Mark 14:12

On the first day of the Festival of the unleavened bread, when it was customary to kill the Passover lambs, his disciples said to Jesus, “Where do you wish us to go and make preparations for your eating the Passover?”

such initiative
once waiting to be sent
asked to volunteer bread
told to bring an ass

we are learning
to prepare a way
thinking this feast
is like all the rest

so where do we go
to see how far
we have come
and know all is alright

we haven’t yet learned
to throw a surprise party
but we do know our need
for a next regular feast

we so want to know
our suffering your death
will be passed by
let’s do this

At least one of the disciples, Judas, is prepared to betray. Some of the disciples (perhaps beyond the Twelve) see the need to prepare in the midst of Jerusalem as much as for an entry into Jerusalem.

Given that preparation is a central concern here, there is still no resolution about calendaring issues here and elsewhere in Mark. There is confusion about a standardized understanding of what is going to happen and when. Unleavened Bread and Passover lambs don’t easily mix. If we simply take today’s Eastern and Western Christian traditions about Easter as a starting point, they are seldom held at the same time. The mix of peoples of differing sects and agendas seem to have always brought confusion—and still are.

If, at this late date, there is confusion about what is to be prepared and where, it may reveal knowledge of plotting by the Chief Priests and Scribes which leads Jesus and others to have gone underground again. This is in keeping with guerrilla tactics Jesus has used before—show up where least expected and be absent from where you are expected to be.

A more mundane attempt to deal with the confusion is to simply note that a Jewish marking of time from Sunset to Sunset puts the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread on different days while Mark follows a Roman marking of time from Sunrise to Sunrise and groups them on the same day. Over such details do tribes compete.

To add to the confusion, William Tyndale translates the Passover references in this chapter as “Easter”—e.g., the Passover lamb becomes the “ester lambe”. Religious winners can retroject as they will.

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