Holy Week – Maundy Thursday

Jesus last full day inhabiting His mortal body must have been one characterized by a huge range of emotions.  From continuing to teach His disciples, and contending with the “establishment”, to preparing Himself to meet His destiny the following day.  This day in Jesus’ life included:

Discourse.  Jesus continued to teach with both parables and in directives to His disciples and to the religious leaders who were still trying to trick him.

Dinner.  Jesus instituted the ceremony by which we still today commemorate His sacrifice.  He clearly instructed on the symbolism of the bread which would remind us of His body, which was broken for us and of the wine, which would be a reminder of His blood shed on our behalf.  The blood that scripture tells us without which there can be no forgiveness of sins.

Distress.  Later after the supper, He took three of His disciples into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.  Mark 14: 33 (NIV) says that Jesus was deeply distressed.  Surely the gravity of what was soon to come was now invading His thoughts as he pleaded with His Father to “Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Defection.  While He knew it would happen, and He even knew who it would be, there must surely have been anguish at the reality of the betrayal when one of His own, Judas, defected to the opposition.  And Judas did so out of selfish greed, forsaking the man he had lived and travelled with for three years and who had cared for him more deeply than anyone on Earth could have, including father or mother, brother, sister or child.

Desertion.  After Jesus was arrested in the Garden, his disciples abandoned him and fled.

Denied and Disowned.  Peter, who just days before had proclaimed Jesus to be The Christ, and who had committed to follow Jesus, even to death, was now fearful of being known as a disciple when questioned by a slave girl.

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