Lenten Study The meanings of Lent, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Triumphant Entry, The Eucharist, Lord’s Supper, Gethsemane, and Jesus washes the disciple’s feet at the Last Supper.
Bible Basics Custom Google Site Search!
If you have any difficulty in finding what you’re looking for
on this Bible Basics Site
use the “Bible Basics Custom Google Site Search”
on the top of every page!
Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The name “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the Christian custom of confessing our sins and being “Shriven” (absolved/forgiven) just before Lent.
It is also called Carnival. The French call it Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday. Lent is a time of repentance and fasting. Traditionally this is a time to use up all milk, eggs, and butter. These ingredients were often used to make pancakes; so the English call this day Pancake Day and celebrate this day with pancake races tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in a skillet.
· The origin of the name Shrove lies in the archaic English verb "to shrive" which means to absolve people of their sins. It was common in the Middle Ages for "shriveners" (priests) to hear people's confessions at this time, to prepare them for Lent.
· From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Christian Season of Lent
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on the Saturday before Easter. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means (to lengthen) or “spring.” The season is a preparation for celebrating Easter.
Historically, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts and then became a time for penance by all Christians. The First Sunday of Lent describes temptation by Satan; and the Sixth Sunday (Passion/Palm Sunday), Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his subsequent passion (suffering) and death. Because Sundays are always little Easters, the penitential spirit of Lent should be tempered with joyful expectation of Resurrection.
The Great Three Days – are the climax of Lent (and of the whole Christian year) and bridge into the Easter Season. These days proclaim the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. During these days, the community journeys with Jesus from the upper room, to the cross, to the tomb, and to the garden. They should be seen as a great unified service beginning with a service of Holy Communion on Holy Thursday and concluding with the services on Easter Day.
These services may be connected with a prayer vigil lasting from Holy Thursday evening (or good Friday) and until the first service of Easter and may be accompanied by fasting. Somber colors such as purple or ash gray and rough-textured cloth are most often appropriate for paraments, stoles, and banners. Unbleached muslin cloth with red stitching is also appropriate. Other visuals may include a large rough cross or veil over the sanctuary cross.
40 Hours * 40 Days * 40 Years
The season of Lent is the period of forty days (not counting Sundays) of preparation for Easter beginning with Ash Wednesday. Known in Latin as Quadragesima, which is the Latin word for forty. The forty days of Lent recall the forty hours that Jesus was in his burial tomb between Good Friday and Easter Morning. We are also reminded of the forty days that Jesus fasted and was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
· Then there was Noah’s Ark during the flood when it rained for forty days and forty nights.
· Moses fasted for forty days before he received the Ten Commandments.
· For forty years Moses led the Israelites in the desert before the Jews entered the Promised Land.
· Elijah was transformed when God gave Elijah 40 days of strength from a single meal forty days.
· The city of Nineveh was saved when God gave the people 40 days to repent.
· Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan for 40 days.
· Jesus the Risen Christ walked with His disciples for forty days between Easter and the Ascension.
Lent is a time of pertinence, a time for sacrificing, fasting, doing without, giving something up during Lent, and just being grateful for what we do have. Lent is a time to be thankful for the blessings we have received.
My grandmother always spoke perfect English and always reprimanded us if we ever spoke improperly, but when she told this story, it always made a big impact because of the way she spoke with broken English! My grandmother’s old saying:
“I felt bad ‘cause I had no shoes...
until I saw the man who had no feet.”
We often do not recognize just how blessed we really are!
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
The Purpose Driven Life has sold over 4.5 million copies-enough to give it 43 weeks on the New York Times’ advice best seller list, and months on USA Today Best selling books list. It was named “Book of the Year” by Christian Bookseller and Rick Warren was named “America’s most influential pastor” by Christianity Today.
It begins: “It’s not all about you,
The purpose of your life is far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin from God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren is especially good reading for the Lenten season. The book has 40 chapters and is designed to be read one chapter, one day at a time during Lent.
Reading The Purpose Driven Life is part of my Lenten worship every year!
I started to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren on March 25, 2004 and finished on May 6, 2004. By Chapter 10, I had already realized that this book has had a major impact on my spiritual life! I started to buy copies for family and friends before I had finished the book.
Rick Warren points out that through his free personal daily Bible reading plan if you read the Bible just 15 minutes a day; you will read the Bible in just one year!!!
For a free personal daily Bible reading plan.
Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter for Christians; we confront our own mortality and confess our sins before God within the community of faith. The form and content of the service focus on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ. The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship, and the Imposition of Ashes is a powerful nonverbal and experiential way of participating in the call to repentance and reconciliation. This practice is the historic focus of Ash Wednesday observance and gave the day its name. It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Passion/Palm Sunday service to burn to create the ashes for Ash Wednesday.
The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness
At the beginning of Christ ministry Christ spent forty days in the wilderness in preparation for his obedient journey to the cross. Lent is our forty days in the wilderness to be with Jesus as we prepare (obediently) with Christ for his journey to the cross.
The Temptation of Jesus
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[a]"
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
" 'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'[b]"
7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'[c]"
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'[d]"
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Mathew 4: 1-11
· Jesus was “about thirty years old” Luke 3:23 when Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
· Thirty was the prescribed age for priests to begin their ministry Numbers 4:3.
· Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. Genesis 41:46
· David was 30 years old when he began to reign over Judah. 2 Samuel 5:4
· Age 30, in the Jewish culture, this was a good time to begin an important task.
· Jesus was baptized “to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John (the baptizer) consented.
· Jesus was baptized to identify Himself as the Son of God. God officially announced that Jesus is His Son.
And a voice from heaven said,
“This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
· Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with sinful man.
We share in Christ’s life and Christ shares in our lives.
Why should we be baptized?
· Receive forgiveness of our sins. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy spirit” Acts 2:38
“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.”
· Enter into the Kingdom of God. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water of the Spirit.
· Live a new life. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Examples of Baptisms:
Jesus was baptized: Matthew 3:16
The people at Pentecost were baptized: Acts 2:38, 41
Simon in Samaria was baptized: Acts 8:12, 13
Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized: Acts 8:38
Paul was baptized: Acts 9:18; 22:16
Cornelius and his household were baptized: Acts 10:48
Lydia and her household were baptized: Acts 16:15
The Jailer and his family believed:
...and were baptized: Acts 16:33
Immediately after being baptized Jesus is led into the wilderness.
1 Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
After you become baptized, become a Christian you are not living in a fairytale world. God does not arrange parking spaces for you; bad things happen to good people. Immediately after Jesus was baptized the devil came looking for Jesus to tempt him!
2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.
3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." (Doubts)
The devil is a very sly tempter; it is not sinful to be hungry or to eat bread.
Jesus refused to work a miracle to avoid personal suffering when suffering was part of God’s will for him.
- Wycliffe Bible Commentary
Later at the Feeding of the 5,000 Jesus would turn five loaves and two fish; and the Feeding of the 4,000 Jesus would turn seven loaves of bread to feed the multitudes; for it was his Father’s will.
4 But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
'One does not live by bread alone’ – Jesus was quoting from scripture, Deuteronomy 8:3 (See Dt.8:2-3)
Wandering Israel was made to see that the source of bread (i.e., God) was more important than the bread itself. Jesus refused to work a miracle to avoid personal suffering when suffering was part of God’s will for him. Wycliffe Bible Commentary
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 Saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" (Deny God)
The devil is actually quoting scripture; Psalm 91:11-12. This is a good example of using the Bible out of context or for your own will and not God’s will.
7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
Putting God to the test is not “faith” but “doubt.”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
9 And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." (Defy God)
10 Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'"
Again Jesus quotes from scripture, Deuteronomy 6:13
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Jesus repulsed the mightiest blows of Satan not by a thunderbolt from heaven, but by the written Word of God employed in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, a means available to every Christian.
Wycliffe Bible Commentary:
Adam and Eve failed the temptations of Satan and thus man was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Jesus Christ is the second Adam who triumphed over Satan. Jesus was tempted the same way Adam and Eve were tempted; and Satan the very same way tempts us today.
Jesus Christ temptation is also an example to show us that we also can defeat Satan and his temptations.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.”
“It is written…” Jesus defended himself against Satan by quoting Scripture, the Word of God:
"It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.' "
"It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.' "
"Again, it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
Matthew 4:4, 7, 10
There is power in God’s Word. The Armor of God, Belt of Truth, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, and The Sword of the Spirit. Reference: Ephesians 6:10-18
We are constantly under attack by Satan. When we are tempted by the Adversary we need to focus on God and on His Word and quote Scripture as a weapon against the Tempter, and obey the Word of God.
Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death
- even death on a cross!
Jesus was able to defeat Satan and his temptations because He predetermined that He was going to be obedient and serve God.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
In the Old Testament, animals, which were to be sacrificed for a sin offering, had to be unblemished, without defect, or sin Exodus 12:3-5.
Since Jesus was our Passover Lamb John 1:29, Jesus had to be without sin Hebrews 4:15, to be a worthy sacrifice to God for our sins; for our salvation.
Jesus could only be our Savior, if He were sinless; without sin. Hebrews 9:14.
Jesus Christ has suffered the same trials and tribulations we all are challenged with; so Jesus can empathies with our pain and suffering. Jesus was tempted in order to show us that we can defeat Satan and escape his temptations.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from the acts (sins) that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.
“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
“And Lead us not into temptation,
but delivers us from the evil one.”
Ponder: Sometimes trying to be Christ like seems to be impossible to me, but defeating the devil, defeating temptation seems very possible through Jesus Christ, by obeying the Word of God.
During Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, we remember the events of the last week of Christ’s life. In particular, we commemorate the events that occurred on Thursday and Friday. Six actions are traditional on these nights. They are (1) confession and pardon, (2) proclamation of the Word, (3) foot washing, (4) the Lord’s Supper, (5) stripping of the church, and (6) Tenebrae. - NUMC Newsletter
Great Three Days / The Paschal Triduum
The word Triduum (pronounced “TRIH-doo-uhm”) comes from the Latin meaning “three days.” It refers to the three most sacred days in the church year. The Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, reaches its high point at the Easter Vigil and concludes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday.
The Church follows the traditional Jewish practice of counting days from sunset to sunset; thus, Holy Thursday evening to Good Friday evening is the first day Good Friday evening to Holy Saturday evening is the second day Holy Saturday evening to Easter Sunday evening is the third day
Although we talk of three days, Triduum is best understood as one liturgy in three interlocking movements where we wash one another’s feet (Holy Thursday) reverence the cross (Good Friday) light fires in the night and proclaim the stories of our salvation with an awed awareness that this is what it means to be baptized.
Palm Sunday is also known as “Passion Sunday,” it is not only a day for commemorating Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, but also for anticipating the events of the week to come, leading to the crucifixion and resurrection.
Traditionally, Palm/Passion Sunday is a day for both jubilation and meditation upon the whole Passion story. (Note: “Passion” is the Christian term for the agony and death of Christ.)
-PHPC 4/4/04 Program
The Triumphal Entry
The Triumphal Entry
12The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[b]
"Blessed is the King of Israel!"
14Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,
15"Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey's colt."[c]
16At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.
17Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"
a. John 12:13 A Hebrew expression meaning "Save!" which became an exclamation of praise
b. John 12:13 Psalm 118:25, 26
c. John 12:15 Zech. 9:9
The Triumphal Entry
The Triumphal Entry
Matthew 21:1-11 NKJV
1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage,[a] at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”4 All[b] this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 “ Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘ Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[c]
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him[d] on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“ Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’[e] Hosanna in the highest!”
10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” 11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
The Triumphal Entry
Mark 11:1-10 NIV
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' "
4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[b]
10"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
The Triumphal Entry
Luke 19:29-44 The Message
God's Personal Visit 28-31After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: "Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you'll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, 'What are you doing?' say, 'His Master needs him.'"
32-33The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, "What are you doing untying the colt?" 34They said, "His Master needs him." 35-36They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.
37-38Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God's name!
All's well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!
39Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, "Teacher, get your disciples under control!" 40But he said, "If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise."
41-44When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They'll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn't recognize and welcome God's personal visit."
Palm Sunday is celebrated with the vision of Jesus riding meekly on the donkey into Jerusalem. Crowds are shouting praises,
“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he
who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the kingdom of our father David”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
In the book: Sermons Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter J. Gomes points out that on Palm Sunday that except for Jesus:
“The donkey is the only one who knows where he is going.”
The Palm leaves are a Roman symbol of victory. The Disciples were marching in victory to what they had presumed to be a Savior who would lead them to freedom from Rome’s persecution and domination.
Palm Sunday wasn’t that great of a day for Jesus; for he knew what was to come. Soon, Judas one of the disciples would betray Jesus with a kiss. (Nothing hurts more than betrayal from someone you love or trust.)
Soon, the other Disciples would desert and deny Jesus. As Jesus had predicted, Peter will deny Jesus three times.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today – yes, tonight – before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
What the people wanted was a worldly-earthly king a Messiah who would lead them to victory and gain their freedom from Rome’s persecution and domination.
What the people got was a Messiah, the Son of God who entered Jerusalem who was humble, meek, gentle, kind but also courageously following the Word of God.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Zechariah 9:9 King James Version
The people did not recognize Christ as the prophetic symbol of Zechariah until after the crucifixion on the Cross and the Resurrection.
Jesus was proclaiming Himself the Messiah, the promised King, who would free Israel and bring everlasting peace.
During Old Testament biblical times kings and nobles would arrive in a procession, would ride on the back of a donkey.
The donkey was a symbol of peace.
The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.
Jesus rode “meekly” (gently/kindly) into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jesus did not ride timidly into Jerusalem! Jesus was defiant, full of courage, following the will of God the Father. Soon Jesus would be knocking over the tables of the moneychangers chasing them out of the temple!
Jesus was publicly proclaiming himself as the Messiah and the Pharisees recognized this was a threat to their authority and their way of life and forced the Pharisees to take action to kill Christ. Jesus was not afraid of the authorities. Jesus knew what was to come. Jesus did not fall into the hands of the Pharisees, Jesus knew that His actions would force His enemies to act. Jesus had already drunk “the cup” of suffering; Jesus had already made the commitment, His choice to obey God’s Plan, to obey the Word of God.
Palm Sunday is time for reflecting on the final week of Jesus' life. It is a time for Christians to prepare our hearts for the agony of His Passion and the joy of His Resurrection.
The word “meek” used in the Bible, has many incorrect connotations 2000 years later as it pertains to Jesus Christ. Jesus rode into Jerusalem gently and kindly, not pompously like a king. Study the definitions of meek, pompous, and gentle. Which definitions do you associate with Jesus Christ?
[Middle English meke, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse mj kr, soft.]
meek ly adv.
adj 1: humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness; "meek and self-effacing" [syn: mild, modest]
2: very docile; "tame obedience"; "meek as a mouse"- Langston Hughes [syn: tame] 3: evidencing little spirit or courage; overly submissive or compliant; "compliant and anxious to suit his opinions of those of others"; "a fine fiery blast against meek conformity"- Orville Prescott; "she looked meek but had the heart of a lion"; "was submissive and subservient" [syn: compliant, spiritless]
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
adj : puffed up with vanity; "a grandiloquent and boastful manner"; "overblown oratory"; "a pompous speech"; "pseudo-scientific gobbledygook and pontifical hooey"- Newsweek [syn: grandiloquent, overblown, pontifical, portentous
The Eucharist or Communion or The Lord's Supper, is the rite that Christians perform in fulfillment of Jesus' instruction, recorded in the New Testament, to do in memory of him what he did at his Last Supper. Jesus gave his disciples bread, saying "This is my body," and wine, saying "This is my blood." Christians generally recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present. The word "Eucharist" is also applied to the bread and wine consecrated in the course of the rite.
The word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek noun åὐ÷áñéóôßá (thanksgiving) . This noun or the corresponding verb åὐ÷áñéóôῶ (to give thanks) is found in 55 verses of the New Testament. (Åὐ÷áñéóôÝù, the uncontracted form, given in some aids for students, is not used in the New Testament.) Four of these verses (Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:23, Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24) recount that Jesus "gave thanks" before presenting to his followers the bread and the wine that he declared to be his body and his blood.
Most Christians classify the Eucharist as a sacrament, but many Protestant traditions avoid the term sacrament, preferring ordinance. In these traditions, the ceremony is seen not as a specific channel of divine grace but as an expression of faith and obedience of the Christian community.
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
John 13: 1-17 KJV
1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
3Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
John 13: 1-17 KJV
Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet
John 13:1-17 NIV
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
10Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
The word “Eucharist” is a Greek rooted word that means “gratitude” or “thanksgiving” which (includes the ceremonial foot washing in imitation of Jesus, who washed his disciples feet before the last supper as a sign and example of humility and love.
Sometimes we fret, worry, and complain when we cannot do things for ourselves. We all like to be independent, we all like to be self-sufficient, we want to do for ourselves, and not need the help of others.
Simon Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, for Peter reasoned he could wash his feet himself. But Jesus tells us that there are times to “be quiet” to “sit down” and let Him care for our needs.
Christ later at Calvary will fall three times carrying His cross. Even Christ will need the help of others, Christ will fall and will need the help of Simon to help carry His cross. When we are in need of the help from others, when we fall and are at our weakest moments we need to “be quiet,” and “sit down,” and to “surrender” to God and let God care for our needs through the kind works and deeds of others.
Jesus Christ has set himself as an example for us:
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Jesus Christ has given us a new command:
“A new commandment I give unto you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.”
We can accept our inequities, our aging, and our weaknesses with Grace. There is a time to “be quiet” and “sit down.” There is a time to “surrender” to God; to give it all to God. There is a time to accept the blessings from others with grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
The Passover meal, or Seder, is the most important of all Jewish household ceremonies. It is an enduring witness to God’s promise of freedom for the Jewish people. Jews share this meal of liberation, remembering the Exodus from Egypt and rejoicing that the Lord passed over (pesah) and spared the children of Israel in Egypt (Exodus 12:27).
The feast of Unleavened Bread, which became an alternative name for Passover in the Bible (Luke 22:1), recalls how Israel left Egypt in such haste that the dough for the bread was unleavened (Exodus 13). The meal celebrated in each Jewish home includes foods that remind the family members of the Exodus and features a recitation of the sacred history of the Jewish people. This Passover meal is transformed by Christ into the Lord’s Supper for Christians. - NUMC Newsletter
A man ought to examine himself before he eats the body of the bread and drinks the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
1 Corinthians 11:28-29
The Eucharist commemorates the actions of Jesus the night before his crucifixion. The Eucharist is also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper is the central act of Christian worship: the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the wine. Jesus invites the Disciples to repeat the Lord’s Supper frequently – “in remembrance of me.”
The Lord's Supper
Matthew 26:17-29 NKJV
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.
21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed[a] and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new[b] covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
The Lord's Supper
Mark 14:12-25 NIV
12On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" 13So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14Say to the owner of the house he enters, 'The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."
16The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 17When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me." 19They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?" 20"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
22While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."
23Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24"This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.
25"I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."
The Lord's Supper
Luke 22:7-20 The Message
7-8The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, "Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together." 9They said, "Where do you want us to do this?" 10-12He said, "Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, 'Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?' He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there." 13They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
14-16When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, "You've no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It's the last one I'll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God."
17-18Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, "Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I'll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives."
19Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory." 20He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you. Eat it in my memory."
20He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
The Lord's Supper
1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NIV
23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
We get to enter into his saving death and the Resurrection of Jesus to enter into the outcome of that death, and to mediate communion with God and community.
On the night in which Jesus gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to God, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said,
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given to you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to God, gave it to his disciples and said,
“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, washing their feet, and sharing a meal with them, which we call the Lord’s Supper.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and precedes Good Friday. “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, or “commandment,” referring to Christ’s words after he washed the feet of the disciples:
“A new commandment I give unto you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.”
39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[a]
45When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
a.Luke 22:44 Some early manuscripts do not have verses 43 and 44.
· Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives.
Gethsemane a garden or orchard on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, one of Jesus’ favorite places (see Luke 22:39, John 18:2). The name is Hebrew and means,
“oil press” i.e., a place for squeezing the oil from olives.
NIV Note Mark 14:32
· “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.”
cup - A symbol of deep sorrow and suffering.
· “everything is possible for you.”
· “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus submits His will to God’s will.
· An angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
Even Jesus needed strength from God!
· And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
drops of blood – Probably perspiration in large drops like blood, or possibly hematidrosis, the actual mingling of blood and sweat as in cases of extreme anguish, strain, or sensitivity.
NIV Note Luke 22:44
“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Gethsemane – In the Garden, I believe that this is one of the underrated parts of the whole New Testament! Everything hinges on Jesus’ decision to be obedient to God, to follow God: Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8) This is a pivotal point in the fulfillment of prophesy of the Old Testament in the Bible. The Crucifixion and Resurrection would not have happened without Jesus’ submitting his will to God’s will and Jesus’ obedience to God, obeying the Word of God!
Jesus made his decision to be obedient to God in the quiet place, Gethsemane – In the Garden, one of Jesus’ favorite places to pray (see Luke 22:39, John 18:2). For Jesus In the Garden was the “Calm Before the Storm.”
In the Garden, in the quiet place is where we need to make our decision to follow God; not in the middle of the storm, not in the middle of turmoil and trouble. Let God be your comfort, your shelter, and your shield of strength.
You make a commitment to God,
a promise to God,
a covenant to God
at a time of strength
to give yourself strength
at a time of weakness.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was mot in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper....
Adapted from 1 Kings 19:11-12