John 13 – 18 tells us what all happened on Thursday during Jesus’ final week before the crucifixion. It starts at the Last Supper. I think we forget sometimes that this was the Passover Meal. Many Christians don’t understand what all this meal entails because we don’t celebrate it like a Jew would. It is a meal that is eaten in order telling a story taking you from slavery to freedom. I find that interesting since that is what Jesus was doing for us during that particular Passover. He was taking us, who were slaves to sin, to a life of freedom in Him. Because of what He was about to endure, you and I could be set free spiritually.
Jesus also washed His disciple’s feet that evening. If you’ve ever been to a foot washing service, you know how humbling this is. Peter wouldn’t let a Him do it. He pushed back, but Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Peter then popped back, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” We act like Peter a lot when Jesus tries to do something truly great for us. We resist Him. We resist the work He’s trying to do in our life. We resist when He tries to cleanse us of a sin. We resist when He tries to put us in position to do ministry. Jesus is patient with us though our resistance.
Jesus then instituted the Lord’s Supper, communion or the sacraments depending on how you refer to it. Matthew 26:26-28 tells us that He took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples. He said, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body which is given for you.” Then He took a cup of wine and gave thanks for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” Each time you and I partake in this, we are to remember what He did for us on the cross. The price He paid for our freedom was His life. You are worth more than you can imagine.
They then went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives to pray and reflect on the evening. Jesus went to pray by Himself. He asked God if it there was another way to do this. He said, “If it’s possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet, I want your will to be done not mine.” Jesus struggled with the thought of being beaten, being whipped, being hung on a cross, bearing the sins of the world and being separated from the Father. His human nature was trying to walk away from the cross, but He submitted to the Father’s will. He understood that to follow God’s will means we’ll have to give up our will. Through prayer, we can overcome the doubt and thoughts that try to stop us from fulfilling our calling.