Following Jesus in His Last Week
Difficult times are the perfect backdrop for Holy Week. The first Holy Week followed a series of horrific plagues and began with God’s people fleeing in haste. As we enter into this holy time with hearts made vulnerable by the heartaches we feel, what a joy to remember we are on a journey to the Promised Land!
A Legacy of Love
The Disciples thought they understood Passover. It was a tradition they knew well. During that final meal with Jesus, though, the fullness of their understanding expanded exponentially. What had been a commemoration became a celebration of God’s sacrificial love. The Scriptures eloquently say, “Having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them until the end.”
Nothing – not Jesus’ foreknowledge of the horror to come, nor the actual events – deterred the expression of His love.
This entire evening provides another feast for our souls. The Word declares that Jesus was agitated in spirit. But He remained on His mission as a servant of the Father above. During the meal, Jesus brought the symbolism of the bread and wine to a shocking reality: the breaking of His own body and the shedding of His blood to cover sin. He didn’t replace tradition. In fact, Jesus said as you do this in the future, remember Me. The revelations of Jesus build line upon line!
Before Jesus knelt to wash the disciples’ feet, we glimpse the heart that chooses surrendered service. Knowing His authority, where He came from and where He was going, the Master chose the lowliest of work for Himself. He could have delegated it. He could have demanded it. Instead, He performed it. That’s what secure love looks like!
That same evening, the disciples argued about who is greatest. They mumbled amongst themselves. Peter even debated with Jesus his need for washing and over-estimated the depths of his loyalty. Judas, possibly even deceived in his own heart, betrayed Jesus. Those are the actions of those not yet matured in love. Those are the actions of you and me.
Yet, as Judas departs, Jesus declares, “Now the Son of Man is glorified.” Jesus sees what is to come and declares it in the present moment. That often left the disciples puzzled…and we as well! But Jesus never faltered in His mission. He kept feeding and teaching:
‘A new command I give you. Love others as I have loved you.’
One of the most beautiful passages of Scripture rests here…John 17, Christ’s prayer for his disciples…for you and me. His love poured out even as He faced the darkest night.
As you journey toward Resurrection Life, ask Holy Spirit to reveal:
What flows from you when you are faced with burdens and anxieties?
How Jesus has helped you find His Light when you were surrounded by dark.
How dark times have purified and deepened your love.