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Friday, March 29, 2013

Day Five: Thursday- The Last Supper and Gethsemane

The events of the Thursday before Easter are powerful in every aspect. Details of this day begin in the early evening as Jesus instructs His disciples who to look for in the city, and from him they will find a room for the group to share their passover meal. After having pondered the both fig tree stories from earlier this week, I was struck by Mark 14:15 where Jesus says the disciples will be shown a room that is "furnished and prepared". It seems like that is a very common theme and perhaps a suggestion for our own lives.
The Last Supper was offered to the Disciples as the Passover feast with the Lord. As Latter-Day Saints this is significant, because it is through our partaking of the sacrament each week that allows us to remember Jesus and renew our baptismal covenants with Him. In this upper room, Jesus not only introduced and offered the sacrament. At this time He also washed the feet of His disciples and taught to them the important lesson that none is above serving, which I think is a preparation for the great commandment, to love one another.
Jesus takes these last moments with His disciples to leave with them more council and teachings. Among these teachings:
      * The commandment to love one another as He loves us
      * "I am the way, the truth and the life", which leads us to back to our Father in Heaven
      * "If ye know me, ye know the Father"
      * Offer our prayers in Jesus' name
      * "If ye love me, keep my commandments"
      * teachings about the Holy Ghost
      * "My peace I leave with you..."
      * the teaching that we should abide in Him
      * He also teaches more about the resurrection

After their time together in the upper room, Jesus and His disciples cross the Kidron Valley and come to the Gethsemane. As they enter the area, Jesus instructs all but Peter, James and John to stay back while the four proceed further into the garden. As they proceeded to walk further, Jesus' countenance began to show signs of sorrow. Jesus asks the three men to stay and pray for Him as he continues on, where He offers a prayer that the Father will allow this cup to pass. Three times, He goes back to find Peter, James and John asleep. Jesus suffered intensely for the sins of each and every one of us. Today, I found myself so grateful for Luke's account which includes the ministering of an angel to Jesus in His suffering. Ironically, I found one resource that also points to Luke being the only one to mention the healing of the cut off ear. Pointing out that Luke was also watchful to look for examples of the loving and kind acts of the Savior. This reminded me of council from Latter-Day leaders to look for the hand of God in our lives daily.
As they prepare to leave Gethsemane, Jesus knows that His enemies are near at hand. And just as He described earlier that very night, Judas is at the lead of a group of armed men ready to take Jesus as their prisoner. In front of the Jewish authorities, Jesus is questioned and abused. It was when Jesus acknowledges who He is, the Messiah and the Son of God, that the decision is made to sentence Jesus to death.

The Hymn that I ended up selecting for today is Hymn # 193, "I Stand All Amazed". I know that there are so many hymns that would have summed up this day, and maybe you have a favorite. I'd love to know which one it is. For my heart as I have been working on this project, I go to bed every night with the words of this song on my mind. More than ever before, I truly do Stand all amazed at the sacrifice rendered on our behalf. Remember to select words and music to hear both music and lyrics.
"I Stand All Amazed" Hymn

Other Hymns that you may want to read the words to or listen to are: Hymn # 185, "Reverently and Meekly Now"- which is unique because it is written in the first person, from the Savior's point of view and Hymn #173 "While of These Emblems We Partake"

Scripture Experience:
     * The Last Supper (Mark 14:12-31; Matthew 26:17-35; Luke 22:7-38; John 13:1-30)
     * The farewell discourses (Luke 22:24-30; John 13:31-17:26)
     * Jesus goes to Gethsemane (John 18:1)
     * Jesus at Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1)
     * The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (Mark 14:43-52; Matthew 26:47-56; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-11)
     * Jesus before the Jewish authorities (Mark 14:53-65; Matthew 26:57-68; Luke 22:54, 63-71; John 18:12-28)

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