Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thoughts On Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. On this day, Jesus celebrated the last supper with his apostles, went to the garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested and finally jailed in the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. On this day, the apostles scattered and Peter denied Jesus three times.
One can only imagine the emotional highs and lows that the apostles felt that day. Being in the upper room with Jesus and celebrating the Passover or Last Supper as we know it, had to have been one of the greatest moments in history. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus then washed their feet! We cannot even begin to understand the impact that must have had on those fishermen.  It is no wonder that a few moments later Jesus would chastise them in Gethsemane, “could you not stay up with me one hour?” They were emotionally spent and overwhelmed by the events of the evening and stay awake after that? And yet the most dramatic and bone chilling events were yet to take place.
When Judas arrived in the garden with the army of Caiaphas, the euphoria they had experienced earlier that night came crashing down like a glassier sliding into the sea.  Everything that they had witnessed, heard from the mouth of Jesus, and felt in their souls must have turned into nothingness. Betrayed, stabbed in the back, rejected, humiliated, cursed, abandoned, cheated, would have been some of the ways they might have explained their emotions at that moment. Watching Jesus led away to prison must have been pure torture.
Helpless to do anything, it is no wander they all ran. No wonder Peter denied Jesus. He was telling the truth when he denied Him three times. He didn’t know the man. He thought he did but now around the campfire he realized he really didn’t know Jesus at all. Why should he go to jail or worse, when he was the one who was lied to and swindled? Why should he claim to know someone like that?
Knowing how the story ends with the resurrection on Easter morning wasn’t a luxury that the apostles had. That good news ending was something they couldn’t even begin to imagine. So, the next 3 days would be just more of the same agonizing emotions of fear, hate, resentment and every other negative feeling one could think of. It was a dark time for Jesus, his apostles and disciples.
If you feel like you are in a dark time today remember that it will pass. We have seen it replayed over and over again in history. The valley of the shadow of death is a valley. That means that it has a beginning and an end. If you keep moving, you will get through it. Just don’t set up camp there or worse yet move in and live there. Keep moving and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and I promise you it is NOT a train. It is the light of Christ, bringing good news of a new day and a new life. One that is full of joy and happiness. That is a promise from God and one you can truly count on today, tomorrow and forever. 

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