Jesus’ Tea Party

El Greco’s “Last Supper” via wikipaintings.org

I’m a self-professed Wrightophile, so in preparation for some reflections on the Lord’s Supper, I was scanning NT Wright’s take on Mark 14:12-25 in Mark for Everyone.  I began to weep at my desk.

All the two [whom Jesus sent to prepare the upper room] know is that they’re getting ready the special elements that make up the traditional Jewish Passover.  What Jesus knows is that this will be a Passover with a difference.  This is the time when he will go, as a greater Moses, ahead of the Twelve, ahead of Israel, ahead of the world, into the presence of a greater slave-master than Pharaoh, into a terror greater than walking through the sea, to lead the world to freedom.  This Passover-meal-with-a-difference is going to explain, more deeply than words could ever do, what his action, and passion, the next day really meant; and, more than explaining it, it will enable Jesus’ followers, from that day to this, to make it their own, to draw life and strength from it.  If we want to understand, and be nourished by, what happened on Calvary, this meal is the place to start (194).

The Exodus from Egypt was Israel’s seminal event.  This was their Boston Tea Party, their Revolutionary War, their Declaration of Independence.  The Exodus made the nation of Israel.  This was their “WE ARE!”

And here is Jesus plotting his paces toward a new Exodus, a more earth shattering event to mark a new people.  He is drafting a fresh Declaration of Independence for the entire human race.  He knows fully what he’s doing, staring in the teeth of the single greatest oppressor of humanity (and the only one, really).  And he has the fullest confidence in the God who parted the waters before a fledgling Israel to see him through the darkness.

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