Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Thursday of the Passion Week

The most significant event on the Thursday of the Passion Week is the Last Supper. This day is also known as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. The dictionary’s explanation for Maundy is, “a ceremony held in some Christian churches on Maundy Thursday that involves an actual or symbolic washing of people's feet in commemoration of Jesus Christ's washing of his disciples' feet.”

(Click on the Bible passages in green to read the scriptures)

Event #1 – The Last Supper

On that evening, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples.

Matthew 26:17-19
Mark 14:12-16
Luke 22:7-16
John 13:1

The Passover Meal
For the Jewish people, the Passover meal was the time when they celebrated their forefathers’ liberation from the Egyptian bondage. It was also a time where they silently prayed for their own political freedom from the Roman Empire. God has given them a special Menu to prepare for the evening. While eating the unleavened bread and bitter herbs, the head of the family would tell the story of The Exodus to the next generation.

When God first instituted the Passover meal, the people had to sacrifice a lamb each year. However, God instituted a new Passover on this night and Jesus was the lamb that God provided for the people. The Jews celebrated the “Moses' Passover” because death was avoided. Jesus on this night celebrated the Passover not to avoid death but to confront and conquer death for all mankind once and for all.

Event #2 – The Washing of His disciples’ Feet

John 13:3-20

Before Jesus took his meal, Jesus shocked His disciples by washing their feet first. He was demonstrating to them the most humble and loving act a master can do to his followers. This was a lesson in true greatness and love.

What can we learn from this act?

1. Love is willing to do anything even the most humbling job.

2. Jesus was cleaning their feet, symbolically purifying their footsteps to prepare them to “walk their talk”.

3. With clean feet, they should take the first step to walk out to love others.

4. With clean feet, they are now to walk in Jesus’ footsteps to reach out to others in love.

5. As Christians, we should always be careful how we “walk our Christian life”.

After washing their feet, Jesus said to His disciples, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

However, it was a sad night for Jesus because He knew one of His own disciples would choose to walk his own way and walk in His footsteps. One of them would betray Him that night.
Matthew 26:20-25
Mark 14:17-21
Luke 22:22-23
John 13:21-30

Event #3 – Jesus Instituted the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion

Matthew 26:26-30
Mark 14:22-25
Luke 22:17-21

Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times and Peter did just that.
Matthew 26:31-35 & 26:69-75
Mark 14:27-31 & 14:66-72
Luke 22:31-34 & 22:54-62
John 13:36-38 & 18:15-18 & 18:25-27

Event #4 – Jesus’ Final Teachings

Before they left the upper room, Jesus gave them some final encouragements. He knew what lies ahead for Himself and His disciples and His future followers. Jesus gave us another example to follow. We must pray for ourselves to walk right with God, then pray for the leaders who will lead us and then finally to pray for all believers who share the same faith as us.

1. He is the Way - John 14: 1-14

2. Jesus Promises to send the Holy Spirit - John 14:15-31

3. The Vine and the Branches - John 15:1-17

4. Jesus warns of coming difficult times for believer but promises to send help from above - John 15:18 - 16: 33

5. Jesus Prays for Himself - John 17:1-5

6. Jesus Prays for His Disciples - John 17:6-19

7. Jesus Prays for All Believers - John 17:20-26

Event #5 – Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Matthew 26: 36-46
Mark 14:32-42
Luke 22:39-46
John 18:1

Event #6- Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest

Matthew 26:47-56
Mark 14:43-52
Luke 22:47-53
John 18:2-11

Event #7 – Jesus' Trial Before the Jewish Court

1. Jesus before Annas who was an ex-high priest who has no authority to pass any sentence
 John 18:12-1418:19-24

2. Jesus before Caiaphas, the high priest and the Sanhedrin
Matthew 26:57-68
Mark 14:53-72
Luke 22:63-65
John 18:24

Some scholars have listed the Jesus' trial before the Jewish court and Peter's denial of knowing Jesus to have happened on Friday. It could have happened in the early hours of Friday or just before dawn, "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." (Matthew 26:75)

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