Each day this week, as part of the Church’s #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative, there will be a new question, meme, and/or video that members can share with their friends. Today is Thursday of the Holy Week and the focus of today’s devotional is the Last Supper and Atonement of Christ. You can find out more about Jesus Christ at http://mor.mn/2puvc.
I always get a little bit weepy and contemplative on the Thursday before Easter. This day, along with Friday are big days in the course of the Holy Week.
On this night, Christ gathered with his friends and disciples one last time to teach them. During this Last Supper, Christ instituted the ordinance of the Sacrament. He explained to His disciples the meaning of the bread and wine, and how that will relate to what is about to happen to Him. Every week, as Latter-day Saints we repeat this ordinance, just as the Savior revealed it.
Christ also taught His disciples about the power of the Holy Ghost and He promised them that the Holy Ghost will be with them after He was gone. He taught again, that he is the Messiah, and gave the commandment to Love One Another. My favorite verse from this day is John 16: 20, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” Our sorrow shall be turned into joy! What a hopeful scripture. And so many other beautiful and important things were taught during this evening.
Christ also washed the feet of his disciples. What a tender act of service. He taught them with this act of service that the master is not greater than the servant. I like to think that in Christ’s day if he saw someone out in their field hoeing a row, he’d jump right in and work with them. The master is not greater than the servant.
During this time together, Christ also reveled that one will betray him. I’m sure this broke His heart, knowing that someone He chose and put into a position of trust was going to betray him. The lesson for me with Judas’ betrayal is that all of us have to watch ourselves so that we do not turn away from the Gospel, and the Church, and Christ. However, I’d also like to think that even though Christ knew this was going to happen, he still washed Judas’ feet and loved him anyway.
Eventually Christ moved on to the Garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James and John. While there, the Savior asked that “the cup be taken from him.” Last year, while preparing a lesson for church, I came across some scriptures that talked about “this cup” a bit more. In Isaiah 55: 22, it reads, “Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:” Christ took the cup of fury from us. This fury is the consequences of our sins, the things that will keep us from our Heavenly Father.
The Prophet Jeremiah states, “Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon” (see Jeremiah 50: 22). And the Savior has thoroughly plead our cause, and taken our sins, pains, weaknesses, sicknesses and heartaches on himself. He has already done the hard part, taken away the cup of fury.
The Savior, in turn, asks us to “Come Unto Him” and to love Him by keeping His commandments. When we slip up, He has given us the gift of repentance, and the ordinance of the sacrament to restore us and to remind us of what He has already done for us. We can and should be joyful when we think of the Atonement, because by taking on Himself our sins, Christ did turn sorrow into joy.
Scriptures for this event:
Matthew 26: 26-28
Mark 14: 22-30
Luke 22: 19-20
Alma 7: 11-13