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As they were eating at the table, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here, will betray me.‘” Mark 14:18

Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, ‘Am I the one Lord?'” Matthew 26:22

When we usually think about humility and the Last Supper, the meal of Jesus with his disciples just before He was arrested; we think about the humility of Jesus Christ. And it is correct for us to do so as we ponder Jesus’s washing of His disciples feet; even Judas’s feet, the betrayer. Or the humility involved in the New Covenant where Jesus would sacrifice Himself for us and our sins, providing for our salvation.

Yet I want to look at another act or acts of humility. Acts which fly in the face of how we would probably find ourselves acting today. Think about a time where you’ve been in a meeting, it could be work related, a meeting of a volunteer group, perhaps a church or even a family meeting where some impending catastrophe is discussed. Should the meeting devolve into some aspect of responsibility for the impending disaster, how often do the participants, or at least some of them, start pointing fingers at others as the problem or blaming some aspect of outside circumstances? If we are honest with ourselves, how often to we openly reflect on whether we are partially or maybe, primarily responsible?

Let’s look at the Last Supper. It is the meal celebrating the Passover; the miraculous rescue of the Jews from Egyptian slavery many generations before. We’ve already noted the preceding act of the meal, where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and the teaching that went along with it. It was a lesson in service and humility. Though there is no specific reference to the meal time itself, there is no reason to believe it was not a pleasant gathering.

Then the pleasant, reverent mood of the evening is broken. Jesus becomes troubled and makes the proclamation that one of His beloved 12, His closest friends, His disciples given to Him by His Father was going to betray Him. Jesus knew at that moment what the disciples did not. That betrayal was going to lead to Jesus’s crucifixion.

Now please understand, this was not a historically, outstandingly humble group. More than once they had argued about who was the greatest among them. They had wanted call fire down on a Samaritan village that had rejected Jesus. Two of them had asked to be granted the place of glory of being placed at the Right Hand of Jesus in Heaven. Peter had even rebuked Jesus earlier, when he thought Jesus was wrong.

Yet now they had been with Jesus long enough to know; when Jesus said something was going to happen; it was going to happen. One of the 12 among them, was going to do one of the most heinous, despicable things you could do to someone; betray them. Thinking about how we might act today; one could imagine that an immediate blame/accusal-fest would have commenced. One could imagine Matthew being accused as he was the past tax collector and never really one of the group. Maybe it was Simon the Zealot who was trying to force Jesus’s hand in proclaiming Himself the King of Kings. Maybe Andrew was accused of being jealous of Peter and Jesus’s close relationship and wanted to bring the whole thing down. Finally, maybe Peter was still smarting from being called Satan and wanted revenge.

Yet, in the presence of Jesus the Messiah, Who is complete Truth and Light, all the disciples were humbled. All the disciples unquestioning believed in the statement that Jesus had made; plus the fact that Jesus had not named the perpetrator. In a moment of the starkest, most honest reflection, each of the disciples reflected on themselves and saw their fallenness. They each understood; they were cable of such a thing. So instead of accusing any of the others; instead of blaming the Jewish Council or the hated Romans, they humbly, with a trembling heart and voice asked: “Is it I Lord?”

Jesus Christ is alive today. Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Savior. Jesus Christ knows all too well of our weakness and fallenness. He went to the Cross to take our fallenness in sin upon Himself so that we might be redeemed by His blood. In His presence can we find the same humility? Can we turn from accusing and judging our neighbors for all sorts of imagined or even real sins as we sit high on our self aggrandizing, self righteous judgement seat?

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ; as we look to Maundy Thursday, let us reflect on our state of humility. Let us understand our broken nature, which is capable of so many horrendous acts if not for the Grace and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let the Holy Spirit reign in us that we will find humility in ourselves and forgiveness toward others. Let us seek to Glorify the Father instead of seeking glory for ourselves. If Christ can be humble, if the disciples can be humble, then we; abiding in the love and presence of Jesus Christ can find our humility as well and live lives that Glorify the name of our Heavenly Father.

Our most Gracious Heavenly Father, we confess that far too often we find ourselves accusing others and making excuses for ourselves. Please forgive us, most merciful Father and pour out Your Spirit upon us. That living into the example of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, we might too humble ourselves, understanding our broken nature and the immeasurable gift of Grace that You gave us through His sacrifice and resurrection. That in living in humility, we rely on You to lift us up to Glory of Your Most Holy Name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

“This is My body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of Me”  Luke 22:19

“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”  Matthew 21:29

“To Him who struck Egypt in their first born, for His mercy endures forever.”  Psalm 136:10

Time.  Time can be a challenge for us.  We’ve entered into a time of year, the Season of Lent, where we reflect on as well as prepare ourselves for the commemoration and celebration of, the entering into relationship with Our Living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through His life, death and resurrection.

So how can time become an issue?  It’s not about making time to reflect or prepare.  It can be an issue because of our limited human perspective as it applies to time.  You see we are a species limited to a linear perspective, especially when it comes to time, the passing of time and the language we use to express it.  Let’s look at some examples.  We say Jesus had his “last supper, we say the Christ was arrested, suffered and was crucified and we say that He rose again from the dead.  Now please don’t misunderstand me, I whole heartedly believe that those things actually happened.  The challenge for us is when we consider those things in a historical context; that is to say we commemorate and celebrate that they happened over 2,000 years ago, we may find that we primarily attach importance to them as strictly historical events.  The danger can be that to the extent we celebrate them solely in a historical context, Christ can become primarily a historical figure, like some great past societal leader, sports great, or other celebrity, who although we acknowledge their existence and even their greatness in their time, they have very little relevance to us in today’s world, in the present time.  Worst yet, if Christ has little relevance in today’s world, we can go searching for someone else to who we should pay more attention to, who has more relevance for us today.  Heaven Forbid!

Notice that Christ, Himself, in the way He communicated wanted to make sure that we understood He was the Savior, the King of Kings, for all time.  He tells us He will feast with us again.  He promises us that He is preparing rooms for us in His Father’s House and He will return to bring us back home.  Christ promises us to send, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit to us.  In each of these things, Christ is speaking in the present tense.  He is not speaking about one particular place or people in time.  He is promising this for all who love and follow Him, for all time.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, that Jesus Christ was willing to come to earth for us, teach us, suffer for us, take our sins upon himself and die for us is an act of love and sacrifice beyond measure and understanding.  It is right that we should humbly, with meekness and awe in our hearts, commemorate and celebrate His sacrifice for us.  David also understood the necessity of reminding people of the glorious, miraculous deeds God had done for His people in the past when David reminded the people of the Passover some 400 years after it took place.  However, David did that, not just to revel in some past miracle, but to stress the point that God’s mercy was the exact same mercy in the present as it had been 400 years previous in the time of Moses and freeing of the Jewish people.

Thus, let us make sure, not only during the Season of Easter, but each and every other season of the Christian Calendar as well, to be in an ever present relationship with our living, ever relevant Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ who is as very much alive today, whose love and authority is just as powerful and pertinent today as it was when He uttered these two promises; “for without me you can do nothing,” and “greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”.   Notice that both of the statements, as well, are in the present tense.  In fact it is imperative that we understand that Christ was telling us, He wanted us to know that today, this very moment and all moments to come we can do nothing without Him, yet abiding in Him we can do greater works then He did on earth.

Let us celebrate that Jesus Christ is alive today.  He has no desire that we should only honor and look longingly back to those things He did in the past.  Jesus Christ makes it clear that He desires to have a vibrant, personal relationship with us this very moment, now and forever more.  A relationship of everlasting love that glorifies the name of Our Heavenly Father and showers us with blessings of peace and joy.  May all have a wonderfully blessed and happy Easter.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are so very thankful for the word which You have allowed us to have that teaches us and reveals the lengths that You will go to have a loving relationship with us.  Forgive us Merciful Father when, through our limited ability to comprehend and perceive, we see Your Word, especially as it applies to Your Plan of Salvation through the death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ as something that happened in the past with little relevance to us today.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit and have Him testify to us, the living nature of Your Promise, through Your eternally living Son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to see and experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through which we are able to humbly come, being redeemed by His blood, into your presence.  These things we pray in the name of Him who died once that we who call on His name will have eternal life, Jesus Christ. Amen


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