”After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.”—Mark 14:1,2

Here is an interesting and remarkable thing. There is no record in the gospels of any activity undertaken by the Lord on the Wednesday before His crucifixion. It is a silent day. Christ, the Son of David, the Son of God, had entered Jerusalem on Sunday to the acclaim of the crowds. Monday and Tuesday had been busy with the Lord travelling from Bethany to Jerusalem both days. He had wept over the city, turned over the moneychangers’ tables, cursed the fig tree, contended with a succession of religious opponents, taught His disciples and preached to His followers in the Temple.

A busy few days

Observing a poor widow place two mites in the treasury box of the Temple the Lord commended the gift of ‘all her living’ above the offerings of the wealthy. He spoke at length to His disciples about the nature of true faith and warned of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment of the Jewish nation. He gave a long list of woes against His enemies and warned His elect people to take heed; watch, and pray, and be ready to escape the coming destruction.

Tuesday evening

It seems likely the meal in Bethany at the home of Simon the Leper in Mark 14:3 occurred on Tuesday evening bringing this busy few days to their end. At this meal the Lord’s head was anointed with costly spikenard and Jesus may have washed His disciples’ feet. Here, too, Judas succumbed to Satan and his betrayal was signalled to Peter and John, after which ‘the son of perdition’ approached the Sanhedrin with an offer to betray Jesus.

Silent Wednesday

Then there is silence. On Thursday the Lord will send Peter and John to prepare the passover meal and will eat it late in the day in Jerusalem with his disciples. Then He will return to the Mount of Olives and His intense soul-suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane will begin. Much is still to happen before the Lord is crucified on Friday, but Wednesday is silent. It is peculiarly the Lord’s private day.

Our Representative

It may seem strange to fix our thoughts on a matter not mentioned in Scripture. However, I believe there is value in realising how the Lord on the eve of His travail in Gethsemane took time to rest, anticipate, and prepare Himself for the physical and spiritual ordeal that lay before Him. It is a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s humanity and ought to draw us deeper into His love and sacrifice.

Things not seen

Perhaps the day was spent at Bethany, or quietly on the Mount of Olives, we do not know. Whether He was alone, or with His disciples, or His dear friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus we do not know. Nor do we know what prayers He prayed, what Scriptures He meditated upon or what comfort He received from His Father. The Holy Spirit, John tells us, takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us: but not today. Today, the Saviour’s communing with His Father remains unseen and hidden.

The thoughts of the heart

We have noted previously how the Psalms and Prophets often signify to us the God-man’s private pleadings in periods of prayer. In the Gospels several of the Lord’s prayers are recorded, being preserved for our comfort and blessing. However, on this occasion particulars are not necessary. The Saviour’s achievements in the days following are sufficient witness of the usefulness of these quiet hours of respite for His soul. It is enough for us to know the success of the sacrifice, the accomplishments of the atonement, the full payment of every debt and the complete release of all His people from every Godward obligation.

Our salvation performed

I like to think this was a time of quiet preparation and anticipation for the Lord Jesus, a day of personal rest and respite in which the Master’s own soul was prepared, strengthened and equipped for the trials that lay ahead. We often find it satisfying to examine the process of the Lord’s ministry, but here, by complete silence, the Holy Spirit reminds us that the greater glory is in the purpose of the Lord’s ministry. The details of this day may be hidden from our view but the victory they shaped, and the glory that followed, is evident for all the world to see.


Peter Meney


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