Every day during Holy Week this year, I will post a blog that simply walks through the events of that day from 2000 years ago and each of the 4 gospel writers' perspectives. All 4 gospel accounts will be woven together to form a single storyline. Check out the intro post that explains the Bible version I'm using and the format of the posts.
This is the mixed account from the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, of Maundy Thursday from Holy Week.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the customary day when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus chose Peter and John and gave them instructions.
Jesus: Go and make all the necessary preparations for the Passover meal so we can eat together.
Peter and John: Where do You want us to make preparations?
Jesus: When you enter the city, you’ll encounter a man carrying a jar of water. Just follow him wherever he goes, and when he enters a house, tell the homeowner, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near, and I am going to celebrate Passover at your house with My disciples.’” He’ll show you a spacious second-story room that has all the necessary furniture. That’s where you should prepare our meal.
They did as He said and found everything just as He said it would be, and they prepared the Passover meal in the upper room.
Before the Passover festival began, that evening Jesus and the twelve arrived and went into the upper room; Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people.
Jesus sat down with the twelve. Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God,
Jesus: It has been My deep desire to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins. Know this: I will not eat another Passover meal until its meaning is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal.
Soon they found themselves arguing about the opposite question.
Disciples: Which one of us is the most faithful, the most important?
[Jesus] stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments. He then wrapped Himself in a towel, poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.
Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?
Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.
Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!
Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.
Peter: Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.
Jesus: Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.
He knew the one with plans of betraying Him, which is why He said, “not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.
Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am. So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. I am your example; keep doing what I do. I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.
The authority figures of the outsiders play this game, flexing their muscles in competition for power over one another, masking their quest for domination behind words like “benefactor” or “public servant.” But you must not indulge in this charade. Instead, among you, the greatest must become like the youngest and the leader must become a true servant. If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness.
Who is greater right here as we eat this meal—those of us who sit at the table, or those who serve us? Doesn’t everyone normally assume those who are served are greater than those who serve? But consider My role among you. I have been with you as a servant.
You have stood beside Me faithfully through My trials. I give you a kingdom, just as the Father has given Me a kingdom. You will eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will have authority over the twelve tribes of Israel.
I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am. I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.
Each reclined around the table, leaning upon an elbow as he ate. Jesus was becoming visibly distressed.
Jesus: I tell you in absolute sincerity, one of you eating with Me tonight is going to betray Me. As it has been determined, the Son of Man, that firstfruit of a new generation of humanity, must be betrayed, That has already been predicted in the Scriptures. But still, it will be terrible for the one who betrays Him. It would have been better for him if he had never been born. But even now, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on this table.
The disciples began to stare at one another, wondering who was the unfaithful disciple. The disciples, of course, were horrified. They looked around at each other. They immediately began questioning each other.
A Disciple: Not me!
Another Disciple: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Disciples (one by one): Lord, it’s not I, is it?
Jesus: It is one of you, the twelve—one of you who shared this dish of food with Me. That is the one who will betray Me.
One disciple in particular, who was loved by Jesus, reclined next to Him at the table. Peter motioned to the disciple at Jesus’ side.
Peter (to the beloved disciple): Find out who the betrayer is.
Beloved Disciple (leaning in to Jesus): Lord, who is it?
Jesus: I will dip a piece of bread in My cup and give it to the one who will betray Me.
He dipped one piece in the cup and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. At that, Judas, who was indeed planning to betray Him, said,
Judas Iscariot: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: I believe you’ve just answered your own question.
After this occurred, Satan entered into Judas.
Jesus (to Judas): Make haste, and do what you are going to do.
No one understood Jesus’ instructions to Judas. Because Judas carried the money, some thought he was being instructed to buy the necessary items for the feast or give some money to the poor. So Judas took his piece of bread and departed into the night.
Upon Judas’s departure, Jesus spoke:
Jesus: Now the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him. If God’s glory is in Him, His glory is also in God. The moment of this astounding glory is imminent.
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He offered a blessing over the bread, and then He broke it and gave it to His disciples.
Jesus: Take this and eat; This is My body, My body given for you. Do this to remember Me.
And similarly, after the meal had been eaten, He took the cup. And when He had given thanks for it, He passed it to them, and they all drank from it.
Jesus: This is My blood, a new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I am with you once more, drinking in the kingdom of My Father.
My children, My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, “You cannot go where I am going.” So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.
Simon Peter: Lord, where are You going?
Jesus: Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.
Peter: Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!
Jesus: Will you really give your life for Me? All of you will desert Me tonight. It was written by Zechariah,
I shall strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will scatter.
Just so, each of you will stumble tonight, stumble and fall, on account of Me. Afterward I will be raised up. And I will go before you to Galilee.
Peter (protesting): It doesn’t matter who else turns his back on You. Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.
Jesus: Simon, Simon, how Satan has pursued you, that he might make you part of his harvest. But I have prayed for you. I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers here.
Peter: Lord, what are You talking about? I’m going all the way to the end with You—to prison, to execution—I’m prepared to do anything for You.
Jesus: No, Peter. If only that were true. Mark My words. This very night before the cock crows twice, you will have denied that you even know Me, not just once, but three times.
Peter (insisting): No, Teacher. Even if it means that I have to die with You, I’ll never deny You.
And each of the disciples echoed Peter.
Jesus: Remember when I sent you out with no money, no pack, not even sandals? Did you lack anything?
Disciples: Not a thing.
Jesus: It’s different now. If you have some savings, take them with you. If you have a pack, fill it and bring it. If you don’t have a sword, sell your coat and buy one. Here’s the truth: what the Hebrew Scriptures said, “And He was taken as one of the criminals,” must come to fruition in Me. These words must come true.
Disciples: Look, Lord, we have two swords here.
Jesus: That’s enough. Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.
Thomas: Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?
Jesus: I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip: Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip): I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will remain constantly with you. The world does not recognize the Spirit of truth, because it does not know the Spirit and is unable to receive Him. But you do know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you. I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you. In a little while, the world will not see Me; but I will not vanish completely from your sight. Because I live, you will also live. At that time, you will know that I am in the Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
The Other Judas: Lord, why will You reveal Yourself to us, but not to the world?
Jesus: Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him. The one who does not love Me ignores My message, which is not from Me, but from the Father who sent Me.
I have spoken these words while I am here with you. The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you. My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. You were listening when I said, “I will go away, but I will also return to be with you.” If you love Me, celebrate the fact that I am going to be with the Father because He is far greater than I am. I have told you all these things in advance so that your faith will grow as these things come to pass. I am almost finished speaking to you. The one who rules the world is stepping forward, and he has no part in Me; but to demonstrate to the cosmos My love for the Father, I will do just as He commands. Stand up. It is time for us to leave this place.
After the meal, together, all the men sang a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and then they took a late evening walk to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; already you are clean because you have heard My voice. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. Follow My example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving His love. If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love. I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.
My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. This is My command to you: love one another.
If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason. Don’t forget what I have spoken to you: “a servant is not greater than the master.” If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you. Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One who has sent Me. If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice.
If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father. If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin. But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless. Yet their law, which says, “They despised Me without any cause,” has again been proven true.
I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began.
I am telling you all of this so that you may avoid the offenses that are coming. The time will come when they will kick you out of the synagogue because some believe God desires them to execute you as an act of faithful service. They will do this because they don’t know the Father, or else they would know Me. I’m telling you all this so that when it comes to pass you will remember what you have heard. It was not important for Me to give you this information in the beginning when I was with you. But now, I am going to the One who has sent Me, and none of you ask Me, “Where are You going?”
I know that hearing news like this is overwhelming and sad. But the truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don’t leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you. When He arrives, He will uncover the sins of the world, expose unbelief as sin, and allow all to see their sins in the light of righteousness for the first time. This new awareness of righteousness is important because I am going to the Father and will no longer be present with you. The Spirit will also carry My judgment because the one who rules in this world has already been defeated.
I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now. The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you. For a little while you will not see Me; but after that, a time will come when you will see Me again.
Some of His Disciples: What does He mean? “I’ll be here, and then I won’t be here, because I’ll be with the Father”?
Other Disciples: What is He saying? “A little while”? We don’t understand.
Jesus knew they had questions to ask of Him, so He approached them.
Jesus: Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
When all this transpires, you will finally have the answers you have been seeking. I tell you the truth, anything you ask of the Father in My name, He will give to you. Until this moment, you have not sought after anything in My name. Ask and you will receive so that you will be filled with joy.
I have been teaching you all of these truths through stories and metaphors, but the time is coming for Me to speak openly and directly of the Father.
The day is coming when you will make a request in My name, but I will not represent you before the Father. You will be heard directly by the Father. The Father loves you because you love Me and know that I come from the Father. I came from the Father into the cosmos, but soon I will leave it and return to the Father.
Disciples: We hear You speaking clearly and not in metaphors. How could we misunderstand? We see now that You are aware of everything and You reveal things at the proper time. So we do not need to question You, because we believe You have come from God.
Jesus: So you believe now? Be aware that a time is coming when you will be scattered like seeds. You will return to your own way, and I will be left alone. But I will not be alone, because the Father will be with Me. I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.
Jesus (lifting His face to the heavens): Father, My time has come. Glorify Your Son, and I will bring You great glory because You have given Me total authority over humanity. I have come bearing the plentiful gifts of God; and all who receive Me will experience everlasting life, a new intimate relationship with You (the one True God) and Jesus the Anointed (the One You have sent). I have glorified You on earth and fulfilled the mission You set before Me.
In this moment, Father, fuse Our collective glory and bring Us together as We were before creation existed. You have entrusted Me with these men who have come out of this corrupt world order. I have told them about Your nature and declared Your name to them, and they have held on to Your words and understood that these words, like everything else You have given Me, come from You. It is true that these men You gave Me have received the words that come from You and not only understood them but also believed that You sent Me. I am now making an appeal to You on their behalf. This request is not for the entire world; it is for those whom You have given to Me because they are Yours. Yours and Mine, Mine and Yours, for all that are Mine are Yours. Through them I have been glorified.
I will no longer be physically present in this world, but they will remain in this world. As I return to be with You, holy Father, remain with them through Your name, the name You have given Me. May they be one even as We are one. While I was physically present with them, I protected them through Your name. I watched over them closely; and only one was lost, the one the Scriptures said was the son of destruction. Now I am returning to You. I am speaking this prayer here in the created cosmos alongside friends and foes so that in hearing it they might be consumed with joy. I have given them Your word; and the world has despised them because they are not products of the world, in the same way that I am not a product of the corrupt world order. Do not take them out of this world; protect them from the evil one.
Like Me, they are not products of the corrupt world order. Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks. In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them. It is entirely for their benefit that I have set Myself apart so that they may be set apart by truth. I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak. Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me.
All the glory You have given to Me, I pass on to them. May that glory unify them and make them one as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may be refined so that all will know that You sent Me, and You love them in the same way You love Me.
Father, I long for the time when those You have given Me can join Me in My place so they may witness My glory, which comes from You. You have loved Me before the foundations of the cosmos were laid. Father, You are just; though this corrupt world order does not know You, I do. These followers know that You have sent Me. I have told them about Your nature; and I will continue to speak of Your name in order that Your love, which was poured out on Me, will be in them. And I will also be in them.
When Jesus finished praying, He began a brief journey with His disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley, a deep ravine that floods in the winter rains, then farther on to a garden called Gethsemane where He gathered His disciples.
Jesus: Stay here. I’m going a little farther to pray and to think.
He took Peter, James, and John with Him; and as they left the larger group behind, He became sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Jesus: My heart is so heavy; My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Wait here for Me, and stay awake to keep watch. Pray for yourselves, that you will not sink into temptation.
He walked a little farther. Then He threw Himself on the ground and prayed for deliverance from what was about to come.
Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. I know that anything is possible for You. Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me. But whatever happens, let Your will be done—not Mine.
Then a messenger from heaven appeared to strengthen Him. And in His anguish, He prayed even more intensely, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When He rose from prayer and returned to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.
Jesus (to Peter): Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you wait with Me for just an hour? Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.
With that, Jesus returned to His secluded spot to pray again the same prayer as before—pleading with God but surrendering to His will.
Jesus: Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.
He came back and found the three asleep; and when He woke them, they didn’t know what to say to Him. So Jesus left them again and prayed for a third time, praying the same sentiments with the same words. Again He returned to His disciples to find them slumbering.
Jesus: Again? Well, you are still sleeping; are you getting a good long rest? Now the time has come; the Son of Man is just about to be given over to the betrayers and the sinners. Get up; we have to be going. The one who is going to betray Me is close by.