The thoughts this week will be taken from Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. All the preparations for the events and conversations during the meal show us His care and wisdom for his disciples.
Read Luke 22:1-34 and John 13:21-38
I'm sure we all enjoy planning and preparing for times together, whether with a friend, a group of lads or girls or family. These events could be fun times, shopping sprees, sporting activities, special meals or whatever we see as an opportunity for being together. Sometimes the drawing together of a particular friendship group or family might be to share a special celebration or direction for the future. It could be an opportunity to prepare those we love for difficult times.
Jesus said “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” as He used the celebration of the Passover to prepare his disciples for the events of the weekend ahead. Jesus was telling his disciples that this would be the last meal he would eat with them, but they didn’t understand this. Jesus did, and it must have been heart-breaking for Him. As is often the case with us, all the planning to create a right atmosphere can very quickly go wrong. There isn’t the understanding we desired. Consider the unravelling of this special time. Jesus used the misunderstanding when he washed the disciples’ feet as a learning opportunity. He valued everyone as being equal.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
When they argued amongst themselves as to who was the greatest, he exposed Judas Iscariot’s fickle heart as the one who would betray Him. The downfall of Peter’s boastful and superior claim that he would follow Jesus even to prison and death was laid bare.
“Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:34
In the same manner that Jesus broke the bread and poured out the wine, Christians take communion today. Jesus used the serious and long-term effects of the events of the forthcoming weekend:
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19-20
A final thought: The breakfast – read John 21:1-19
Jesus forgave Peter’s denial of Him when they shared breakfast on the beach. He chose a familiar venue to show Peter forgiveness and acceptance after his denial. What could be better than a breakfast of fish cooked on coals at the beach for a fisherman? Quoting a gentleman who shared his thoughts with us this week at church, we can look back on a journey we have just been on, but we can't see around the corner ahead of us. Jesus knew what was around the corner for the disciples – they did not. In his love for them, He prepared them as best he could for the tragedy and trial of that weekend. When we are under pressure or facing challenging circumstances, do we choose to put the needs of others first?