Page images

17 8 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread

[blocks in formation]

is the only Evangelist who mentions the westering of the sun (3 p.m.) and his setsum. De Wette and others have supposed ting,--but by the Karaites and Samaritans that the accurate mention of the thirty that between sunset and darkness :-in pieces of silver has arisen from the pro- either case, however, the day was the phecy of Zechariah (xi. 12), which St. Mat- same. The feast of unleavened bread bethew clearly has in view. The others have gan at the very time of eating the Passover simply “ money.It is just possible that (Exod. xii. 18), so that the first day of the the thirty pieces may have been merely feast of unleavened bread was the 15th earnest-money : but a difficulty attends (Numb. xxviii. 17). All this agrees with the supposition ; if so, Judas would have the narrative of St. John, where (xiii. 1) been entitled to the whole on our Lord the last supper takes place before the feast being delivered up to the Sanhedrim (for of the Passover-where the disciples think this was all he undertook to do); whereas (ib. ver. 29) that Judas had been directed we find (ch. xxvii. 3) that, after our Lord's to buy the things which they had need of condemnation, Judas brought only the against the feast-where the Jews (xviii. thirty pieces back, and nothing more. See 28) would not enter into the judgment-hall, note there.

lest they should be defiled, but that they 17–19.7 PREPARATION FOR CELE- might eat the Passover (see note on John BRATING THE PASSOVER. Mark xiv. 12 xviii. 28)—where at the exhibition of our 16. Luke xxii. 7–13. The whole narra Lord by Pilate (on the Friday at noon) it tive which follows is extremely difficult to was (xix. 14) the preparation of the Pass. arrange and account for chronologically. over--and where it could be said (xix. 31) Our Evangelist is the least circumstantial, for that Sabbath day was an high day, and, as will I think appear, the least exact being, as it was, a double Sabbath,—the in detail of the three. St. Mark partially coincidence of the first day of unleavened fills up the outline ;—but the account of bread, which was sabbatically hallowed St. Luke is the most detailed, and I be. (Exod. xii. 16), with an actual sabbath. lieve the most exact. It is to be noticed But as plainly, it does not agree with the that the narrative which St. Paul gives, view of the three other Evangelists, who 1 Cor. xi. 23—25, of the institution of the not only relate the meal on the evening of Lord's Supper, and which he states he the 13th of Nisan to have been a Passover, "received from the Lord,' coincides almost but manifestly regard it as the ordinary verbatim with that given by St. Luke. But legal time of eating it: “on the first day while we say this, it must not be forgotten of unleavened bread, when they killed the that over all three narratives extends the passover” (Mark xiv. 12), “ when the Passgreat difficulty of explaining the first day over must be killed” (Luke xxii. 7), and of unleavened bread (Matt., Mark), or in our Gospel by implication, in the use of the day of unleavened bread(Luke), the Passover, &c., without any qualifying and of reconciling the impression unde- remark. niably conveyed by them, that the Lord The solutions which have been proposed and his disciples ate the usual Passover, are the following: (1) that the Passover with the narrative of St. John, which not which our Lord and his disciples ate, was only does not sanction, but I believe ab- not the ordinary, but an anticipatory one, solutely excludes such a supposition. I seeing that He himself was about to be shall give, in as short a compass as I can, sacrificed as the true Passover at the legal the various solutions which have been time. To this it may be objected, that attempted, and the objections to them; such an anticipation would have been fairly confessing that none of them satisfy wholly unprecedented and irregular, in a me, and that at present I have none of matter most strictly laid down by the my own. I will (1) state the grounds law: and that in the three Gospels there of the difficulty itself. The day alluded is no allusion to it, but rather every thing to in all four histories as that of the (see above) to render it improbable. (2) supper, which is unquestionably one and That our Lord and his disciples ate the identical, is Thursday, the 13th of Nisan. Passover, but at the time observed by a Now the day of the Passover being slain certain portion of the Jews, while He and eaten was the 14th of Nisan (Exod. himself was sacrificed at the time genexii. 6, 18: Lev. xxii. 5: Numb. ix. 3; rally observed. This solution is objec. xxviii. 16: Ezek. xlv. 21), between the tionable, as wanting any historical testievenings (so literally in Heb.), which was mony whereon to ground it, being in fact interpreted by the generality of the Jews a pure assumption. Besides, it is clearly to mean the interval between the first inconsistent with Mark xiv. 12: Luke the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover ? 18 And xxii. 7, cited above. A similar objection had eaten his passover.) (c) That it was lies against (3) the notion that our Lord not the ordinary passover of the Jews : ate the Passover at the strictly legal, the for (Exod. xii. 22) when that was eaten, Jews at an inaccurate and illegal time. none might go out of the house until morn(4) Our Lord ate only a commemorative ing; whereas, not only did Judas go out Passover, such as the Jews now celebrate, during the meal (John xiii. 29), but our and not a sacrificial Passover (Grotius). Lord and the disciples went out when the But this is refuted by the absence of any meal was finished. Also when Judas went mention of a commemorative Passover be. out, it was understood that he was gone fore the destruction of Jerusalem; besides to buy, which could not have been the its inconsistency with the above-cited pas- case, had it been the night of eating the sages. (5) Our Lord did not eat the Passover, which in all years was sabbati. Passover at all. But this is plainly not cally hallowed. (d) St. John, who omits a solution of the difficulty, but a setting all mention of the Paschal nature of this aside of one of the differing accounts: meal, also omits all mention of the distrifor the three Gospels manifestly give the bution of the symbolic bread and wine. impression that He did eat it. (6) The The latter act was, strictly speaking, ansolution offered by Chrysostom, on our ticipatory: the Body was not yet broken, ver. 58, is at least ingenious. The Council, nor the Blood shed (but see note on ver. he says, did not eat their Passover at the 26, end). Is it possible that the words proper time, but on another day, and in Luke xxii. 15, 16 may have been meant broke the law, because of their eagerness by our Lord as an express declaration of about this execution .... they chose even the anticipatory nature of that Passover to neglect the Passover, that they might meal likewise ? May they mean, I have fulfil their murderous desire.” This had been most anxious to eat this Paschal meal been suggested before in a scholium of with you to-night (before I suffer), for I Eusebius. But St. John's babit of noticing shall not eat it to-morrow,--I shall not eat and explaining all such exceptional cir- of it any more with you?' May a bint cumstances, makes it very improbable. I to the same effect be intended in my time may state, as some solutions have been is at hand’ (ver. 18), as accounting for the sent me by correspondents, that I have time of making ready-may the present seen nothing besides the above, which jus. tense itself (I will keep is literally I keep) tifies any extended notice.

have the same reference ? I will conclude this note by offering a I may remark that the whole of the few hints which, though not pointing to narrative of St. John, as compared with the any particular solution, ought I think to others, satisfies me that he can never have enter into the consideration of the ques. seen their accounts. It is inconceivable, tion. (a) That, on the evening of the that one writing for the purpose avowed 13th (i. e. the beginning of the 14th) of in John xx. 31, could have found the three Nisan, the Lord ate a meal with his dis accounts as we have them, and have made ciples, at which the announcement that no more allusion to the discrepancy than one of them should betray Him was inade: the faint (and to all appearance undesigned) after which He went into the garden ones in ib. ch. xij. 1 ; xü. 1, 29; xviii. 28. of Gethsemane, and was betrayed (Matt.,

17. the first day of ... unleavened Mark, Luke, John) :-(6) That, in some bread] If this night had been the ordinary sense or other, this meal was regarded as time of sacrificing the Passover, the day the eating of the Passover (Matt., Mark, preceding would not indeed have been Luke). (The same may be inferred even strictly the first day of unleavened bread; from John; for some of the disciples but there is reason to suppose that it was must have gone into the prætorium, and accounted so. The putting away leaven have heard the conversation between our from the houses was part of the work of Lord and Pilate [John xviii. 33–38]: the day, and the eating of the unleavened and as they were equally bound with the bread actually commenced in the evening, other Jews to eat the Passover, would Thus Josephus mentions eight days as conequally with them have been incapa- stituting the feast, including this day in citated from so doing by having incurred it. Where wilt thou] The making defilement, had they not eaten theirs pre ready' would include the following parviously. It would appear too, from Joseph ticulars; the preparation of the guestof Arimathæa going to Pilate during the chamber itself (which however in this case preparation (Mark xv. 42, 43], that he also was already done, see Mark xiv. 15 and

he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began

every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I ? 23 And h Psa. xli. 9. he answered and said, " He that dippeth his hand with me

in the dish, the same shall betray me. 21 The Son of man

note);—the lamb already kept up from the indebted to St. Matthew's narrative. 10th (Exod. xii. 3) had to be slain in the 20–25.] JESUS, CELEBRATING THE fore-court of the temple (2 Chron. XXXV. PASSOVER, ANNOUNCES HIS BETRAYER. 5);—theunlenvened bread, bitter herbs, &c., Mark xiv. 17–21. John xii. 21 ff. prepared ;- and the room arranged. This Our Lord and the Twelve were a full report does not represent the whole that Paschal company; ten persons was the passed : it was the Lord who sent the two ordinary and minimum number. Here disciples; and in reply this enquiry was come in (1) the expression of our Lord's made (Luke). 18.) The person spoken desire to eat this Passover before His of was unknown even by name, as appears suffering, Luke xxii. 15, 16; (2) the divifrom Mark and Luke, where he is to be sion of the first cup, ib. vv. 17, 18; (3) found by the turning in of a man with the washing of the disciples' feet, John a pitcher of water. The Lord spoke not xiii. 1-20 ( ? see note, John xiii. 22). I from any previous arrangement, as some mention these, not that I have any desire have thought, but in virtue of His kpow. to reduce the four accounts to a harledge, and command of circumstances. monized narrative, for that I believe to Compare the command ch. xxi. 2 f., and be impossible, and the attempt wholly unthat in ch. xvii. 27. In the words to such profitable ; but because they are additional & man here must be involved the addi- circuinstances, placed by their narrators tional circumstance mentioned by St. Mark at this period of the feast. I shall simi. and St. Luke, but perhaps unknown to our larly notice all such additional matter, narrator : see note on Luke xxii. 10, where but without any idea of harmonizing the the fullest account is found. The apparent discrepancies of the four (as apterm the Master, common to the three pears to me) entirely distinct and indeaccounts, does not imply that the man was pendent reports. 21.] This announcea disciple of our Lord. It was the com- ment is common to Matt., Mark, and mon practice during the feast for persons John. In the part of the events of the to receive strangers into their houses gra- supper which relates to Judas, St. Luke tuitously, for the purpose of eating the is deficient, giving no further report of Passover: and in this description of Him- them than vv. 21-23. The whole minute self in addressing a stranger, our Lord has detail is given by St. John, who bore a cona deep meaning, as (perhaps, but see note) siderable part in it. 22.] In the acin the Lord in ch. xxi. 3,- Our Master counts of St. Luke and St. John, this enquiry and thine says. It is His form of 'press. is made “ among themselves looking one on ing' for the service of the King of this another.The real enquiry from the Lord earth, the things that are therein.

was made by John himself, owing to a sign My time is not the time of the feast,' from Peter. This part of John's narrabut my own time, i. e. for suffering: see tive stands in the highest position for John vii. 8, and often. There is no reason accuracy of detail, and the facts related in for supposing from this expression that the it are evidently the ground of the other man addressed was aware of its meaning. accounts. 23.] These first words reThe bearers of the message were; and the present the answer of our Lord to John's words, to the receiver of it, bore with them question (John xiii. 26). The latter (ver. a weighty reason of their own, which, with 24 were not said now, but (Luke, vv. 21, such a title as the Master prefixed, he was 22) formed part of the previous announcebound to respect. For these words we are ment in our ver. 21. 25.) I cannot

goeth · as it is written of him: but k woe unto that man by i Ps stil

Dan. ix. 20. whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for Dark .1.200.

Mark ix. 12.

Luke xxiv. that man if he had not been born. 25 Then Judas, which 25, 26, 46.

**, **** Acts xvii. 2,

3. xxvi. 22, betrayed him, answered and said, a Master, is it I? He 3. *10.2

23. 1 Cor.

xv. 3. said unto him, Thou hast said. 26 And as they were k ch svil.7;

John xvii.19. I render, Rabbi. understand these words (wbich are peculiar same sign which revealed the traitor to to our Gospel) otherwise than as an imper. the beloved disciple, would be an affirma. fect report of what really happened, viz. tive reply to himself, equivalent to the that the Lord dipped the sop, and gave it words in the Gospel – Thou hast said.'” to Judas, thereby answering the general Very true, and nearly what I have maindoubt, in which the traitor had impudently tained above: but the literal harmonizers presumed to feign a share. If the question seem to be quite blind to the fact, that this Is it I ? before, represented looked on one principle of interpretation, which they use another doubting, and was our narrator's when it suits them, is the very one against impression of what was in reality not a which they so vehemently protest when spoken but a signified question, - why now others use it, and for the use of which they also should not this question and answer call them such hard names. On Thou hast represent that Judas took part in that said, see below, ver 64, note. doubt, and was, not by word of mouth, but 26-29.] INSTITUTION OF THE LORD's by a decisive sign, of which our author SUPPER. Mark xiv. 22-25. Luke xxii. was not aware, declared to be the traitor ? 19, 20. 1 Cor. xi. 23-25. We may re. Both cannot have happened ;—for John mark on this important point of our narxii. 28) no one knew (not even John, see rative, (1) That it was demonstrably our note there) why Judas went out; whereas Lord's intention to found an ordinance for if he had been openly (and it is out of the those who should believe on Him; (2) question to suppose a private communica- that this ordinance had some analogy with tion between our Lord and him) declared that which He and the Apostles were then to be the traitor, reason enough would celebrating. The first of these assertions have been furnished for his immediately depends on the express word of the Apostle leaving the chamber. (Still, consult the Paul; who in giving directions for the note on Luke, vv. 24-30, where I have due celebration of the rite of the Lord's left room for modifying this view.) I am Supper, states in relation to it that he had aware that this explanation will give offence received from the Lord the account of its to those who believe that every part of each institution, which he then gives. He who account may be tessellated into one con. can set this aside, must set aside with it sistent and complete whole. Stier handles all apostolic testimony whatever. The the above supposition very roughly, and second is shewn by the fact, that what speaks of its upholders in no measured now took place was during the celebration terms. Valuable as are the researches of of the Passover: that the same Paul this Commentator into the inner sense of states that Christ our Passover is sacri. the Lord's words, and ready as I am to ficed for us ; thus identifying the Body acknowledge continual obligation to him, I broken, and Blood shed, of which the cannot but think that in the whole inter- bread and wine here are symbolic, with pretation of this part of the Gospel-history, the Paschal feast. (3) That the key to he and his school have fallen into the error the right understanding of what took of a too minute and letter-serving exposi. place must be found in our Lord's distion. In their anxiety to retain every por course afler the feeding of the five thoution of every account in its strict literal sand in John vi., since He there, and sense, they are obliged to commit many in there only besides at this place, speaks of consistencies. A striking instance of this His flesh and blood, in the connexion found is also furnished in Mr. Birk's Horæ Evan- here. (4) It is impossible to assign to gelicæ, p. 411: where in treating of this this event its precise place in the meal. St. difficulty he says, “If we suppose St. Mat- Luke inserts it before the announcement thew to express the substantial meaning of of the treason of Judas : St. Matt. and our Lord's reply, rather than its precise St. Mark after it. It is doubtful whether words, the two accounts are easily recon- the accounts found in the Talmud and ciled. The question of Judas might concur elsewhere of the ceremonies in the Paschal with St. John's private enquiry, and the feast are to be depended on :- they are ex

11. Cor. xi. 28, eating, 1 Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and m 1 Cor. I. 16. gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; m this is my

24, 25.

ceedingly complicated. Thus much seems amining himself, confessing, partaking. clear,-that our Lord blessed and passed Throughout all Church ministrations this round two cups, one before, the other after double capacity must be borne in mind. the supper,-and that He distributed the Olshausen maintains the opposite view, and unleavened cake during the meal. More holds that the ministrant cannot unite in than this is conjecture. The dipping of himself the two characters. But setting the hand in the dish, and dipping and the inner verity of the matter for a moment giving the sop, may also possibly corre- aside, how, if so, should an unassisted spond to parts of the Jewish ceremonial. minister ever cominunicate ? this is

26.] as they were eating, during my body] this, which I now offer to you, the meal,-as distinguished from the dis. this bread. The form of expression is imtribution of the cup, which was after it. portant, not being this bread, or this wine,

The definite article is before bread but this, in both cases, or this cup, not the in the original, but no especial stress must bread or wine itself, but the thing in each be laid on it; it would be the bread case ;- precluding all idea of a substantial which lay before Him: see below. The change. is] On this much-controbread would be unleavened, as the day verted word itself no stress is to be laid. In was (see Exod. xii. 8). blessed it, the original tongue in which probably our and gave thanks, amount to the same in Lord spoke, it would not be expressed : and practice. The looking up to heaven, and as it now stands, it is merely the logical giving thanks was a virtual blessing' of copula between the subject, this, and the the meal or the bread. It was customary predicate, my Body. The connexion of these in the Paschal meal for the Master, in two will require deeper consideration. First breaking the bread, to give thanks for the we may observe, as above of the subject, fruit of the earth. But our Lord did so here of the predicate, that it is not more than this: He gave thanks, as Gro. My flesh" (although that very exprestius observes, not only for the old creation, sion is didactically used in its general but for the new also, for the redemption of sense in John vi. 51, as applying to the mankind, regarded as now accomplished. bread), but My Body. The body is made From this giving of thanks for, and up of flesh and blood; and although analoblessing, the offering, the Holy Communion gically the bread may represent one and has been from the earliest times also called the wine the other, the assertion here is eucharist (eucharistia, giving of thanks). not to be analogically taken merely: this

brake it] It was a round cake which I give you, (is) my Body. Under of unleavened bread, which the Lord this is the mystery of my Body: the asserbroke and divided : signifying thereby tion has a literal, and has also a spiritual both the breaking of His body on the or symbolic meaning. And it is the literal Cross, and the participation in the benefits meaning which gives to the spiritual and of his death by all His. Hence the act of symbolic meaning its fitness and fulness. communion was known by the name the In the literal meaning then, this (is) my breaking of bread, Acts ii. 42. See 1 Cor. Body, we have BREAD, “the staff of life,' x. 16, also Isa. lyiji. 7: Lam. iv. 4.

identified with THE BODY OF THE LORD: Take, eat] Our Gospel alone has both not that particular bread with that par. words. “Eatis spurious in Mark : both ticular flesh which at that moment con. words, in 1 Cor. xi. 24. Here, they are stituted the Body before them, nor any undoubted: and seem to shew us (see particular bread with the present Body note on Luke, ver. 17) that the Lord did of the Lord in heaven : but this, the not Himself partake of the bread or wine. food of man, with my body. This is It is thought by some however that He strikingly set forth in John vi. 51. Now did: e. g. Chrysostom, “He Himself the mystery of the Lord's Body is, that in drank His own Blood.But the analogy and by it is all created being upheld: in of the whole, as well as these words, and Him all things consist, Col. i. 17; in Him Drink ye all of itbelow, leads us to a was life, John i. 4. And thus generally, different conclusion. Our Lord's non-par- and in the widest sense, is the Body of the ticipation is however no rule for the ad. Lord the sustenance and upholding of all ministrator of the rite in after times. living. Our very bodies are dependent Although in one sense he represents Christ, upon his, and unless by his Body standing blessing, breaking, and distributing; in pure and accepted before the Father could another, he is one of the disciples, ex- not exist nor be nourished. So that to all

« PreviousContinue »