“Go into the city and a man carrying a pot of water will meet you..." (Mark 14:14-15)

So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city and a man carrying a pot of water will meet you. Follow him – and whatever house he enters, tell the owner of the house: “The Teacher says, ‘where is there dining quarters where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he will show you a large furnished room upstairs that is ready: Make the preparations there.” (Mark 14:13-15)
Jesus is instructing his followers to find him a place to eat the Passover meal:
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – during the Passover offering – his disciples asked him, “Where should we go to prepare for your Passover feast?” (Mark 14:12)


What is Passover?

Passover is the commemoration of Moses' leading his followers out of Egypt during a time when they were enslaved. The Pharoah at the time had subjected the followers of Abraham to forced labor and futile sustenance. Then Moses led these followers out of Egypt, and they were chased by the Pharoah's army. This was a risky escape, but because Moses had heard from God that they should do this, they were relying upon God to lead them to freedom.

This event is documented in the Book of Exodus.

The Passover began in Jerusalem as an offering of the first grains of the season. This offering was and is still done at the Temple in Jerusalem, to commemorate the event. Other things are also offered today. But the event was founded not only upon Moses' exodus and what it means, but as a thanksgiving for the harvest of the spring grains.

Essentially Passover is an offering to God and an observance of the benefit of taking refuge in God, as will be discussed further below.

What is the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

This tradition is based upon the understanding that when Moses' followers escaped Egypt, they had to react fast. So they could not wait for their dough to rise through natural fermentation - also called yeast or leavening.

They had to leave in haste, so they ate bread that was not leavened. So the tradition commemorates this with a feast that highlights the eating of bread that has not been risen. It is baked without any yeast or other leavening agents.

This unleavened bread is also called matzo bread today. Matzo bread is a flatbread baked with no leavening agents.

One thing to keep in mind here is that today, leavening agents include things like sodium bicarbonate or baking powder with caking and oxygenating chemical agents. This is not what the ancient Judeans utilized. They utilized natural yeast to make their bread. Yeast will typically produce what might now be called sourdough bread.

Yeast will make bread rise and give it a lighter, more textured feel, just as the chemical leavening agents can provide. But yeast also provides natural health benefits such as helping to prevent digestive issues. Natural yeasts such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae also help break down the gluten proteins, making the wheat grain more digestible.

For these reasons, eating unleavened bread is considered a form of sacrifice.

Why is Passover important?

The key element of the Passover celebration is the recognition that the Supreme Being is our only real protection. He is our only real refuge: Our only real shelter. This is what the followers of Moses were essentially doing as they escaped.

We cannot take refuge in the things of this world. Money will not protect us. Fame will not protect us. The physical family will not protect us. Our bodies cannot protect us. All of these things are temporary and will die or decompose. Therefore they cannot protect us. Everything in the physical world was designed to decompose. 

The molecules making up our bodies and the bodies of our family members will soon become part of the soil. And the molecules making up our cars, houses, and other things of this world will all become decomposed and scattered throughout the physical environment.

Yes, nothing lasts in this physical world. Therefore we have no refuge here.

But each of us - the spirit-person (or soul) within - will live on after the physical body is dead and decomposed. What happens to us when the body dies and our body begins to decompose? Who will protect us then? Will our money or our family or our nation or our house be there to protect us when our body dies and we have to leave our body? No.

But if we cultivate our love for the Supreme Being, we can take refuge in Him. We can depend upon the Supreme Being. This is what the Exodus is all about. This is the message of the Exodus. The followers of Moses weren't just a tribe of people who had a bond of being born in the same region. They were born from all different places. But they were followers of the teachings of Abraham, which taught them to love and worship the Supreme Being, and take refuge in Him:
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)
So that is what they did. They worshiped God and He freed them. He gave them protection.

Now it should be known that not every follower of Moses physically survived or was freed from the Pharoah. Certainly, some were left behind or died in the subsequent battles.

That doesn't matter. Their souls were freed as soon as they took refuge in the Supreme Being. Their sanctuary was in God.

The spirit-person within - the soul - is freed when we take refuge in God. God will free us from the entanglements of this world. He will free the soul from the imprisonment of greed, selfishness, and pettiness. Simply knowing that the Supreme Being will give us refuge will bring us peace within.

This is the peace that Jesus offered his students when he said:
“Daughter, your faith has made you whole – be with peace and be cured of your condition.” (Mark 5:34)
And when he said:
"Have salt within yourselves, and be at peace with one other.” (Mark 9:50)
“Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36)

“Your faith has saved you – go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

"I leave you with peace – my peace I give to you" (John 14:27)
This sort of peace is not the peace that relates to not fighting with others. This is referring to peace within. This only comes when one has no anxiety about who or what will give them protection.

This is the peace that comes from within when one knows that the Supreme Being will give us refuge. This was the peace that Jesus had, and Jesus passed onto others as he asked everyone to love God and take refuge in God.

Why did Jesus observe Passover?

One might wonder why many institutions that claim to follow Jesus do not honor Passover. Why not? Why would those who claim to follow Jesus not observe this commemoration that Jesus observed, which represents taking refuge in God?

From Mark 14:14 and other verses in the Gospels, we see that Jesus certainly observed the Passover celebration. And he wanted his disciples - his followers - to also observe it. This is why he organized the location to honor the Passover and invited his close disciples to attend the commemoration with him.

This is because Jesus understood the purpose of the Passover. And he wanted to communicate to his followers that taking refuge in God is critical to our ability to have peace within.