Key Scripture: Matthew 26:19 “And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.”
(For a full account of the events for this day, see Matthew 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-72; Luke 22:7-71; and John 13:1-18:27)
The next four days we will focus on a few specific events leading up to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Holy week starts on Palm Sunday when Jesus enters Jerusalem and ends on Easter Sunday with His resurrection. On Thursday of Holy week, the disciples did as Jesus had requested by preparing for the Passover meal. They acquired a room and the elements with which they would celebrate what God had done for the Jewish people by providing a way to be free from the Egyptians. Jesus started this evening with a humbling event for the disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-20) and would then lead His disciples for the last time through the Passover meal.
“During this last supper, Jesus sets apart the Passover bread and cup and reassigns or better perfects their meaning. The bread is His body. The cup is His blood. This meal will no longer remind them of God’s deliverance primarily from the external tyranny of Pharaoh, but from the internal tyranny of their own guilt and sin against God.” (The Gospel Coalition)
While they were eating, Jesus gave a new commandment for His disciples to follow as stated in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” After the meal, Jesus and His disciples would journey to the Garden at Gethsemane where Jesus agonized in prayer for what He knew would be the most difficult days of His earthly life. The Gospel Coalition describes it this way: “But He isn’t there only to pray. He is also there to wait. Soon a line of torches snake their way toward Him in the darkness. This is what He has been waiting for.” It would be on this night that He would be betrayed by one of His own disciples and where His trial would begin.
Questions to Consider:
How can you prepare your heart over the next few days as you recount the journey to the cross? What are ways you can grow to appreciate Christ’s sacrifice?
Pray the Scriptures of Psalm 51:1-12