We can piece together which day the significant events of Passion Week occurred by examining the four different Gospel accounts together. However, the traditional layout of the final week has nothing recorded on Wednesday. Perhaps Jesus spent the day in Bethany with His close friends and disciples.
If we look into the homes in the villages surrounding Jerusalem, we know that Wednesday was the final day that a Jewish family would have kept the Passover Lamb. Perhaps much of this had been commercialized by this point. No doubt people purchased the lamb Thursday morning to slay Thursday afternoon. But other families still had the lamb for some time in and around their home. No doubt families became attached to the lamb, loving it like a pet. But the time had come and the next day the family would slaughter that lamb in the Passover Celebration. Sacrifice is always painful. I picture the lamb and the three year old boy playing together oblivious to the next day’s procedure. I picture a father looking on with some sadness even in the small severed relationship that was around the corner knowing what his son would experience.
For me, this is the remarkable part of Wednesday’s silence. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would take the pending judgment in quiet.
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed… Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth” (Isaiah 53:5-7).
But how could He!? How could Jesus sit down and pray on Wednesday with the one who had already betrayed Him (Judas) and would seal the deal Thursday? How could Jesus go on as normal when He was facing the most excruciating separation and torture ever to be experienced in just a matter of hours? We cannot fathom the way Jesus was able to quiet His feelings till the next night. And yet, like that lamb in the family’s care, Jesus sat unaffected by the pending judgment.
And so we learn from the quiet the Lamb’s submission to the Father’s will. Jesus was willing to die because it pleased His Father, so He continued the walk each day submissive as a Lamb being led to the slaughter. Jesus was “playing” with those who would in a few hours betray Him, forsake Him and run. I see the Father in pain watching the Son’s submission to His will. And yet, I see the Father and Son delighted to bring this plan to fruition, to continue to allow the week to progress that would secure our eternal redemption through faith in Jesus’ sacrificial death. He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).