Passover is a celebration that started way back in time, when the children of Israel were freed from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. They had been slaves for 400 years. God delivered them through ten plagues He sent over Egypt and their leaders. The last plague broke the Pharaoh’s will and he let the people go. The last plague was the worst. The first born would die. All people and animals over the whole county would lose their first born if they didn’t do what the Lord commanded. Those who believed the Lord, did what He said. They killed a lamb and took its blood and wiped it on the upper and sides of the frame of their outside door. The believers roasted the lamb, made bread quickly without yeast, packed their belongings, ate with their sandals on, and had their staff in hand ready to flee.
The angel of death flew over every dwelling and if the blood was on the door the angel passed over it and no harm came. But if there was no blood, because they didn’t believe, the first born died.
The joyful celebration of Passover over the years, is that the Lord protected the people and set them free.
Jesus and His disciples like all Jews, celebrated this special occasion. Jesus sent Peter and John to get the Passover supper ready. The disciples thought this meal would be like other Passover meals. They didn’t realize this would be the last one to share with Jesus. Jesus had warned them He would die but they didn’t understand how soon it would be.
Peter and John and the rest of the disciples sat down to the meal. The meal most likely included lamb, bread without yeast (flat and crisp, not fluffy), bitter herbs and spices, and wine.
Jesus held up the cup of wine, prayed thanking the Father, and said, “This is my blood which was shed for many. I will no longer drink from the fruit of the vine until I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Then he picked up some bread, blessed it and broke it, and said, “This is my body which is given to you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus being God, knew that one of the twelve disciples would betray him. He knew it was Judas. There at the table, sharing the Passover meal, Jesus said one of them would betray him. Betray means to trick or deliver up to someone most likely an enemy.
The disciples didn’t understand the events of this meal. They were human and boastful. An argument broke out about who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus listened then replied, “The greatest among you will be the least and the ruler will be like one who serves.”
Great love flowed through Jesus as He looked at His disciples and He wanted to show his love for them. He got up from the table and tied a towel around his waist. He got a bowl of water and took turns washing the disciple’s feet and drying them with the towel.
In that culture, people walked everywhere. Normally there would be a servant or one designated to wash the dust and crud off of people’s feet when they entered the house. The disciples didn’t take time to do this menial task. The Lord Jesus did. The King of heaven stooped and washed dirty smelly feet. The disciples let him wash their feet.
Then it was Peter’s turn. “Lord, no. You shouldn’t wash my feet.”
“Unless I wash you, you have no part of me.”
“Then Lord,” Peter replied, “Wash me completely!”
After He was finished washing their feet, He took the towel off and sat again at the table. “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me Lord and teacher and that is what I am. I washed your feet being your Lord and teacher. Therefore, you should wash each other’s feet.”
Jesus again referred to the one who would betray Him. The Disciples asked, “Lord, is it I?”
Jesus took some bread and said, “He who shares my bread is the one.”
Then Peter elbowed John who was leaning against Jesus. “Ask Jesus who it is.”
John looked up into Jesus’ face and said, “Lord, who is it?”
“It is the one whom I dip this bread in the dish and hand it to him.”
Then Jesus dipped the bread and handed it to Judas. “Do what you have to do quickly.”
Judas go up from table and went to the Priests and Pharisees to take money in exchange for Jesus.
The other disciples still didn’t understand why Judas left.
What can we learn from this last meal?
Everything Jesus did was out of love. Jesus loved His disciples enough to wash their dirty feet. He loves you and me the same way. He gave a glimpse into heaven.
All pieces of food and the order in which they are eaten in the Passover meal represents events and aspects of Jesus’ death, salvation of mankind, and His resurrection.
Jesus told us through His word, and on that day, that we were to remember the Lord’s death through a sacrament or special ceremony. We call that sacrament the Lord’s Supper or Communion. A church sets a special time where the congregation can remember the Lord’s death. Communion normally has juice or wine and wafers or unleavened bread which is bread without yeast. The juice represents Jesus blood that He shed to wash away our sin. The bread represents His body that died for our penalty of our sin. When Jesus died all the sin of everyone who ever lived, lives now, or who will be born, was placed on Him. He took the payment for those sins, so that if we trust Him, we can live in heaven with Him someday. The passage we should read carefully before we partake of this special occasion is 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. In that passage is a strong warning.
At that table, Jesus taught another great lesson. He showed us by washing their feet. We need to be a servant to those around us. We should put other’s need ahead of our own. Also, it showed how we need to be washed clean from our sin. Jesus is the only one who can clean the ugly sin and leave no trace.
In our next lesson, the events in the garden will unfold.
Memorize: 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated
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