Mary, conscious of the sorrow of death which was in her Lord's soul, poured out the rarest gift she possessed, and so anointed Him beforehand for His burial. Her name is forever redolent of pure devotion.
Two sets of arrangements are here chronicled, those of Judas an3 Jesus, yet both converging to the same end under the sovereign will and power of Jehovah. Jesus gathered round Him those who were, according to His own teaching, most nearly related to Him (see 3:34,35), and so grafted the new feast on to the old. In this institution of the breaking of the bread as a perpetual feast of remembrance and proclamation, our Lord made His death the central matter in His work. Not His life, or miracles, or teaching, but His death.
Jesus joined His disciples in singing. Most probably they sang the concluding portion of the Hallel (Psalms 115:1-18; Psalms 116:1-19; Psalms 117:1-2; Psalms 118:1-29).
No disciple witnessed the agony of Gethsemane. One was arranging for the Master to be taken by the mob. Eight were left outside the gate. Three were asleep inside. Heaven and hell watched the conflict. In the Garden scene Mark omits incidents full of interest, but gives us a rapid view of the crisis.
The chief actors in all this awful and tragic chapter of human history were the priests. Man's sin had its most awful manifestation in the death of Jesus, and therefore priestism is the most awful form of human depravity in itself, and in the results it produces.
Such a fall as Peter's comes to no man suddenly. The preparation for it lies back in the story, and began arrestingly immediately after his noble confession, "Thou art the Christ." Not until Peter had confessed Him Messiah did Jesus attempt to lead him into the larger truth of the necessity for suffering and death. There Peter failed.
Second Sunday after Epiphany