Jesus is fulfilling the Passover sacrifice starting with the Last Supper, the Agony in the Garden, crucifixion, death, and resurrection on the third day. He purposefully leaves the fourth and final cup of the Passover un-drunk until his death on the cross when His love of His Bride is consummated.
The entire Triduum is replete with imagery and fulfilling of all the covenant curses up to this point in history as The Q Continuum explains:
[Scott Hahn] "After this" - at the very end of his cruel sufferings - "Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said, in order to fulfill the scriptures, 'I thirst.'"When Jesus had received the sour wine he said the words that are spoken of in the fourth cup consummation, "It is finished."
Exodus 12:22 commands that on the night of the Passover all were to stay indoors lest they succumb to the angel of death. Our Lord purposefully goes out into the night to confront that ancient serpent to secure what Adam lost.
The first battle in the original garden was an epic tragedy – the Garden of Eden. In Eden, we find Adam failing to obey the command of the Father to shamar (protect) and adovah (work) the garden and all its inhabitants. (Gn 2:15) In this garden, Adam should have contended with the nahash (dragon – usually translated as serpent) but instead said nothing. The result was staggering. He saved his physical life and lost eternal life; He allowed evil to enter into the garden, to dominate it and his bride; and He should have been working but was standing doing nothing next to Eve.
Tonight, our Lord goes out singing into the darkness and we find Him in another garden. Only the victors sing. Think of the Song of Roland, The Ballad of the White Horse, or the Lord of the Rings – only the victors know how to sing. Our Lord knew He had already won the battle but no soldier or commander underestimates his enemy. For this reason, Sacred Song is so important to our liturgies. The music reminds of the victory our Lord will win for us through this Blessed Triduum. And the story continues…
He enters into the garden; cares for His future Bride, the Church (embodied by His Apostles); and obeys His Father’s perfect will. (Lk 22:42) He desires them to tarry with Him so they will not be put to the test (Lk 22:40) but gives them their rest anyway. He kneels to adovah (means both work and pray). And the battle begins…Over the next three days, we enter into the Paschal Mystery of our Lord. He will fulfill the curses of all the covenants but tonight provokes another battle to win back Eden. The curses of Eden for Adam are three-fold:
Jesus answers these curses by:
- 1) “Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life.” (Gn 3:17;
- 2) “Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field.” (Gn 3:18); and
- 3) “By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” (Gn 2:19).
- 1) Toiling (remember prayer and work are the same word) on the ground and yielding the fruit of the vine that becomes the fruit of our salvation;
- 2) His work is so successful that He will be crowned with the work of His hands – thorns and thistles; and
- 3) His work/prayer is so intense that He sweats blood, provides Himself as the Bread from Heaven and conquers death.
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