Their mood was somber. The small lamps flickering from the table top and about the room seemed to have difficulty dispelling the darkness invading the scene. This should have been a festive, happy occasion. It was, instead, one which found the men who reclined around the table with doubts in their eyes and an insistent sense of foreboding pressing into their minds. They were hearing things that night which only accentuated the inevitable trouble forecast by events of recent days. Now He was speaking of suffering, betrayal and death. Their little band was clearly approaching a precipice. Something monstrous and monumental was about to take place. They felt it; they feared it. It would be a resounding explosion that would forever shatter their aspirations, or a new dawn would break over humanity. To them, the possibility of the latter happening seemed remote indeed.
The disciples of Jesus Christ were so immersed in taking counsel with their own fears that they scarcely heard what He was saying to them. His message at that final Passover was summarized in His words: “For I say unto you that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, ‘And he was reckoned among the transgressors’; for the things concerning me must have a fulfillment” (Luke 22:37). This statement was a direct reference to Isaiah fifty-three, and encompassed the essential dimensions of the coming work of the Messiah. Had the disciples listened and understood, they would have found comfort, strength and purpose. The Anointed One must endure derision (53:1-3), darkness (53:4-7), and death (53:8, 9). But beyond that vale of suffering lay the promised land of His resurrection (53:10), our redemption (53:11), and the Messiah’s reign (53:12). Within days, two aspects of the prophet’s word would be present fact – an empty tomb bore witness to it. He forever laid aside the shroud of death, and stood before them in a resurrected body. His commission would send them forth to herald the world that the Savior had suffered and, through accepting His sacrifice, men could possess eternal life. Only one element in His threefold program must yet be realized: He must return to reign.
There is a sense in which we find a modern parallel to the fateful Passover held nearly two thousand years ago. Doubt, fear and despair are rapidly pushing their way to the forefront in human affairs. Many will quickly agree that we are approaching a precipice. Something monstrous, something monumental is in the offing. Monstrous? Yes. The day of the antichrist, by all appearances, is just around the corner. Monumental? A thousand times yes! The risen Christ is coming to snatch away His beloved Bride (the Church) in preparation for a period of time that will see Israel reconciled to Jehovah and Gentile dominion broken. He will then return to reign in triumph.
May His resurrection life shine through each of us to penetrate the gathering darkness in such a way that Jews and Gentiles might come to His light and anticipate the blessed hope of His soon return.