And now the plot continues in earnest. The ball is rolling now. The cross will not be avoided. They will kill Jesus. They will make it brutal and torturous in their fear and anger.
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:26-30 NLT
And yet, in the midst of the gathering storm, Jesus sits down for a little supper with his friends. I find this immensely comforting. Despite the gathering darkness and chaos, despite the pain and suffering to come, despite the betrayal that lurks in the air, Jesus still takes time for dinner with his friends.
And as with all things when it comes to Jesus, dinner isn’t just dinner. This is the Last Supper, the Holy Communion, the Eucharist. A teachable moment that the Teacher uses to full effect. Jesus breaks bread and passes the cup encouraging his disciples to be still and know that he is God. Mandating a sacrament which will be observed around the world, in many different denominations, in many different ways and traditions, for thousands of years to come.
As I write this blog entry, I am getting ready to leave for the Maundy Thursday service with my congregation. We will hear the stories, we will sing the songs, we will pass bread and dip it in wine. We will consume the elements and remember the body of Christ broken for us, the blood of Christ, poured out for us. We will know, despite the gathering darkness that we are safe in the steadfast love of the Lord which never slumbers nor sleeps.
Whether or not, in your observance of Holy Week, you consume bread and wine as part of a Maundy Thursday service this evening, may you know this day that even in times of distress, Jesus gathered with friends for dinner. Mayor know the comfort of his everlasting love and may you trust in the action he has taken on your behalf.
Eunice, a member of St. Andrew’s reads from the Psalms in the “pit” where Jesus was likely impeosoned on Maundy Thursday as he awaited his trials on Good Friday.
St. Peter in Gallicantu is the church on top of Caiaphus’ house, which holds the pit where Jesus would have been imprisoned.
Some of our pilgrims in the Upper Room – the place where the Last Supper happened.
Sign leading in to The Upper Room.
Our pikgrims in the Upper Room.
Dormitory Abbey – where the Upper Room is housed.
Service taking place in the grotto of Gethsemane. It was here Uesus was praying for God to take this cup from him. It was here that Judas betrayed him and he was arrested.
To the Grotto – a sign en route to Gethsemane.