Scripture References: Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13 & 18
Today’s Maundy Thursday-the day we commemorate the “Last Supper”-Passover Seder-that Jesus had with his disciples. Plus it’s also the night when Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the Powers That Be, was arrested, and tried. We’re also in the midst of Passover as well.
However, when we focus on this story, I find the most intriguing part is the Seder that Jesus shared with his disciples. Jesus probably celebrated the Passover with his disciples in the past, however this one particular Passover had a unique twist to it: Jesus knew that it was his last. And despite this knowledge, Jesus still took time to teach his disciples-and us-some Divine truths.
Jesus taught us about service. It was at this Seder Jesus took a towel and basin, and went about washing the disciples feet-feet that were dusty and dirty from the outside. Here, Rabbi Jesus did a servant’s job to his disciples. Jesus taught us that no one is above serving; and that no one is below being served.
Jesus taught us about love in the midst of betrayal. Jesus knew that his disciple, Judas was to betray him to the Powers That Be. However, Jesus still loved Judas despite it all and was willing to share the bread that sopped up the lamb drippings with him. Jesus taught us to love even those who would sell us out.
Jesus taught us about love in the midst of denial. Jesus knew that Peter would deny him before the night was over, despite Peter’s declarations to the contrary. Jesus still loved Peter, served Peter (by washing his feet), and shared the Seder with Peter in spite of the upcoming denial.
Jesus taught us about joy in the midst of sacrifice. It took a lamb to be sacrificed for the Passover; Jesus knew that he too was to be sacrificed. Jesus knew that he was going to be the “Passover Lamb” for all of humanity. Yet, Jesus “longed” to have the Seder with his disciples and enjoyed that special-yet poignant-moment.
In all this Jesus taught us about love. You see, the above paragraphs all point to love. Instead of using the Seder to look back, Jesus used it for us to look forward. True love doesn’t look back at what was; it looks forward at what could be. Jesus wanted his disciples to have that special meal-even without him-in love.
We too are called to come together when we fellowship in Jesus’ name: be it Passover Seders, Maundy Thursday fellowships, or at the local diner. Jesus taught us all the above so we too can be his disciples as well.
Jesus made a Passover a particular one. May we also do the same in our gatherings.
Grace and Peace.