Today is called Maundy Thursday in a lot of traditions. I’m kind of glad it’s not called this in mine… because I’m not confident that I would pronounce it right. My understanding is that today is a day upon which we intentionally remember the Last Supper. In some traditions, this is remembered by having a communion service in which participants wash each other’s feet.
Upside down, upside down…
Jesus… the rabbi… doing the job of a servant… telling his disciples that THIS is the way of the Kingdom…
And then they celebrate the passover… a time when God delivered Israel… and of all the characters in that story, he holds up the bread and likens himself to… the sacrificial lamb? the creature whose body was broken and whose blood was painted on the door frames!? the creature whose death and blood drew the thin line between the living and the damned!?
Suddenly I’m beginning to understand Judas a little bit more… This must have been incredibly troubling language for His disciples to hear. The Messiah!? wasn’t He meant to be the promised Messiah? the chosen one? now telling them that God’s deliverance was going to come through His demise…?
The Bible doesn’t tell us went through the mind of Judas, but I can’t help but wonder if He was a bit of a cynic… Maybe he bitterly thought to himself, “pfft… what they’re saying about him is right… He’s nothing more than a flash in the pan with parlor tricks and big words. He can see the pressure closing in on him, and knows that they’re out for his blood, and now he’s trying to trick us into thinking that even this is part of the “plan”…there’s no way that the Messiah washes feet, breaks the law.. heals on the sabbath, this can’t be Him… can it?”
Then Jesus states that the one to whom He gives the bread would be the one who would betray Him.
I can’t even imagine what went through Judas’ mind at this point. I’ve long been intrigued with the character of Judas… I have often wondered if I would have been more like Judas than any other disciple… had I been one of Jesus’ 12 disciples… Would I have been hurt? over-reacted? greedy? so overwhelmed with remorse and/or hopelessness that it drove me to take my own life?
Maybe I’ve identified with him only because of that complex of God’s disgust with me that I described yesterday. . .
Where am I going with this…
to be honest, I don’t really know, but I suppose what it comes down to is that this year, I am experiencing an exceptional pull to the events of my beloved Savior’s death and ressurection for me… and so I am searching to find my place in the passion week… where am I?
So far… all I can say for certain is that I suspect that I would be mystified by, and reticent to embrace the upside-down Kingdom my beloved teacher has always been bringing.
But I’m pretty certain I would be drawn to Him. His ideas would intrigue, fascinate, and excite me!
We know how Judas responded… we know he Peter responded, passionately declaring that He would never abandon His rabbi….
I wonder what was the tone in that room…
How somber… unsettled… disbelieving? Were they internally begging Jesus’ words not to be true? Were they hoping that everything He was saying, likening himself to the passover lamb was metaphorical reference to His being the pivotal component in bringing God’s deliverance… that the suffering of the lamb was the oppression they were already facing?
This is a different mindset for me to enter into Easter weekend with than I have in the past.
Tomorrow night I am hoping to watch the Passion…