by: David Kennedy
April 9, 2020
Holy Week: Day 5
(MAUNDY THURSDAY- called "Maundy" from the Latin word "Mandatum" translated "command" in reference to the foot washing scene in John 13)
--By the way, the dates I am listing for 33AD are as accurate as we can tell based on the calendar of the time and ancient records--
April 2, 33 AD (Thursday)
Jesus wakes up in Bethany one final time. The next time he "wakes up" he will be walking out of a tomb on Easter morning.
Pretty much all 4 Gospels now agree with what occurs. After breakfast, JESUS DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY LEAVE FOR JERUSALEM. There are plans to eat in Bethany for lunch and in Jerusalem for supper, so the morning routine is a little different. More than likely, sometime in the late morning, Jesus and his Disciples head to the house of Simon the Leper (Scholars seem certain that Simon is someone Jesus had healed from Leprosy because active lepers where not allowed to live in towns or to socialize with people). There Jesus shares a meal, and is anointed by a woman with an "ALABASTER FLASK OF VERY EXPENSIVE OINTMENT”. John says it is Mary (of Martha, Mary, & Lazarus). There is no reason to doubt this. Also, don't confuse this with the account of the woman who anoints Jesus feet and dries them with her hair. These are two different stories that occur at different times. Jesus' disciples are outraged at the "waste" because a flask of alabaster ointment would cost a year’s salary. But Jesus tells them to be quiet, that "she has done it to prepare me for burial" (John 26:6-13).
After the meal, Jesus and his disciples take their last walk from Bethany to Jerusalem. THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS IS COMPLETE AND WILL BE PUT INTO ACTION SOON. Judas has met with the Chief Priests and Judas has his instructions and his 30 pieces of silver. In the remainder of what is left of the day, Jesus secures an "Upper Room" and prepares for the last meal/supper. The time is short now. During the meal Jesus reveals that one of His chosen disciples will betray him shortly. Many of the disciples wonder if they are the one. All of the disciples remain in Jerusalem (probably in the upper room) to sleep. It is too late to walk back to Bethany. Jesus and his inner circle of Peter, James, & John go to the Mount of Olives, to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays. The 3 disciples fight sleep but succumb and sleep while Jesus prays.
Jesus wrestles with the hours before Him. Is there another way? In the end, he simply puts his hand in His Father's (God) and says, "not my will but yours". Judas now arrives with a kiss on the cheek and a crowd to arrest Jesus. In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, Peter reacts by cutting off the ear of a high priest's slave. John says the slaves name was Malchus, and truthfully, Peter probably missed where he was aiming! Jesus heals the slave and tells Peter this is not the way.
Jesus is taken to the High Priest Caiaphas' home. Judas will hang himself this night and PETER WILL DENY HE KNOWS JESUS. Jesus will not have any sleep this night. A long night of interrogation, bullying, charges of blasphemy, and a mockery of a trail await. It will be long hard night before Jesus will be sent to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Jesus has 16 hours to live.
Today for us, is simply a day of reflection. A day when instead of judging Judas, Peter, or actually any of the disciples, we look at ourselves. We ask ourselves how many times have we denied that we are a Disciple of HIS? How many times have we "cut" (hurt) someone, instead of doing what we know Jesus would expect? Today is a day to ponder our Lord and our lives.
So, I leave you with an old poem by G.A. Studdert Kennedy that I have had for years and that I always think about on this day:
"When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns; red were His wounds and deep,
For these were crude and cruel days and human flesh was cheap.
When Jesus came to Raleigh [Garner, etc.] they [we] simply passed Him by,
They [we] never hurt a hair on Him, they [we] only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender and they [we]
would not give Him pain,
They [we] only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.
Still Jesus cried, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do,"
And still it rained a wintry rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall and cried for Calvary."
Lord Have Mercy, Christ have Mercy. Have a powerful HOLY THURSDAY.
Dad, Papa, Uncle Rich, "Butter", Son-in-law, Rich, & Rev. Rich