After - Day 5

Passover and Last Supper and Maundy Thursday

Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38.

Holy Week takes a darker turn on Thursday.

From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover. Jesus took a bowl and a basin and redefined greatness that night.  By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how believers should love one another. Today, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services.

Then, Jesus shared the feast of Passover with his disciples, saying:
"I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won't eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 22:15-16, NLT)

As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death. During this Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord's Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine (Luke 22:19-20).

Later, Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father. Luke's Gospel says that "his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44, ESV).

Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin. He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus.

Meanwhile, in the early morning hours, as Jesus' trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing his Master three times before the rooster crowed.

Each of these instances could have a class written about them. Of course, we don’t have the time to write about each one, but each one contributes to our understanding of greatness, sacrifice, of humility, of love, and compassion that Jesus had for us. From the way that Jesus led his disciples with humility, to how Peter denied his affinity for Jesus, we see the whole human emotion play out in love and drama.

But as we think about where this leads us, we need to recognize that this was all done with an unreasonable and overwhelming love for each of us. Each moment of this day leads us to the inevitable Cross that we will see tomorrow.

  1. Have you ever been in a situation that seemed inevitable? What was it and how come you couldn't get out of it? 
  2. When you think about everything that was happening that day, what was the most difficult for you to watch play out? 
  3. What kind of love does God have to have for us to let all of this happen? 
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