As the days wore on leading up to the Passover Feast, Jesus continued to teach. It seemed to Mary that He was more urgent in His message. There was so much He wanted His followers to know and yet He knew that His time on earth would soon be over. He had so much that He needed to tell His disciples and so little time to share it all.
As the leaders of the Sanhedrin plotted against Him, Jesus sent Peter and John to arrange for the last meal they’d share together. As Jesus traveled back to Jerusalem from Bethany, He knew full well that He was walking into a trap designed to silence Him forever. He went forth, like a great warrior ready for His battle for the redemption of humanity. It was after dark when He arrived with the others. They entered the upper room where the Passover Feast awaited them. Since it was the custom to wash feet upon entering a house, Jesus prepared the water and started to wash His disciples’ feet.
They had just walked two miles from Bethany, through the rough terrain and into a city now inhabited with thousands. The streets were cluttered with filth and their sandal-clad feet were now covered with scum. Still Jesus insisted on washing their feet. It was an act of a servant, but also another opportunity to teach His followers. He wanted them to know what was expected of them as His disciples – to care for each other in deepest humility and love. He then proceeded with the feast – again a mysterious act of submission. Jesus was offering Himself as the final sacrifice and this was how He was teaching them to honor Him after He left them. He spoke of the betrayal and denial to come from Judas and Peter. He knew they wouldn’t be able to stay awake as He prayed in Gethsemane. He knew Peter would cut off the ear of Malchus, the soldier. He knew His band of brothers would desert Him when He was arrested. He knew He’d be bound, spat upon, flogged, harassed, humiliated and suffer death on the cross. He knew and yet He went bravely forward as the sin-free, unblemished lamb. He knew that the sacrifice was the only way to fulfill God’s covenant to the world.
He realized that He was about to face a court of those who hated and feared Him. They would call Him a heretic, a radical, a fool, a blasphemer. He would endure the scourge as it tore through His flesh. He knew what was coming. Yet He went forth as the long-awaited Messiah.
His mother would weep in the darkness of that night, because she also knew.