The King's Final Meal

It’s Thursday. Passover is finally here. All of Jerusalem prepares to have supper with their families inside the city. Last minute shoppers are still scrambling to get those final ingredients that they need. The big day is finally here.

Our story picks up in Matthew 26, and Jesus is sitting with the twelve disciples preparing the Passover meal. Everything seems normal. These men have had this meal for years, it’s nothing new. The men enjoy their dinner, share stories, and sing songs of worship. There’s laughter, hugging, joking, it’s a celebration. Beneath the smiles, Jesus knows what’s up ahead. The writing is on the wall, and he’s in for the longest night of his life.

Jesus is both God and man. Perfectly woven together, he’s 100% God and 100% man. There’s no separating his humanity and deity. He knows he’s going to be betrayed. He knows he’ll be abandoned. He knows he’ll be beaten, torn apart, separated from the Father, and his flesh is terrified. His soul is trembling. Not because he’s a victim, or because he’s unsure what’s to come. Jesus was and is always in control of everything, and despite knowing the brutal death that is inching near, he willingly and faithfully obeys the Father.

The men finish their Passover meal, the last Passover meal of the Old Covenant, and Jesus institutes the New Covenant. Jesus takes a simple piece of bread and cup of wine, and prays over it. Jesus holds the bread in his two hands, tears it into pieces and says, “Take, eat; this is my body”, (Matthew 26:26). He takes the cup of wine, and with fear and anxiety in his heart, yet in complete control commands, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” (Matthew 26:27-28). Passover was celebrated to remember the blood that was shed to cover Israel’s doors, but on Friday, the perfect lamb will die to cover our sin. They will no longer remember a four-legged animal with fluffy skin, but look back at The King.

After their meal, the men wipe down their plates, fold up their mats, and follow Jesus to a place called Gethsemane. The disciples sit off to the side while he walks a little deeper into the trees to pray. Jesus drops to his knees. Shaking, trembling, sweating blood, he makes war against his flesh. Jesus cries out to the Father, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”, yet humbly submits to the will of God, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus is hours away from death, and he prays for his brothers. He prays for his mom, and he prayed for those who would believe in him. He prayed for you, and he prayed for me. (John 17)

Jesus lifts himself off the ground, takes a deep breath, and walks back to wake his closest friends, Peter, James, and John. “Wake up,” Jesus says.

The men turn their heads, and strange silence falls over the trees. There’s small flames walking towards them, torches. There’s footsteps, and they’re getting louder, and louder. Judas steps forward. Judas awkwardly hugs Jesus and places a kiss of betrayal on Jesus’ cheek.

Holy, victorious, and humbly Jesus stands.

This is The King, and this is his hour.

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