TEXT: Matthew 26:17-30; Luke 22:7-23; John 13:1-17
A LONG, long time ago the church used to have a special day in the spring when everyone had a big feast or dinner. They called it the Passover Feast. People came from all over the land to the city of Jerusalem where the big church was.
Jesus and His helpers wanted to find a place to have this big feast-dinner. Jesus never did have a house all His own.
Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.”
Peter and John did not know where to find a place big enough for Jesus and all His helpers to eat together, but Jesus knew just what to do. Jesus always knows just what to do about everything. They asked Jesus where to go. That is what Jesus wants us to do, too. He wants us to ask Him what to do and He will tell us.
Jesus said they should go to the city and there they would see a man carrying a pitcher of water. They should follow him into the house. He would take them to a big room upstairs. There they should get the Passover dinner ready.
Oh, how Peter and John did listen hard to Jesus so they would not forget! They went to the city. They found the man with the pitcher. They went to his house as Jesus had said.
In the evening Jesus and His helpers came to the dinner. Jesus looked all around Him. Here was the table with the food. At the table sat His friends.
One man there was bad. Oh, so bad! He was not a friend of Jesus any more like he used to be. His name was Judas. He made believe that he liked Jesus and His helpers, but he did not any more. Of course, Jesus knew Judas had a bad heart with sin in it. No one can hide sin from Jesus.
At the table, Jesus took some of the bread and broke it into pieces. They did not have bread like our bread. Their bread was not fluffy and soft.
Jesus took the pieces of bread and blessed them. When Jesus blesses something, He makes a special, loving Jesus prayer about it. Jesus gave each of His disciple-helpers a piece of the bread He had broken. Jesus told them to eat it and always remember Him! He was not going to have another dinner with them.
Jesus meant bad Judas was going to tell the mean men, who hated Jesus, to come and get Him. Jesus knew He would be put on the cross soon. Jesus wanted each helper to have a little broken piece of bread, and always remember how He was hurt on the cross, before He died.
Then Jesus took a cup of grape juice and said a Thank You prayer to God for it. He had each man take a little taste of the grape juice. Jesus wanted them to remember that
the mean men made the blood come when they hurt Him. He died on the cross so that He could forgive your sin and mine.
Jesus wanted us, too, to remember His death on the cross. Every now and then the people who love Jesus will pray in church and then eat a little tiny piece of bread so they will never, never forget how Jesus was put on the cross so that they could have their sin washed away. As the people pray, the grape juice is passed to each one. Each one will take a little sip of it and remember about Jesus on the cross.
The Bible tells us just how Jesus wants us to never, never forget to love Him. We do not want to be like that bad Judas who just made believe he loved Jesus. Oh my, no!
When Jesus and His helpers had finished eating the Passover Feast, Jesus got up from the table and began to wash the helpers’ feet. They wondered why Jesus, the Son of God, was washing their feet.
Jesus put a big, long towel around His waist and got down and washed their feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet; he thought Jesus was too good to do that.
But Jesus was trying to show Peter and the others some of the things they should do after He went to Heaven. Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” He told them that if they did that, they would be very happy.