Mark 14:1

It was now two days before the Festival of the Passover and the unleavened bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were looking for an opportunity to arrest Jesus by stealth, and to put him to death;

the countdown is on
searching beyond boundaries
brought a gift beyond
tribal rescue
occupational resistance
a change of heart

the countdown continues
being beloved enough
to hazard a wilderness
plumb its depths
probe its strength
poke its edges

the countdown resumes
each new night next day
with riddles of trust
shifting frames
opening eyes and ears
partnering generously

Two days or two plagues before what became known as Passover there were locusts which ate all that was green in Egypt-land. The accusation against Moses was that of plotting an evil scheme and it turned out the trickster was Pharaoh who asked for forgiveness to stop the locusts and then would not give-in and let the Hebrews go.

Two days or two plagues before what became known as the Release, Exodus, or Rising of the Hebrew people from Egypt—there was darkness. Pharaoh’s stubbornness to not let the Hebrew people rise led him to say to Moses, “…the next time you see my face you will die.”

Adding the Feast of Unrising Bread into the mix has led to numerous attempts to make sense of Mark’s chronology. It may be necessary to broaden our understanding of the eight days of Passover and how that term can stand for the preparation for the whole of the celebration, the days themselves, and the carrying of the whole event forward as a perspective of release throughout the whole year.

When seen in light of the Passover story, we have the irony of the Chief Priests and Scribes shifting from a continued journey of rising up against injustice and unmercy, to playing the role of oppressor working in the background to play an okey-doke of sounding positive while setting in motion any and all necessary, last-minute reversals that turn an immanent release into harder captivity. Every institutional trick of the trade is fair in a zero-sum game of power.

Finally, the curtain is pulled back when the fire-hoses and dogs come out of hiding and arrest and death become the bottom-line of passed and past laws against a watched-for future grace-filled rising.

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