I’m not Catholic, as far as my thoughts and mind go, but if you were to ask, yes, I was baptized in the Catholic church and had most of the sacraments,but probably will not go back (no offense to my amazing Catholic friends). But, I do remember different traditions that happened around Easter, and my mom reminded me earlier today that it was Holy Thursday.
What was so “holy” about Thursday, I had asked her. Well, this is when Jesus had his last supper with his disciples, she replied.
Oh yeah. Duh.
Amazing how we focus on everything else, and yet Jesus said so many powerful things to his disciples that night and prayed until he bled in the garden…before the guards came to take him away. Not only that but he KNEW what was to come. He KNEW what was going to happen, and he was WILLING to do what Father God had prepared for Him to do.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
Just a thought, I never really thought about the disciples “reclining” at the table until my friends pointed it out. They are doing the Passover tonight and they put the table low to the floor and put cushions around and reclined at the table just as they thought Jesus and his disciples did. This was a dinner. His last. And yet it went just like that. And even before that, he had washed their feet.
15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
I wonder how shocked they were to hear that. What do you mean this is the last time you will eat? No, he must be telling a story.
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
That was the last time he drank wine. He didn’t even partake of the wine that he said to drink in remembrance of him? How interesting.
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Did they even realize that it was going to happen the next day?
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a]
It is poured out for the disciples, and for us. He wanted a relationship with us. He wanted us close with Father God. And He was willing to take our place and pay the ultimate price. His life. What an amazing God we serve. We don’t deserve the love He pours out upon us.
21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Could you imagine? How horrible that would be. Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, even when he picked him to be one of the disciples. He knew eventually that Judas was going to put him in the Pharisees hands, and yet he still had him part of his group, ministering and teaching others. He showed God to Judas, for He, Jesus, was God. I don’t know. How would we have treated him if we had known?
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
This conversation always makes me laugh because we are so human. We compare ourselves to others and Jesus says, no no. That’s not the idea. You don’t lord it over people. You don’t look down on others. You are to be servants. I have called you to be servants. I am a servant. This is what I’m asking you to do. Throw out the selfishness.
I mean, I don’t know about you, but I constantly start praising myself. Or I find I start to criticize others when I have no right to judge. I realize, it’s not about me. It’s not about what people see me do. I was just thinking this yesterday when I was about to tell my husband about all the “great” things I did that day, and then the verse that talks about don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing popped in my head. I did tell him a bit, but still, I didn’t have to brag. How would that gain anything? It doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It was for God.
Jesus served. He wants us to serve. This is a constant work in progress. How much more important was this to him, right before he died, to make sure his disciples understood. Understood that they needed to SERVE.
28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
There is a kingdom. There is a table. We will be there with Him if we believe. I still can’t get over what He was saying to His disciples, and without the Holy Spirit helping them to interpret, how much went right over their heads, until after Jesus rose again and the Holy Spirit came upon them. Then they remembered everything Jesus said to them and it finally made SENSE. If you think you are not understanding God and who He is, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. To open your mind and heart. Then start reading the Bible. You will be so surprised at the difference and what sticks out, if you truly believe.
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
All I can think is “ouch”. “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” He wants to put us in a place, work on us, make us deny Christ, make us hate. And yet Jesus truly prays for us. He prays, not only for Simon and that his faith does not fail, but for our faith not to fail. And even if we miss the mark, to persevere once again. To keep hoping, trusting, and following Him. And as we do that, to strengthen those around us, just like He asked Peter to do.
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Another ouch. Peter was so sure he wouldn’t deny Christ. So sure he could stand by all Jesus was about to do. But Jesus knew better, and still was going to be praying for him and the disciples. He lived the constant, ultimate sacrifice of love.
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
I don’t know if you are confused, but I am a little confused here. Was it because of what was about to happen, Jesus wanted them ready. Not yet to do what the Holy Spirit would empower them to do, but the things they would need to survive the ordeal of the night, of all that He was to accomplish?
I want to share so much more, and I wish I could use every gospel and just walk through it with you, but I do need to go to bed.
Please remember ALL that Jesus did, all that He said, and realize, especially on this night, there was more to come and so much more Jesus did. I pray God blesses you as you read on.
Have a great night…and remember how Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives. He was not just praying for His disciples, but for you and me.
Be inspired today!