On Easter Thursday Jesus has the disciples organise and share the traditional Jewish Passover Meal, or as it has become known the Last Supper. The most iconic image of this is the painting by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1498. Interestingly modern story tellers have attempted to infer more about the life and motives of Jesus from this one work, than by all scripture combined! Let us not forget it is not photographic evidence but an interpretation no doubt influenced by what was current at the time.
What we do know is that Jesus implemented what is now referred to as The Sacrament, the act of eating broken bread and drinking wine or water to remember him. He also predicted that one among them would betray Him, but made no attempt to prevent this happening. You can watch a video of this HERE
The Garden of Gethsemane
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and through transgressing the law brought about the fall of all mankind. Cast out from the garden they left Gods presence and needed a way for themselves and their children to return. In a second garden, even the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ atoned for the fall of Adam and Eve and every other pain and sin created by all of us, thus opening the gate back into Gods presence. In a third garden, or a Garden Tomb remembered in the coming days Jesus Christ rose from the dead overcoming its chains for all. This beginning and ending in a garden is summed up in the poem Gods Garden.
“THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.
So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.
And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
For He broke it for us in a gardenDorothy Frances Gurney (1858 – 1932)
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus prayed and was supported by an angel who ministered to Him. Surely this demonstrates that we all need someone to minister to us no matter our position or status? Nearby his closest three disciples struggled to fight off sleep. In some way unfathomable to the mortal mind He took upon Him all the pains and sins of the world so that he could pay our price at a future judgement.
“In preparatory times of the Old Testament, the practice of atonement was finite—meaning it had an end. It was a symbolic forecast of the definitive Atonement of Jesus the Christ. His Atonement is infinite—without an end. It was also infinite in that all humankind would be saved from never-ending death. It was infinite in terms of His immense suffering. It was infinite in time, putting an end to the preceding prototype of animal sacrifice. It was infinite in scope—it was to be done once for all. And the mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him. It was infinite beyond any human scale of measurement or mortal comprehension. Jesus was the only one who could offer such an infinite atonement, since He was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Because of that unique birthright, Jesus was an infinite Being.”Russel M. Nelson
After what is often referred to as the Last Supper, Jesus bids His Apostles to follow Him through the night to a quiet garden named Gethsemane. Despite their Master asking them to stay awake with Him, the exhausted disciples fall asleep. Alone, Jesus begins to pray and is soon overcome with an incomprehensible agony. There in the Garden, He begins the process of taking upon Himself the sins of the world. It is the beginning of an act of sacrifice that will reach its ultimate conclusion the next day on the cross at Golgotha. The pain Jesus feels is all-encompassing. And yet it is dwarfed by the vastness of His love. For His Father. For His disciples. For us. For you. As the Apostles sleep, Jesus Christ makes it possible for them to find a new kind of rest for their souls. Because of Him, they can leave their past mistakes behind and grow into the disciples God always meant for them to become.Easter Day-By-Day #BecasueOfHim
Over the remainder of the week there are thoughts from my own pondering and study of the days running up to Easter Sunday. (full list below) I hope if nothing else it gives you 10 minutes to ponder the life of Jesus Christ. Today’s music video is a beautiful Hymn. I Stand All Amazed
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