Father, . . . glorify your son, that your son may glorify you.
It is late in the evening of Nisan 14 in the year 33 C.E. Jesus and his companions have enjoyed celebrating the Passover, which reminds them of how God delivered their forefathers from slavery in Egypt. But his faithful disciples are to experience a far grander “everlasting deliverance.” The next day, their sinless Leader will be put to death by his enemies. But this hateful act will be turned into a blessing. Jesus’ shed blood will provide the basis for mankind’s deliverance from sin and death. To make sure that we do not forget this loving provision, Jesus instituted a new annual observance that replaced the Passover. He did this by breaking a loaf of unleavened bread, and passing it to each of his 11 faithful apostles, he said: “This means my body which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” He did likewise with a cup of red wine.
Shortly after Jesus concluded the first evening meal with his apostles Judas led the Roman soldiers to the Garden of Gethsemane to have Jesus arrested. As Christ pointed out, it was the hour of the authority of darkness.
Although mere moments before Peter had boasted that he would never be stumbled, even though all the others might be, Jesus foretold that before a cock would crow at that dawn’s light Peter would deny knowing him three times.
But Peter was unaware that an important Hebrew prophecy was about to be fulfilled. The shepherd was to be struck and the sheep scattered. Jesus explained to Peter that Satan had demanded to have them to sift them as wheat, just as he had demanded to have the man Job.
Similarly, the Watchtower article upon which this text is based boasts of the unity enjoyed by Jehovah’s witnesses. The unspoken boast is that they will never stumble. But the Governing Body are as blind as Peter. Furthermore, just like the apostles were oblivious to Judas’ duplicity even after Jesus handed him the morsel during the Passover meal, Jehovah’s Witnesses are blind to the operation of the antitypical son of destruction in their midst.
What is more, the prophecy of Zechariah concerning the striking of the shepherd and the scattering of the sheep has a grander fulfillment, one connected to the return of Christ. Just as Jesus had to endure the hour of darkness, so too must Jehovah’s Witnesses in the very near future.