Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday


It's Thursday.
Tomorrow is Good Friday.
Sunday is Easter.

But today is Thursday.
As the Easter Story plays out, tonight Jesus will have the Last Supper with the Disciples. Tonight Jesus will wash the feet of all the disciples, including Judas, the betrayer. Afterward, they will go to the Garden to pray. Finally, Jesus will be arrested and the disciples will be scattered. Peter will deny knowing Christ not once, but three times.

It's Thursday. I know how the story plays out. I already know how the story ends.  Still, my heart breaks for the disciples. They have no idea what horrors tonight will bring. They do not understand the events that are unfolding around them.

I cannot imagine how terrified they must have been when their Master, their Teacher, their Friend, was arrested.

But we aren't there yet.

First there's dinner. You can read all about it here.
Try and put yourself in that scene. Talk about the most awkward Dinner EVER! First, Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray him. They all say "not me" and when Judas says it, Jesus responds, "you have said it".  Wow. Can you feel the air being sucked out of the room? THEN they pass around the bread and the wine and Jesus tells them, his FRIENDS, that this will be His last supper with them. Honestly, can you IMAGINE?  I can try, but am sure that I cannot fathom the way the disciples must have felt.
Then, what must Jesus have felt? Knowing exactly how things were going to go down. Knowing that this was the end of His time with the 12. Knowing that they just didn't understand the enormity of the moment. Knowing how frightened they would all be. Knowing that they would die for their belief in Him. Knowing all the pain that would be endured, not only by Him, but also by all who loved Him. How His heart must have ached. My heart hurts just thinking about it.

Dinner ends, they sing some hymns, and go to the Garden. You can read the Biblical account of it here.

Things get worse for the disciples. Jesus has already verified that Judas would betray Him. Now, he tells Peter that he will deny him not once, but three times...before dawn! I'm sure that Peter, who loves Jesus, cannot imagine any scenario in which he would deny knowing his teacher and friend. Of course, Peter has no idea just how bad things are going to get. How it must have agonized Jesus to know that the 12 would be scattered, that Peter would be so afraid that he would deny being a disciple, that they would all be terrified.

In the Garden, Jesus tells Peter, James and John,  “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me."

What had Jesus swallowed up in sorrow? See what He does next...
Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Wow. Just wow. Jesus knew everything that was about to take place. He understood. In the final hours, He asked the Father if the cup could pass from Him. That would be like me saying, "God, if there is any other way to do this, let's do it that way."  BUT Jesus doesn't wait for an answer. He doesn't try to formulate another plan. He doesn't analyze the situation. He says, "Yet not as I will, but as You will."  OH! To have that level of submission to God! Not what I want, but what You want, Lord.

Shortly thereafter, Judas shows up and kisses Jesus on the cheek and the Roman Guards take the Lord of All Creation away...and thus begins the most horridly beautiful 3 days in history.

It's Thursday.
The day Jesus showed me how to love those who betray me.

It's Thursday.
The day Jesus showed me what to do when my soul is swallowed up in sorrow.

It's Thursday.
The day Jesus Christ said "not my will but Your will" and, in doing so, chose to save my wretched soul.

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