The gathering for the Last Supper was very eventful as Jesus wanted to continue his instruction to the Disciples of things that they would never forget. He washed their feet to show they were to be servants. He taught them about the Holy Communion and the symbolism of the bread and wine and they had their last meal together in his mortal state. They didn't know the real meaning of some of which he explained, but He knew that after He was gone they would remember and understand.
After Jesus' identified Judas by offering the bread dipped in wine and told him to go quickly to do the evil that he would do, He finished the gathering by leaving the upper room and heading for Gethsemane. The followed but were uncertain about what this meant or what was about to happen. He was now clearly thinking of and dreading what He knew was coming in the hours ahead.
In the Garden, he departed from the main body of Disciples and asked Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to walk with Him. A short distance away, He asked that they watch over Him while He prayed. He was now in anguish and very fearful knowing the pain and suffering He would be going through, which explains why he asked the Father to take this task from Him in the Scripture cited above. He knew, however, that He had to go through with the ordeal in order to accomplish His mission for mankind.
During this prayer period He returned to check on His three nearby Disciples and found them sleeping. He chastised them for not staying awake for Him, but they were weary at the late hour and He knew God had placed Him alone since only He could bear the burden of the coming hours.
The third time he approached them He told them the hour was at hand and He asked them to rise. In the distance He could hear voices and see the lights of the sentinels and Judas, His betrayer, as they approached. Just as He knew would take place, Judas approached, walked up to Him and gently kissed Him and he was taken into captivity. The plan of Caiaphas and the High Priests was now in full swing and Jesus of Nazareth was under arrest and hustled off late at night, when no one but the Disciples could witness.
And thus begins the horrific day of His abuse, pain and suffering which would commence with a trumped up trial,, actually six of them, the pronouncement of the death sentence as Pilate washed his hands of responsibility, and the death walk to Golgotha. This perfect man, the only sinless man in history, would face the most horrible of deaths so that we might live which was beginning in the wee hours of the morning on Good Friday.
As we spend this Maundy Thursday going about our daily tasks, take time to think about what all of this means to us and why it is important for us to devote our lives to Him. Not only does it represent the proper use of our free will, using it the way God would want, but it is the only way we can achieve the ultimate gift from our Lord and Savior, the gift of Eternal Life.
Committing to Him and his love is the most wonderful thing that can be done in this life. "Crunch time", the critical first phase of the two part conclusion takes place tomorrow. We honor the horrific event that afforded us the opportunity to free ourselves from sin and thereby gain Eternal Life through Him. Until then, God bless you all.