This is a busy week in the Letinsky household. I have a lot of things going on, and in the middle of it all, is Passover. I’m not sure how this happens, but every year, Passover sneaks up on us. We always plan to do better each year in making preparations, not to leave it to the last minute or to rush through it, but somehow, it always ends up that way.
Dan and I were talking about how we were preparing for the Passover this year. He has a list of notes from the past year that he consults as he studies the Haggadah, in preparation for the evening. Me, I took down the recipes I was planning on preparing and started making a grocery list.
Yes, it’s pretty pathetic, but my Passover preparations had nothing to do with my heart but everything to do with my stomach.
When I read about Jesus getting ready for the Passover, I tend to start at this point in scripture:
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. (Matthew 26:17-19 ESV)
Jesus tells his disciples to prepare for the Passover, and the focus is on the material things, the food and the location. These are the things I excel at, so I suppose it’s only natural that I read this part and get out my checklist.
But I forget to read the entire chapter.
Back in verse six, another form of preparation takes place, from another one of Jesus’ followers. A woman anoints Jesus, the Passover lamb, to prepare him for his sacrifice.
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:6-1 ESV)
Mary of Bethany also prepared for the Passover. She spent time with Jesus by sitting at his feet and letting down her hair to wipe the perfume, a very intimate act for a woman of her day, even for a woman of today. She also gave him a precious gift, a major sacrifice as an offering.
As I prepare for Passover, sure, I can spend time, like the Disciples, tending to the details of the feast. But first and foremost, I need to sit at Jesus’ feet and get close to him, the true Passover Lamb. In this busy week, my greatest commodity is my time, and I will gladly give it to him as my offering.
Chag Pesach Same’ach
(Joyful Passover Feast)