We now turn to Jesus’ preparation for the cross.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany- Jesus was in Bethany at Simon the Leper’s house–we can assume that he is no longer a leper– when a woman (we find out in John that it was Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ sister, who all lived in Bethany, too) poured a year’s wages worth of perfume on His head and feet and wiped the excess with her hair–totally inappropriate in that day, but completely appropriate for preparing Jesus’ body for burial (His own words). It was an act of abject humility, where Judas’ response was one of complete selfishness. Both are remembered in history, but for opposite reasons: Mary for her act of selflessness; Judas for his betrayal. For a closer look, go to Jesus Anointed at Bethany
The Lord’s Supper- The account of the Last Supper is in all the Gospels and we learn details from each Gospel. If you have not read all four accounts at the same time, here is a link to do so. It is a neat experience to get it all at once. The Last Supper in Chronological Order
The greatest thing I learned was verse 24, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.” From it, we learn that there is a new covenant in the making:
31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
This passage is the covenant of which Jesus spoke! But wait, there’s more! Just as the LORD took responsibility for both parties in the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:17-18), Jesus took responsibility for both parties in the covenant He made with us on the cross. From then on, all who look to the cross for redemption receive a FULL PARDON for their sins. “God made Him who had no sin to become sin (the sin sacrifice) for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial- The revealing thing about Peter’s denial is how easy it is to be caught up in circumstances. We all do it. We are all “Peter” in that regard. He had expectations of Jesus and how he thought things should go; we do, too. The redeeming thing is that Jesus not only forgave him, but restored him! My Bible heading says, “Jesus Reinstates Peter.” I like that!
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17
We all have hope in this passage. Jesus restores us and reinstates us, too.
Gethsemane- Three things to know:
- The request for the boys to “watch” with Jesus is from Exodus 12:42, “Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.” Jesus was about to “save” Israel again just like He did in Egypt. He was keeping vigil just as He did the first time. It was also a custom, although the disciples didn’t take it very seriously–or, they had partaken of too much food and wine at the supper…
- The Holy Spirit desires us to be like Jesus. We, in our flesh, are too weak to do anything spiritual on our own. To depend upon our own “right arm” is foolish, senseless, and dangerous!
- The time for Jesus to drink from the cup of wrath began in the garden. He continued to drink through His betrayal, arrest, trials, abuse, and crucifixion. From the cross, He said, “It is done. Finished. Completed. Paid In Full.”
Jesus Arrested, Before the Sanhedrin, and Peter’s Denial- Each Gospel has a unique perspective. Be sure to read them all pertaining to the events of that night and the day of crucifixion. More than likely, the supper was Wednesday evening and the crucifixion on Thursday*. The first day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on Friday that year and it is a high sabbath (it has a fixed day on the calendar, but the day of the week varies each year) as stated in John 19:31. High Sabbaths (wikipedia) We Gentiles have a hard time differentiating between the high sabbath and a regular sabbath. The actual day, though, is not as important as the actual event. His propitiation (substitutionary death) for our sins is the KEY to our salvation! He truly IS the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world!
Let’s put our faith and trust in Him today.