Maundy Thursday – “April Fools!”
7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."
9"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
10He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 12He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."
13They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
14When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Once again, we find the mysterious Jesus acting mysteriously. Just like Palm Sunday, he seems to know what will happen before it happens. On Sunday, there was a donkey waiting. Today, there’s a room ready for thirteen men to celebrate Passover.
You’d think by this time, the disciples would realize that when Jesus says something is going to happen, it will happen! After two occasions like this, they might have put a little faith in statements like, “The Son of Man will be killed and on the third day rise again.”
But here they are, gathered in a borrowed room, on the most holy night of the Jewish faith. It’s the last time they will be together, though they don’t know it yet.
They’ve reached the end of the feast. They’ve eaten the bitter herbs and unleavened bread. It’s just about over when Jesus lifts the bread. “This is my body . . .” Then he lifts the cup. “This cup is the new covenant . . .”
It hasn’t really sunk in yet. The twelve don’t really “get it,” that when Jesus says something is going to happen, it happens! Somewhere in the back of their minds, they’re hoping that Jesus is wrong. Maybe they’re waiting for Jesus to shout, “April Fools! I just was just messin’ with you!”
The meal ends in drama, with Judas named as the betrayer. Three disciples follow Jesus to Gethsemane. Still, it hasn’t sunk in because Peter, James and John fall asleep while Jesus sweats blood.
Then, on Friday, as they watched their friend and teacher die, maybe they were thinking they were the fools! Fools for thinking Jesus was different. Yet, he ended up like all those other pseudo-messiahs – dead at the hands of Caesar.
So sure were they that the last three years had been a fool’s errand that all but John deserted Jesus. Peter made a fool of himself by cursing at a servant girl who recognized him as a disciple of Jesus.
You’d think by now, they would know – when Jesus says something will happen, it happens!
They dispersed, thinking themselves the greatest of fools. Little did they know that, on Sunday morning, they really would feel like fools, though not for the reason they expected.
Little did they know, they God would find a way to defeat even death!