For the next two days—Nisan 12 and 13—Jesus does not openly show himself at the temple. The religious leaders are seeking to kill him, and he does not want anything to interfere with his celebrating the Passover with his apostles.
THE setting sun on Thursday begins Nisan 14—the last day of Jesus’ life on earth as a human. That evening, Jesus and his apostles are together in a house in Jerusalem where preparation has been made for them to celebrate the Passover. As they enjoy the Passover together, he teaches the 12 a beautiful lesson in humility by washing their feet. After dismissing Judas Iscariot, Jesus introduces the Memorial of his death.—Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:14, 15, 26-29; John 13:2-30.
Appreciating that they have stuck with him during his trials, he makes a personal covenant with them for a kingdom. (Luke 22:24-30) Jesus also commands them to love one another just as he has loved them. (John 13:34) As he lingers in that room, Jesus lovingly prepares them for his imminent departure. He assures them of his friendship, encourages them to exercise faith, and promises them the help of the holy spirit. (John 14:1-17; 15:15) Jesus has prepared the apostles for his departure, and he surely ‘loves his own to the end.’—John 13:1; 17:1.
It may be well past midnight when Jesus and his 11 faithful apostles reach the garden of Gethsemane. He has often gone there with his apostles. (John 18:1, 2) Within hours, Jesus is to die as though he were a despicable criminal. The agony of this anticipated experience and how it may bring reproach upon his Father is so intense that while Jesus prays, his sweat becomes as drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:41-44)
Judas Iscariot approaches, accompanied by a large crowd carrying torches and lamps and weapons. They have come to arrest Jesus. He does not resist. “In that case,” he explains, “how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must take place this way?”—Mark 14:41-43; Matthew 26:48-54.
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