Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, John 13:1-38
On Thursday, things continue with a more somber feel. From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to prepare the Upper Room in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. That evening after sunset, Jesus and the disciples went to the Upper Room. The evening began with Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Jesus demonstrated the humility that every believer should have towards one another. Christ was willing to wash the feet of His followers, and we also should be willing to humble ourselves and serve one another. How might we this Passover week humble ourselves and outdo one another with brotherly love (Romans 12:10)? All the while the chief priests and scribes are looking for ways to put Jesus to death (Luke 22:1).
And he (Jesus) said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood (Luke 22:15-20, ESV).
Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples and instituted the Lord’s Supper or communion as a part of this meal. As the New Testament church continued, this remembrance celebration continued weekly for the early church, as they celebrated the Lord’s death, resurrection, and His soon return together. Jesus took what was known as the “Cup of Joy” during the Seder feast, and said this is the cup that is being poured out for you. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:2)! Jesus willingly laid down His life that I might drink from the wells of salvation with joy (Isaiah 12:3).
Today, there is an eternal supply of joyful drink in His presence. In His presence there are eternal joys and pleasures. Today, you determine which cup you will drink from. Will you drink your full from sadness and sorrows of this fading life? Or, will you drink the joyful drink of God’s Kingdom, the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).
Although the week took a more somber turn, and the reality of Christ’s death was becoming more clear for His followers, today our week takes a joyful reality in knowing that Christ has overcome this world and given us a joy that no one or no thing can take away (John 16:33).