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OF THE PASSOVER OF OUR LORD2.
WHEN the time of the Passover came, He sent two of His disciples to a man with whom they were not acquainted, saying, 'When ye enter the city, behold, there will meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him, and wheresoever he entereth, say ye to the master of the house, "Our Master saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?" and behold, he will shew a large upper chamber made ready and prepared; there make ye ready p. 93 for us.' And because at that time crowds of people were flocking thickly into Jerusalem to keep the feast of the Passover, so that all the houses of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were filled with people by reason of the great crowd which was resorting thither, our Lord, by the power of His Godhead, worked upon the master of the house to make ready a large upper chamber without his being aware for whom he was preparing it, but he thought that perhaps some great man among the nobles and grandees of the Jews was about to come to him, and that it was right to keep a room for him furnished with all things (needful); because all those who came from other places to Jerusalem were received into their houses by the people of the city, and whatsoever they required for the use of the feast of the Passover they supplied. Hence the master of the house made ready that upper chamber with all things (needful), and permitted no man to enter therein, being restrained by the power of our Lord. Because a mystical thing was about to be done in it, it was not meet for Him to perform the hidden mystery when others were near. Mâr Basil says: 'On the eve of the Passion, after the disciples had received the body and blood of our Lord, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of His disciples; this was baptism to the apostles. They were not all made perfect, because they were not all pure, for Judas, the son of perdition, was not sanctified1; and because that basin of washing was in truth baptism, as our Lord said to Simon Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me," that is to say, "If I baptise thee not, thou art not able to enter into the kingdom of heaven." Therefore, every one who is not baptised by the priests, and receives not the body and blood of Christ our Lord, enters not into the kingdom of heaven.' Mâr Dâd-îshô` says in his commentary on Abbâ Isaiah2: 'When our Lord at the Passover had washed the feet of His disciples, He kissed the knees of Judas, and wiped the soles of his feet with the napkin which was girt round His loins, like a common slave; for everything which our Lord did, He did for our teaching.' Mâr Basil in his 'Questions' advises Christians to eat oil, drink wine, p. 94 and break their fast on this evening; for in it was the old covenant finished, and the new one inaugurated; and in it was the (chosen) people stripped of holiness, and the nations were sanctified and pardoned. Although this saint permits (this), yet the other fathers do not give leave (to do) this, neither do we, nor those of our confession.
1 In the Oxford MS. chap. xlvii.
2 Matt. chap. xxvi.
1 In the Oxford MS. this chapter ends here.
2 Isaiah of Scêtê. See Assemânî, Bibl. Orient., t. iii, pt. i, p. 99; Wright's Catal., p. 458 sqq., p. 868, col. 2.