Picture yourself as one of the disciples the night of what would come to be known as the Last Supper in Mark 14:16-25. At the time, you would’ve had no idea what was coming. As far as the disciples are concerned, Jesus has instructed them to prepare the Passover meal in an upper room so the group could all dine together. This was to be expected, as they were all faithful Jews, celebrating the annual festival in Jerusalem.
Yet instead of a simple meal, Jesus uses the bread and wine as an opportunity to basically hijack the traditional Passover story of the Exodus from Egypt with a new story. One of a new “exodus” for all people through him, one of bread and wine representing his body and blood that would be broken and spilled, and one of a new and better Passover lamb—Jesus himself, whose blood would save the whole world.
So put yourself there at the table. If we’re honest, we realize that the disciples were most likely filled with fear, anger, doubt, and sorrow. Jesus was telling of his coming death and therefore exit from their lives. They had no idea the events that would transpire in the next few days with the cross and resurrection. It must have been so hard to trust that Jesus really knew what he was doing. This part of the story just didn’t seem to fit the plan they had envisioned at all.
Isn’t it humbling to know that even thousands of years later, with all of Jesus’ promises fulfilled, we still struggle with fear, anger, doubt, and even sorrow when our stories don’t go as expected? Just like the disciples, we have visions of how we want life to go, but seldom does it go that way. I’m reminded of Proverbs 16:9: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” That was true for the 12 disciples that night and it is certainly true of us. On this Maundy Thursday, imagine Jesus himself looking you in the eyes, just as he did the disciples at the Last Supper, asking you—do you trust me? Even though your story has, and will take many turns, do you believe that you will have the victory in the end?
Questions for reflection:
- Reflect on what it would have been like to be at the Last Supper with Jesus. What emotions would you have felt hearing the words of his coming death? What questions would you have asked him?
- When do you find it hardest to trust Jesus? With your future? Your marriage? Your job? What can you learn from the stories of Jesus’ final days about God’s promises for you?
Dear Jesus. Thank you so much for the sacrifice that you made for us on the cross. I admit that I still struggle with fear and doubt, even with all your promises fulfilled. Jesus, increase my faith in you so that even when I don’t understand what you’re doing, I can still trust your heart. AMEN.