God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
All week long we have seen how much pressure was building during Holy Week. Well it only gets worse, and on Thursday the intensity is palpable. Let’s consider the following four events from the Thursday of Holy Week deeply and be amazed by our Lord and Saviour.
Event 1 (Discipline of Fellowship):
Even as Jesus headed towards the cross he craved Fellowship. Listen to what he says to his disciples on the day before he died.
And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. (Luke 22:15)
When Jesus eagerly desires something we should really pay attention. How it must hurt our saviour when we casually blow off fellowship with him and other believers. Do we really crave fellowship with Jesus and other believers when the pressure is on?
Event 2 (Disciplines of Spiritual Warfare, Prayer, Service and Counsel):
There is an interaction between Jesus and Peter on Thursday that is packed with lessons. In one act I see Jesus modeling for us Spiritual Warfare, Prayer, Service and Counsel. He could have been totally consumed with the very dark hours to come but instead listen to our Saviour talking to Simon Peter.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31 – 32)
Do we use these disciplines in times of crisis and further do we see when our brothers and sisters are under spiritual attack (even when they can’t see it)? How much do we pray for each other?
Event 3 (Discipline of Service):
The Bible tells us in John13:3 that “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God”. If I found out I was this powerful I might be looking for some praise and adulation. What does Jesus do? The Bible goes on to say in John 13:4, “so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.” Jesus got ready to serve, and by washing his disciples feet he left us with one of the most powerful images of service ever recorded in history.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13: 12-17)
Event 4 (Disciplines of Fasting and Praying):
Finally, look at the contrast between Jesus and the disciples in the depth of the crisis.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. (Luke 22:44-45)
Do we realize how much we need to pray and fast even when we don’t feel like it? When we don’t we fall into temptation. The disciples needed to pray and fast from sleep but they didn’t and we know the failure they exhibited shortly after Jesus asked them to pray.
Jesus is truly our perfect example – He is perfect. What a travesty to think that in just a few hours powerful forces would be trying to find fault in him. Instead we say, hallelujah what a Savior – we can find absolutely no fault in him!