My Own Familiar Friend, A Passover Allegory

My own familiar friend

 

 

 

Sometimes, when we repeatedly hear a story, we think we know the story. We can almost quote the scenes like an old movie, primarily a classic that your mother or spouse pulls out yearly. There is one story in scripture that should never be treated in this manner. It is the story of Yeshua’s betrayal, death, and resurrection. Each time we read it; it should change us.  Matthew starts the Passover story with these words—”When evening came. . .”

Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in between the evenings.

Yeshua is sitting at the Passover Seder, and He knows He is the Passover Lamb. The words of the prophet Zechariah resonate through him:

 “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; (Zechariah 13:7, ESV).

The men sitting before Yeshua left their livelihoods to follow the call. They’ve traveled far together and experienced much intimacy for three years. Yeshua scans the table, pausing at each one of the 12. He reminisces about washing their feet. His eyes land on Judas and steadily rest. The intensity is too much, and Judas must look away.

Just earlier, Yeshua had asked Judas a question.

“Would you allow me to wash your feet, Judas?”

Judas had nodded uncomfortably. The Master’s eyes now linger on the sons of Zebedee, who have recently requested to sit on his right and left sides of the kingdom.

“A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22:24).

Who will be the greatest? Yeshua wishes they understood the severity of the situation and were not so enamored with the esteem of men or places and positions of authority but genuinely learned to be servants.

He breaks the matzah.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, haMotzi lechem min haaretz. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who brings forth bread from the earth.

 

“Take, eat; this is my body.”

His eyes shift to Peter. Yeshua feels the pain of what Peter will have to suffer before he is ready to feed lambs. Peter, like the others, thinks he knows the condition of his heart. Sometimes when I read old blog post, I shudder. I see, hear, and taste words that could have been written better, kinder, gentler, less finger pointing.

The prophet Jeremiah spoke much truth when he said the heart is sick. The heart has a terrible blockage, but men are oblivious. Yeshua thinks back to his wilderness experience. The Ruach led him into the wilderness. Fasting 40 days and nights helped him battle the flesh and conquer it– “Though being a Son, He learned obedience by what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, ISR). He came out of the wilderness with great power, and He knows Peter will too. Yeshua knows only by intense crushing will Peter and the others be cured of their condition.

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.”

 

“Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me.”

“Surely not I, Lord?” said John. “Surely not I? said Andrew, Matthew, and Bartholomew in unison. Yeshua lifts his head and speaks with authority.

“The one that dips his hand in the bowl with me will betray me.”

All eyes stare at the bowl uncomfortably.

“It would be better for him if he had not been born,” Yeshua says and looks around the table.

Judas is aware that his hand had reached in the bowl last.

“Surely not I, Rabbi, he says?”

“You have said it, yourself, Judas.”

Judas shifts uncomfortably, smears some charosets on his matzah, and bites into the cracker. The others begin to ask one another, “Who can it be? Who would do such a thing?”

Judas is angry. His skin is blotchy with redness. How dare he! I’m handing this Yeshua over. And I’m going through with it. It may seem like a betrayal to Him, but it’s just life to me. I’m tired of following this man, and what has he accomplished? Was he really a Rabbi? And did he help kooky John when he was in trouble? No, he left him in prison to lose his head on the chopping block. Forget the miracles. We’re they truly real? Possibly he imagined them, or they were just magic tricks like Pharaoh’s magicians. Perhaps, this Yeshua, this carpenter, would get them all killed. And had he set up any kingdom? Had he overthrown the Romans and removed the tax burdens. Doubtful, he ever would. And the money he had wasted was unthinkable. The alabaster was a year’s wages or more. The cost of the ointment was worth about 300 denarii, and what Rabbi in their right mind would allow such a woman of the night even to approach him? Judas thinks back to the event, but he is tormented inside as he also remembers demons fleeing into pigs and a man becoming clothed in his right mind. He knows this would be a hard magic trick to pull off. Still, Yeshua was going to get them all killed eventually. The leaders hated him and were looking to entrap him, so why not make some money and turn him in. If He was really the Messiah, wouldn’t they know what he looked like and where to find him. He would be much more famous. More powerful. All he does is talk in parables. I can’t bear them any longer.

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Ones we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, let’s be

Friends.

“If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”– the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter. (Zechariah 11:12-13)

 

Then one of the Twelve– the one called Judas Iscariot– went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on, Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-16)

The 12 have witnessed miracles—the blind see, the deaf hear!! The dead are raised to life! When storms were ragging in their lives, Yeshua calmed them. When they had no food, He fed them physically and spiritually. Their Rabbi listened and gave wisdom that carried them through when they needed counsel. Their Master arose early in the mornings and prayed for them. Now, Yeshua is getting ready to drink a bitter cup.

 

 

He has called out, “Abba take this cup!” But not my will, but Yours be done.”

Who, being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim as a matter to be grasped but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men. And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake. (Philippians 2:6-8, ISR).

 

Have you ever tasted a cup of betrayal? Was it a parent? A spouse who cheated or abandoned you? Perhaps a child? A dear friend. Regardless of who it was, it would not sting as badly if it were someone you had not invested in. Someone you hadn’t spent hours with. Tears with. Life with. Success and failure with.

Yeshua voices the betrayal coming, and each searches their hearts.

“There’s no leaven in my heart,” each proclaims.

“Surely not me, friend. I would never do that to you.”

Like us, they agree in unison. They are very sure and certain of their condition. Their hearts fill up with grief that even one of them would betray or flee when the Master needed them the most.

Peter has such zeal he boasts with great assurance.

“Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will. I will go to prison or even death for you.”

Yeshua knows what is in each of their hearts, and he tells Peter,

“Peter, “this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Not so, Master, “Even if I have to die with You, I will never deny You.” 

Mark and James join in and one by one, His Talmidim, in unison, speak the oath of death. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  “We will die for you,” they state with great surety.

Are we any different?

“but I have called you friends because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15)

Friends make known everything.

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Ones we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, let’s be

Friends.

Then a servant girl, seeing him (Peter) as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.”  But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”  And a little later, someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.”  And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.”  But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”  And he went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:56-62).

How can this one word mean both “friend” and “evil? The Hebrew word רע (ra, Strong’s #7451), meaning “evil,” was originally spelled reshghayin, whereas, the Hebrew word רע (ra, Strong’s #7453), meaning “friend,” was originally spelled reshayin. (Jeff Benner)

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Ones we can depend on

Friends

How many of us have them?

Friends

Before we go any further, let’s be

Friends.

Psalms 22.

They open their jaws against me like lions that roar and maul. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed. My heart is like wax; it melts away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You lay me in the dust of death for dogs surround me; a band of evil men encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones; they stare and gloat over me.

Where’s the good news? Yeshua the Anointed One knows the end of His suffering!

Yeshua says, “But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

Yeshua speaks these words to the Chief priest and Scribes. He knows death will not conquer Him. Death, where is your sting? He knows that on First Fruits morning, he will rise up out of the tomb with a body that will one day be ours if we continue to call Him friend. And if we do not deny Him before men.

But whoever shall deny Me before men, him I shall also deny before My Father who is in the heavens (Matthew 10:33-34).

I am thankful that Peter was able to repent and feed lambs. Peter was able to turn and be humbled so greatly that He too drank a bitter cup. As a friend of the Messiah, we know the end of the matter. It’s glorious. And when we look at Matthew Chapter 10 closely, it reveals the cup we drink with Him. He spells out plainly the ingredients in the cup. Have you been going through much suffering this season?

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword, for I have come to bring division, a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man’s enemies are those of his own household. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he that has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous one in the name of a righteous one shall receive a righteous one’s reward. “And whoever gives one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a taught one, truly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

I’m praying your Passover story is fresh, new, reflective, and full of a new friendship with the King of Glory. Set the table with Elijah’s cup and Miriam’s. Laugh and sing and hide the sinless bread in a napkin. Let the children, the little ones find it, for this is the secret of our redemption. We must come like little children, humble servants, willing to die and be resurrected with Him! Praying and believing He will not say, “Away from me, I never knew you.” But instead, will call us a loving friend.

Chag Sameach!

Blessings,

Tekoa Manning

 

2 thoughts on “My Own Familiar Friend, A Passover Allegory

  1. Wonderful my friend! This has been my toughest Pesach season EVER! But Glory to God in the highest!🙌🙌🙌🙌He sustains. He sees us through and transforms us in the process. Oh How magnificent is our Savior!

    1. Thinking of you and praying for peace and shalom. Praying for new beginnings and that the Holy One would order every step and every thought. You are loved, my friend!

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