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Maundy Thursday Of Holy Week

Author: Josué Mora Peña

This story is found in Matthew 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-38; John 13 and 14 and I Corinthians 11:17-34. This happened the night before Jesus’ death, on Thursday, when He instituted Lord’s Supper.  There were two suppers, the regular one, when the Jews would eat the lamb and the one Jesus spoke about, regarding His own body and His own blood.  That’s why today we use the unleavened bread. It represents His body and the grape juice is a symbol of His blood.

The order of events of this Holy Thursday is as follows: First, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:5); second, He announces that somebody in the group would betray Him.  All of them asked: "Is it I, Lord?" (Matthew 26:22); third, Jesus shares His meal with Judas (Mark 13:12), fourth, He institutes the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:22-24); fifth, He gives them the new commandment in John 14.  The Pascal lamb included unleavened bread, bitter herbs and a dish known "Charoseth," a kind of sauce made with dates, figs, raisins and vinegar.  This reminded them of their slavery in Egypt. 

Those who eat the lamb would dip the bitter herbs in the sauce and eat them.  At the beginning of the meal they would sing psalms 113 and 114.  They would get the pita bread and take a piece and dip it also in the same sauce.  Notice that Judas dipped his piece of bread in Jesus’ plate (John 13:26).  All this was like an appetizer. Then they would eat the meat, the best part of the meal.  In a way, that’s what we do when we take Communion, it is like a spiritual appetizer. When we are in heaven with Christ, we’ll have the real meal.  After the families finished the meal, they would sing the other psalms, 115 thru 118, followed by the "Great Hallel", psalms 120-128.  I would like to mention here that the Psalms 120 thru 134 are songs of ascent, or Pilgrim songs. "A Song of Degrees," says my Bible in the divisions it has.  The Israelites would sing these psalms while ascending the 15-steps to the Men’s Court of the Temple

It was late that night.  Jesus had already washed His disciples’ feet. His time to pay for the sins of the world had come.  That night, Jesus would be the Lamb to be slain once and for all.  He died on the Cross the same day that the lambs were been sacrificed in the Temple. 

But now, let’s talk about Judas Iscariot. The Bible says that he lost his soul, according to John 17:12.  Many more will end up in that horrible place if they do not repent of their sins.  The Bible tells us that God does not want anyone to perish, but to turn from his evil ways (Ezekiel 18:23).  Was God unfair by choosing Judas to be the one who would betray Him? No! A thousand times No!  God is never unfair.  He is just. He knows what to do, why He does what He does and when He does it.  He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omni-present. So the case of Judas is one of the mysteries of the Bible, one of those obscure passages that probably we will never understand until we get to heaven

But there’s something else about Judas.  He was like the guest of honor on the time of the Passover.  When the host invites someone to dinner he would sit at the right hand side of the entertainer (host) and Judas was sitting next to Jesus.  On one side was the beloved disciple, John; on the other side, it was Judas.  That’s why when Jesus made the comment that one of them would betray Him, Simon Peter motioned to John to ask Him who it was.  "Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it,  And when He had dipped the sop, he gave to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon" (John 13:26).

Jesus wanted to teach Judas what He had preached during His 3½ years of ministry: "to love your enemies".  In a way, He was telling him "I still love you knowing what you are about to do: betray the Son of Man, betray God Himself."  Some have tried to excuse the betrayer by saying that Judas thought that Jesus would use His power to deliver Himself from the accusers but when he found out that Jesus had been condemned, he repented and went back to the Administrative Council, the chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:3), with the 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave.  The next verse, verse 4, says that he recognized that he had sinned.  He returned the coins and went out and hung himself (verse 5).

Tonight, when we take Communion, let us not betray Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  How can we do that?  By our negligence in our Christian life; by our lack of interest in the reading and studying of the Bible; by not praying daily to God; by our irresponsibility toward Christ’s church and by many more ways.  Let’s prepare ourselves for Communion.  Amen.

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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32
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