On Maundy Thursday, we especially remember the Last Supper, the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples shortly before his death on the cross.
The evening must have been emotionally charged as Jesus talked about his death with powerful language ‘my body body broken for you’, ‘my blood poured out’. We know that this wasn’t the first time that Jesus had talked so openly about his death but it was the first time that he implied how horrific that it would be.
If this wasn’t upsetting enough, Jesus then dropped the bombshell that one of the disciples was going to betray him.
How did the disciples respond to this?
They began to talk about which one of them it might be but then the conversation changed:
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest (Luke 22.24)
Jesus had openly talked about his death and the disciples responded by jockeying for position, how sad is that?
Jesus spoke to them about this but then he said that Peter was going to deny knowing him. Peter, who could be described as his closest friend, was going to let him down. Jesus could have been angry but instead he said ‘when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’
Jesus must have been heartbroken during this meal but his love for his disciples was stronger than the hurt that they must have caused him during their time together evening.
The next day, Jesus would die on the cross in pain and agony. He died to make salvation possible for all including those who would betray, deny and put themselves before others.
As we stop and think of the reality of the Last Supper and as we try to imagine how Jesus might have felt we should be heartbroken. As we grieve, my prayer is that we would be overwhelmed by the love of the heartbroken God who sent his son to give his life as a sacrifice so that our relationship with him could be restored.
If you would like to think some more about this, you can read more about the Last Supper in A Meal to Remember: What was that all about?