A celebration of relief and redemption as the Israelites remembered that eery time in Egypt. Where despite the strong arm of Pharaoh, a boy once tossed in a river would come and steal them out of slavery.
The luring smell of roasting lamb, freshly risen bread, stewing spices saved for such an occasion. Children weaving their way through the crowds, giggling and playing tag with one another. Parents sitting by reminiscing last year's feast. Recounting the months in between that brought new birth for some and tragic days for others.
Jesus tells the disciples it is time to prepare. Eagerly, the disciples rise up to set the feast in motion. Jesus knew that the earthly preparations would only act to ready the disciple's hearts to be broken. At least for a time.
There is an excited murmur in the city as families prepare their homes and tables to celebrate. Jesus sends them on the task of preparing for the feast. I am sure they were excited, thinking of the evening's food, singing, story-telling and worshipping that would happen among them.
Sitting under the disillusioned safety of a festival, the disciples sit with Jesus to eat.
Passing the warm bread around the table comes to a frightening halt when Jesus mutters the words, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." All cups were placed back on the table and the disciples swallowed their food hard in preparation for objection. In preparation for sorrow.
Judas had already sold Jesus to the highest bidder. The money justifying his conscience, at least for now.