GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
The Last Week – What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem”. This week, Wednesday & Thursday.
Great to be back with you all this morning. We are traveling along with our Way-Shower, Jesus as he makes his way through Holy Week. We are through Palm Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
The New Testament doesn’t have any record of what the Jesus did on the Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover.
Remember, just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave. After seeing this incredible miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in him. Also, in Bethany just a few nights earlier, in the house of Simon the leper, an unnamed woman anointed Jesus with expensive oil, to the disbelief of the apostles, especially Judas.
Here, she was expressing her love of Jesus by anointing him with expensive oil while Jesus lives. She understood the teachings of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Mark considers her the first believer, the first Christian.
And, in contrast, Judas was preparing to betray him for 30 pieces of silver.
The day is sometimes called “Spy Wednesday” since some thought of it as the day Judas conspired with local authorities to betray Jesus, and not on Tuesday as others believed.
Holy Week takes a somber turn on Thursday, sometimes referred to as Maundy Thursday. It is full of drama as Jesus eats his final meal, prays for deliverance in Gethsemane, is betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter and abandoned by the rest of his disciples.
Maundy comes from the Latin word for mandate, commandment, reflecting Jesus’ words “I give you a new commandment, that ye love one another.”
Jesus sent two of his disciples into Jerusalem to find a place for them to eat the Passover meal, the pascal meal. Called this because of the lamb that was sacrificed for the blood that was used to smear over the doorways as the ‘destroyer’ killed the first born of Egypt. But if we call this the Passover meal, then the timing is off…Passover doesn’t start until Friday….
Could this be a reference to Jesus being the Pascal Lamb, being sacrificed on Friday in place of the Pascal Lamb?
They found an ‘upper room’ and that is where Jesus and the 12 met. Remember, metaphysically, whenever upper, going up the mountain, look up is mentioned, it means to connect with our higher consciousness. Maybe this is why we often look up to the sky when we think of ‘heaven’. And this higher consciousness is what was happening with Jesus and the 12.
This is where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Much to their chagrin. Generally, when one entered a house, they removed their sandals to prevent bringing dust in from their travels. Then a servant washed their feet.
So, to have Jesus wash the feet of his disciples would be unheard of. Peter protested, but Jesus replied to Peter that if he would not allow his feet to be washed by him, then Peter would have ‘no part of me’. Peter’s response to that was, ‘not only my feet, but also my hands and my head’.
Think about that…when I do something for you, I am giving you a part of me. Even more reason to accept that gift from others!
Then Jesus speaks of equality saying, “I, the Teacher and Lord, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
What are your thoughts on this? Can you see that he is telling them that they are all equal and can all be the giver and the receiver?
The symbolic meaning of washing another’s feet is that, as Jesus’ followers, it is our duty to serve others by helping them to cleanse their consciousness of false beliefs and bring them to the light of true understanding.
Of course, this upper room is the place where Jesus tells Judas to do what he must do quickly.
It is also where Peter questions why he cannot follow where Jesus is going, saying “I would lay down my life for you”.
Even though Peter represents faith in our 12 powers, but until it is completely steadfast, it is changeable. So, Jesus tells him, “the cock shall not crow twice, till you have denied me three times.”
We often find ourselves questioning our faith or finding it not as strong as we would like. These are times when we need to look within, to pray and meditate. To talk with trusted friends. To remember, we are not alone.
And it was is also the time Jesus and the 12 shared the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine.
Metaphysically, the bread represents divine substance and the wine represents divine life. Unity does not believe that communion is something only done in church on Sunday, and we do not use the symbols of bread and wine. Unity believes that true communion may be entered into when we turn our attention to the Christ and that that divine activity is active in us now.
Jesus tells us there are ‘many mansions,’ meaning many places to abide. Could that mean he was preparing a permanent place in each of us…our Christ consciousness?
And when he tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me,” it means through his teachings.
Then Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed “not my will but thine be done.” How many of us have said that, can say that? Can you put your ego aside and step into what is yours to do?
This was a time when Jesus was being tried, he is wondering if he can follow through with what he knows he must do…yet he says, ‘Thy will be done’.
We all have trying times, not like this, but times when we are at our wits end, for whatever reason. Here is a great example of what we can and probably should do…go to God, Spirit, Divine Energy…whatever you call it and find your peace of mind.
The answer came to Jesus as he prayed and that is what we can do every day for our needs.
Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin.
Why did the arrest have to be in the darkness of night? Why not in daylight? Why did they need a traitor?
Jesus asked, “Day after day I was with you in the temple, teaching, and you did not arrest me.”
The Jewish Leaders had to go behind his back to get him out of the way. You ever been treated like that? Someone went behind your back, maybe said something to another to mess things up for you or to get what they wanted…attention or something more maybe?
The arrest of Jesus had to be away from the crowds, stealthy and he quickly tried before the people found out. The Priests and leaders were trying to avoid riots that would make them look bad to the Romans.
Amazingly, when the 6 hundred Imperial soldiers came and asked for Jesus, and he replied, ‘I am he’, the soldiers fell to their knees acknowledging his sacredness in the use of the I AM….but then arrested him anyway.
He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus. Keep in mind that any account of this ‘so-called trial’ would come from someone inside where the council was held. None of Jesus’ disciples followed him once he was arrested. They abandoned him.
So, we had to hear what happened from someone inside, not necessarily a friend of Jesus.
Also, remember, those holding the high positions were collaborators with the Romans. These leaders didn’t represent the Jewish people, their loyalty was compromised.
Politics hasn’t changed much….
We know what the story was that later was presented by the early Christians. We hear it every Easter. But whether it is accurate, we can only guess.
This work by the Jewish leaders is why, for many years, people blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus. We all know that is not true. Everything was building up to these moments. Could it be fate? Divine Order? Sacred Contracts even? We all have our thoughts about these days leading to the crucifixion and resurrection.
Meanwhile, in the early morning hours, as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing his Master three times before the rooster crowed.
Imagine yourself as a disciple of Jesus through these 5 days of Holy Week…what are your thoughts?