Tonight, Jesus will celebrate the Passover meal with His disciples. It will be an emotional and eventful evening. By the end of it, He will be singled out by Judas to the crowd assembled to take Him captive, and before Friday is too far gone – to His death at Calvary.
Once again, we are reminded by Luke (21:37-38) that “every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.”
There is no reason to believe this day would be any different. He would spend the better part of the day teaching the ones who would gather to hear Him in the Temple courtyard. As evening approached, He would withdraw to the upper-room prepared, to partake of the Passover.
Four things would consume Him this evening, and thus command our attention.
1 – He will institute the Lord’s Supper.
This is (if you will) the Last Passover – the fulfillment Passover. All the previous ones since the day the Israelites were delivered out of the bondage of Egypt – were tokens – dress rehearsals for this night. Now He will insinuate Himself into the Supper so as to utter transform it. It will go from its being a mere shadow, to the signal representation of the New Covenant. “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” (Luke 22:17-22 (ESV))
No matter what else – His substitutionary death is to form the centerpiece of Christian worship until He returns.
2 – He will wash the Disciples feet.
He will establish once and for all – in direct contradiction to human thinking – that the call to humility and service is to inform all of our interaction with one another. Ministry is service above office in His Kingdom. His, is a Kingdom of servants. All Indians, and no chiefs but one. Not without order, but none who dictate the order but our Christ Himself, through His Word, and the indwelling Spirit.
3 – He will teach them yet more.
John 13-16 First He instructs them as He washes the Disciples’ Feet. He tells them of His betrayal at the hands of one of them. A New Commandment He issues – Love one another, as He had loved them. Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial. He tells them He is “the Way, and the Truth, and the Life” and of His going away to prepare a place for them. Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit will come and how it is He (Jesus) is the “true vine”. He admonishes them to abide in the Father’s love, and that they will experience the hatred of the World. He will expand even more on the Holy Spirit’s ministry. He will tell them how their sorrow will be turned to joy. He will tell them that He has overcome the World
4 – Gethsemane – His great intercession for them, and all who will believe their testimony about Him.
Words cannot possibly do any justice to this monument of Divine intercession. All we can do is read, stand in awe, and weep.
Last observations – In this entire week, Our Lord has manifested every step of the way:
PEACE – Not PANIC
SELF-POSSESSION – Not SELF-PITY
COMPASSION – Not CONDEMNATION
URGENCY – Not HURRIEDNESS
FOCUS – Not FURY
LOVE – LOVE – LOVE – LOVE.
Oh, what a Savior He is!