5. Preparing the Passover (Matthew 26:17-19)
17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover. (Exodus 12:18-20, Matthew 21:3, John 13:21-26)
Jesus wanted to prepare a blessed atmosphere to declare the summary of His preaching and the purpose of His coming. Perhaps he wanted to conceal where He would meet with His disciples for the last time so that they would be undisturbed. The Holy Spirit directed all the arrangements for the Lord’s Supper.
It is most probable that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples on Thursday evening. His disciples prepared for Him the supper that was composed of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and red wine. However, the day of slaying lambs was Friday. The texts do not mention that the Lord’s Supper contained roasted meat, for He was not a sinner who needed protection from God’s wrath through the blood of a slain lamb. Jesus, Himself, was the worthy Lamb to be slain to protect the world from the coming wrath. This would all happen the next day, Friday, the day Jesus wanted to die.
During the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, the week before the Passover, the Jews removed all leaven from their houses and ate unleavened bread to indicate their repentance. They attempted to clean their houses from everything that might keep them away from the Lord. They considered these days a preparation for their reconciliation with the Lord through the slaying of the Passover lamb.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You were eager to celebrate the Passover with Your disciples, to prepare them for the new covenant in the blood of the Lamb of God. Help us also to prepare for this great event, repent of every known sin, and celebrate the days of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread and the Passover spiritually according to the gospel.
QUESTION 238: What do “the days of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread” signify to the Jews in the past and in the present?