Today is Maundy Thursday…today is the last celebration of our Lord Jesus before his Crucifixion. This evening was his last evening on earth as a human being. I can’t even imagine how he must of felt. Knowing that he was going to be betrayed by Judas, Peter would deny even knowing him, and the most terrifying of all… the Crucifixion. Today was his last night before the pain and suffering that we can’t even begin to imagine.
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “Not just my feet but wash my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one of them was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.”Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for this is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do.” John 13: 1-17
Once Jesus had washed all twelve of the disciple’s feet, they sat down to eat. I am sure that you have seen Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, ‘The Last Supper’. In fact, you might just have a copy hanging in your home. As I type this, I can look across at my family’s painting. Attention is immediately drawn to Jesus standing in the middle, blessing the food and drink. You can almost hear him say, “Take and eat”.
Last year I was confirmed. This is my first year being able to take communion, and it is a special feeling to be able to dine with Jesus and have my sins forgiven in a special ritual. This year more than ever, the Lord’s Supper, or Maundy Thursday, seems to mean more than it ever has before. Being able to connect with Jesus in this way now is humbling.
If I can feel like this two thousand years later, imagine how the disciples felt that night!
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink for it, all of you. This is my blood, which is shed for you and the forgiveness of your sins. I tell you, I will not drink from the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26: 26;29
Even though we know what tomorrow will be, Jesus does give us hope in that we will be able to join him in Heaven, at the Father’s table. That is what Easter is all about. Our sins being forgiven so that we may be able to join God in Heaven. Without Jesus, we would be missing that crucial step in which our sins are forgiven. Without Jesus, we wouldn’t make it to Heaven.