Day 5: Maundy Thursday
Slide 5 of 7
Verses to read:
Upper Room in Jerusalem
On Maundy Thursday (from the Latin mandatum for “command” because Jesus gave his disciples new commands this night), Jesus ate a final Passover meal with His disciples in an upper room of a home in Jerusalem. Jesus began the meal by taking off his outer clothing, wrapping a towel around his waist and kneeling down to wash his disciples’ feet (John 13:3-17). As they ate, Jesus predicted Judas’ betrayal and Judas slipped away to find the religious leaders (John 13:21-30). Jesus also warned Peter that he would betray Jesus despite Peter’s strong objection (Matthew 26:31-35).
At the Passover meal, Jesus gave what is known as the “Upper Room Discourse,” or his final teaching where he promised the Holy Spirit and then prayed for disciples (John 14-17).
Garden of Gethsemane
Following his prayer, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives where Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with him. In deep pain and agony, Jesus prayed three separate times, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:36-44), a request to avoid the crucifixion.
His prayer was so intense that sweat ran down his face like flowing blood (Luke 22:39-44). Jesus ultimately surrendered his will to the Father’s plan and, knowing all that was going to happen, went to meet Judas (John 18:4).
Judas had brought a group of soldiers, chief priests and Pharisees to the Garden of Gethsemane. Following Judas’ kiss, Jesus was arrested and taken in chains to the high priest’s house (Luke 22:47-54).
Fearful for their lives, the disciples deserted Jesus (Matthew 26:56).
Caiaphas’ House in Jerusalem
At the official residence of the high priest, which also housed a court and jail, Jesus was first questioned by Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest. Then, Jesus was sent to be tried by the high priest, Caiaphas (John 18:19-24).
In the courtyard outside Caiaphas’ house, Peter was asked three times if he knew Jesus, and three times Peter denied Jesus. After the third denial, a rooster crowed and Peter ran from the house (John 18:15-18, John 25-27).
Abandoned by his disciples, Jesus was accused of blasphemy and beaten. Alone, he was lowered into a dungeon pit and he spent the night in darkness.
Reflection: On Maundy Thursday, we remember Judas’ betrayal, the disciples’ abandonment, and Peter’s denial. Are there ways we betray, abandon or deny Jesus?
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Kate Remmer