Lent: The Final Week

Holy Week

This devotional is written by Josh Anderson.  Josh once went out to a PE lesson in striped boxers because he'd got carried away chatting and forgot to put on his shorts.

Luke 22:7-23

The Last Supper

7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."

9 "Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.

10 He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there."

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!" 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Reflection

In my experience of church, everything this side of Easter Sunday is about the events culminating in the crucifixion. Like the disciples, I lose sight of the end point - death's defeat and humiliation - despite every foretelling of Jesus' death in Luke's gospel clearly mentioning the resurrection. The disciples go through so much in the ensuing events; under pressure they fall apart, thinking it's all over. When they find the risen Jesus, it's still a shock to them.

In verses 15-16, Jesus tells the disciples that he really wants to eat this meal with them - the Message says "you've no idea how much I've looked forward to eating... with you". Jesus knows what's ahead of him – arrest, sham trial, torture, death – yet he celebrates sharing this meal with his disciples as the start of the journey to the redemption of mankind. He mentions he will not eat again until the fulfilment in the Kingdom.

We, like the disciples, can't always see the end game - we get lost in our struggles, in what's going on around us. But the truth is that Jesus knows what our experience is and he is in it with us. He knows it will end in the feast in heaven, right with God. The massive party where hardship and suffering are no more. Lean into and trust in him.

Pray

Thank you Lord that you know everything about me. You know what's going on - thank you for choosing to be right in the middle of it. For holding me in your hands. Help me to stay focussed on the big picture, the resurrection, the coming of the Kingdom. Thank you that our mourning will become dancing and our sorrow will be joy.

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