx.

manner have arrived." - A Plain 3 This “cup of the Old Testament,"

Commentary.

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having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him ; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and . went to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

This touching incident took place before the celebration of the Passover by the great body of the people, but in the midst of its celebration by our Lord and His Disciples. He, knowing that the time of His departure was at hand, was not in that awe-ful hour so absorbed in His own sorrows as at all to forget His Disciples, but showed them, even in that extremity, a signal instance of His love. Judas even is not exempted from the kindness and condescension shown. There is for him the same grace and good will as for the rest, if only he will receive it. But even then and there, at that time, at that table, the dreadful idea he had already conceived 3 was still present to his degenerating mind. For where will not the evil one penetrate ? No place seems too sacred for his assaults. Even at the Table of the Lord he is present with his temptations. Even among the Disciples of the Lord he may find some heart "empty, swept and garnished,” prepared for his reception; a heart exercised with covetous practices. This mention here at the outset of this ready tool of the tempter, seems to intimate that even here he was contemplating the completion of his crime. Yet the Lord bears with him, and washes the feet which were swift to go astray. The supper was still going on. This is but an episode in the entertainment. The Evangelist repeats a consideration' which may serve to enhance in our eyes this instance of our Lord's humility. It was in the full con1 In the original it is the present

+ 2 St. Pet. ii. 14; St. Jude 11, 12. participle, as again in v. 3 below.

“ Thine own heart, the willing 2 Augustine (in 8. Jo. Tr. lv. 1)

slave speaks here of His love not ending To all that works thee woe or with His death, whose love is without

harm." The Christian Year, end. He loved them so as to die for Fourth Sunday after Easter. them.

6 See the original. 3 St. Luke xxij. 3.

- Vv. 0, 3.

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