Having brought freedom, healing and truth to the houses of Israel, Jesus’ ministry culminates in his final teaching and cleansing of “the house of Prayer for the nations” (11:17). After a period of teaching in the Temple (note the absence of miracles, showing the lack of faith, cf. Mark 6:5-6), Jesus directs his Disciples to prepare the Passover (note that the lamb is never mentioned) in one of the city residents’ homes (Mark 14:13–as a poor person would have, cf. Ex 12:3f). Once “they prepared the Passover” (14:16), “he [Jesus] came…with the twelve.” Now that the Passover had arrived (i.e. Jesus), they consume the offering–his body (14:22) and blood (14:24)–in anticipation of Jesus immanent death (14:21). Once betrayed (14:18) the Passover Lamb would “go as it is written about him” (Is. 53:7-8–“Like a lamb to the slaughtering block.”). This divinely pleasing one (1:11) would be presented by the priests (Mark 8:31; 10:33; 14:43, 53, 55; 15:1, 3, 10, 11, 31-32) in Jerusalem (10:33) as Malachi 3:1 explained would happen. From There Jesus and his disciples go out (Ex 12:22) where only Jesus will stand fast (14:27-31, 43-52) to keep vigil (14:32-42; cf. Ex 12:42).
Thinking yet more over Marks’ portrayal of Jesus as the Passover lamb, I got to thinking of the happenings in the Garden of Gethsemane. Here again, having gone out of the house (as Ex 12:22 prohibits), Jesus stands in the place of the Passover Lamb as he absorbs all of the mob’s attention. When judgement comes (again in the middle of the night–cf. Ex. 11:4)–i.e. the mob (instead of “the destroyer” in Ex. 12:23)–Jesus alone is arrested, (even though one of the bystanders clearly should be arrested for cutting off the High Priest’s servant’s ear; Mk 14:47!) while the others are “passed over.” Even further than the other Gospel writers, Mark points out not only that “all the disciples left him and fled” (Mk 14:50) but that “A young man was following him, wearing only a linen cloth. They tried to arrest him, but he ran off naked, leaving his linen cloth behind.” (Mk. 14:51-52), further highlighting just how alone Jesus is in his role as Passover lamb.