This year, our Easter week coincides with the Hebrew Passover celebration. They do not always coincide on our modern calendar as they did on that first Easter. That is why the Last Supper is normally viewed as the Lord’s celebration of the Passover with His disciples. On Thursday of His passion week, He celebrated the Passover with His disciples with the Seder meal. Hopefully, you have been reading some of the gospel accounts of this week in the Lord’s life. Today I would suggest you read two passages that would help you recall and meditate on the Lord’s Thursday.
First, spend time reading John 13 – 16. Here you can read of the event as remembered by John. Being written later than the other gospels, John does not merely repeat but expands on what they have already written. His emphasis on Christ’s teachings on His last night with the apostles before his crucifixion is illuminating to anyone who wants to be used of God. In John’s gospel account, he spends twelve chapters revealing who Jesus is through a powerful display of signs and wonders and powerful claims (I Am) to deity. It is as though He is convincing people to come and believe in Jesus. Then, beginning with chapter thirteen, it is as though John now begins to exhort those who have come and believed to go and make disciples. Here he records for us the instructions given to the disciples on that last and fateful night before His crucifixion. These are important words and should be read and re-read by all believers. Christ’s example as a servant and then His multi-faceted teaching on the new covenant, the new commandment and a new relationship with the Spirit will bless and equip you.
Also, consider spending some time in the “Hallel Psalms.” Psalms 113 – 118 were commonly sung (and still are) by Hebrew families during the Seder service at Passover on Thursday night (a High Sabbath). We assume that Jesus sang some or all of these with the disciples. As you read them, certain verses should jump off the page at you. These verses are prophetic, messianic, and especially poignant because they were sung by Christ to His Father on the night of his betrayal. Imagine Christ lifting His voice along with Peter, James, John, Thomas and the rest and singing these verses form His heart:
The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD. (Psalm 115:17-18)
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:23-24)
O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us:and the truth of the LORD endureth forever. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 117)
Read with your Bible marker in hand. Some of these verses will comfort and counsel your own heart.