Holy Thursday: Jesus on the Move!
Meditating on the words and acts of Jesus during His last dinner with the disciples.
The Upper Room, in Jerusalem, has been secured by Peter and John according to Jesus’ instructions. For 33 years, Jesus has been observing The Passover as all faithful Jews have done since the Exodus. Tonight, however, will be His last. In fact, tonight Jesus will implement a New Meal that faithful followers will observe for the next 1988+ years.
On Thursday evening, Jesus and His disciples gather to observe the Passover Meal and remember God’s liberation of Israel from slavery. Each disciple waits for one of the others to perform the customary foot washing. Jesus rises, takes the bowl and towel, and quietly washes each disciple’s feet. He washes the feet of Judas, the betrayal, Peter, the denier, and nine other men who will desert him when he is arrested. In doing so, Jesus sets the pattern for service in His Kingdom.
During the meal, Jesus reveals that one of the twelve will betray Him. Somehow, no one suspects Judas -- religion has a way of looking good on the outside. Satan takes possession of Judas’ body (certainly with Judas’ permission) and he leaves to sell out the Savior.
Jesus lifts the bread, blesses it, and explains its significance to what He is about to do on the cross.
He then raises the cup of wine, explaining that it is His blood that will ushers in the New Covenant.
As they drink, they participate in the first Communion Service. One that will be repeated for centuries to come in solemn remembrance and awesome celebration of our liberation from the slavery of sin.
Can you imagine what it would have been like for the disciples as they observe The Lord’s Supper in the early days of the Church? Imagine them thinking back to what they were thinking, feeling during that First Meal.
Jesus settles a dispute between the disciples, who still don’t get it. They are arguing who is going to be greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus teaches what greatness in the Kingdom looks like (Ummmmm, remember the foot washing, guys?) and delivers several other teachings known as the Upper Room Discourse.
After the meal, they leave singing together, making their way to the Mount of Olives.
Late into the night and in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays...prays like He has never prayed before.
“Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but they will be done.”