Last night was the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The remembrance of an ancient tale takes the form of a feast. In the stories that are remembered, the original eaters of that feast were supposed to eat hurriedly and be dressed as if ready for travel. They were also supposed to mark the doors of the houses with blood, so that the messenger of death would not find their family.

A millennium and a half after that story, yet still ages ago, a rabbi celebrated Passover with his 12 closest followers.

Several unique things happened at that Passover. All the stories about that evening tell of a new ceremony with bread and wine. At least one of his followers left the meal before that ceremony began. One story mentions a strange sequence in which the rabbi washed the feet of the other men at the table.

Later that night, while praying in a garden outside the City of Jerusalem, the rabbi was arrested by soldiers of the Temple guard. The man who had left the Passover table before the meal was done had brought the soldiers.

The background for this arrest, and the animosity between the Temple leadership and this rabbi, were rooted in many things.

The rabbi, whose name is often rendered as Jesus, had strong differences with the Temple authorities. He also generated large crowds wherever he went. He didn't call himself "rabbi", he called himself "the Son of man."

There were stories of miracles; outrageous claims about Jesus and His relationship to the God of their ancient religion. There were also the many references to the Kingdom of Heaven in the teachings. (The people had been under foreign, Imperial power for a century or two. But there were memories of priests who had been kings and the leaders of armies. Those priests had driven out a different Imperial power. Doubtless there were rumors about Jesus and his intentions with respect to the Roman Imperium.)

Most troublesome were the parables and teachings that seemed to insist that the Temple leadership were bad stewards of the ancient faith, and would be uprooted and replaced by their God.

So, the man was arrested. The religious leaders of the Temple apparently desired to have Him executed. They hoped it would be the end of Jesus' influence.

But first, they had to convince the entire Religious Council that execution should happen. Then they had to convince the Roman authority that Jesus was a danger to their power.

It was a long night.

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