Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Journey Begins: The Last Supper

Jesus and his disciples are preparing to celebrate the traditional Jewish meal of Passover, the holiday the marks the rescuing of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt.

This would have been a happy time, and certainly the mood in the room was festive. It is almost certain that no one but Jesus knew the significance of this moment, and he was about to let his followers know exactly how important this meeting was to him.

Jesus expresses how much he wanted to be with his disciples for this meal, and he tells them he will not eat of this meal again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. He then takes bread, gives thanks, and begins instituting the Lord's Supper. Jesus tells the disciples the bread represents his body that was broken for them, and to eat it in remembrance of him. Jesus then takes a cup of wine and tells the disciples it represents the blood he will shed for their sins.

Jesus makes reference to his betrayer sitting in their midst, and the disciples miss out on the obvious sign that Judas is the one Jesus is referring to. Judas leaves quickly, and no one seems to notice his absence. The disciples then begin to argue among themselves regarding which one of them should be considered the greatest in the coming kingdom.

The very Creator of the universe is sitting in their midst, telling them he will not be with them much longer; yet the room seems strangely unaffected. The disciples, all too like us, seem oblivious to the world around them. Jesus tries to tell them of the difficulties that lie ahead, but they fail to understand what he means.

Peter tells Jesus he will be with him to the very end, saying "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." Jesus simply replies that Peter will deny him three times this very evening, even before the rooster crows.

The world is about to be changed forever, and hardly anyone realizes it.

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