Last // Holy Wednesday [Holy Week]

Last
Author: Barb Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator
Day 4: Holy Wednesday
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:20-75
One of the most difficult “lasts” in my life was the loss of my brother to pancreatic cancer. It was excruciating to watch him suffer through the pain. Despite the pain, he loved his family deeply. My final last with him was telling him goodbye at the hospital before heading home to Pennsylvania from South Carolina. I remember spending most of that trip in tears and going through all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, frustration, continued hope for healing, and peace in knowing that God was in control of it all.

As I read through the text in Matthew 26:20-75, I found myself looking for the emotions of those involved. When you search for the emotions, you question the hows, whys, and whats. How could Judas betray Jesus? Why did the disciples not understand what was going to happen to Jesus? What emotions did Jesus go through as He spent His last moments with His disciples, eating together, praying together, and ultimately being separated from one another?

Jesus’ demonstration of love has changed the world. Don’t be afraid to allow Him to change you.

Judas, the betrayer, had been chosen by Jesus as one of His disciples. John 6:70 says, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” He so quickly was able to lie to Jesus at the Last Supper and demonstrated his greediness as he sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas was so focused on his selfish desires that he sold himself to the devil at the cost of his salvation.
When evening came, He was reclining at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, He said, “I assure you: one of you will betray Me.” Deeply distressed, each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl—he will betray Me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Then Judas, His betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” You have said it,” He told him.
– Matthew 26:20-25
The disciples had prepared the Last Supper to share with Jesus. They were deeply distressed, wondering why Jesus would accuse one of them of betrayal. Sharing this meal with Jesus was something they had done before, but this time, there was a change as Jesus made the meal’s meaning personal. 
As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
– Matthew 26:26-28
Total confusion now impacted the disciples. Exhausted and bewildered, the disciples saw Jesus’ visible sorrow and deep distress. The Garden of Gethsemane would be the location where they would ultimately abandon their Savior for fear of what was happening to Jesus and possibly to them.

Jesus’ deepest emotion was His love for all of mankind. As He prayed, He knew that what was to come would save the world from their sin. As He was arrested and taken to the Pharisees to be placed on trial, He was about His Father’s business.

Allow your thoughts to focus on the emotional journey Jesus took for you. He loved you. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. Jesus’ demonstration of love has changed the world. Don’t be afraid to allow Him to change you.

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