The shadow of the cross had been looming over the Lord for some time now. He knew what happened to those who were crucified, everybody knew. From time to time, crosses had been erected and the victims could easily be seen. It was a warning as well as a punishment. It was a cruel way, perhaps the most cruel way to die.
To be beaten or flogged was bad enough, and often ended in death. The tool used was called a “cat of nine tails,” of leather straps with bits of metal embedded. To receive 40 lashes with this, had to be unbearable. “The Passion of the Christ,” was almost too much to watch, as they portrayed the Lord being tied to a post in the middle of a court yard, and beaten while those who administered the whipping, seemed to enjoy the whole process. I wanted to stand and shout, “Stop it!” “He has done nothing worthy of this!” “All He has done is good, so why not grab those Pharisees and beat them?”
It would not have done any good, even if I were there. Those who wanted his blood, would stop at nothing until they got what they wanted. They wanted Him dead. They wanted this ‘trouble maker,’ gone! They had been challenged, embarrassed, preached to enough, and now they cried for His death.
People cried, people jeered – people covered their heads in sorrow, while others looked on with satisfaction. He was on the way to be crucified. “I win, You lose!” Satan thought.
All of this pain, agony, disgrace, and dishonor, Jesus knew was in the “cup” which He had to drink.
But before He drank it, His one desire was to be with those who loved Him, and have a supper. Just one last time, He wanted to look into the eyes of those who cared for Him. One final time He wanted to feel the joy of unity and fellowship, that they had been experiencing for the past three years. One last time…
It was here that He begins a tradition which is above all others, because it is in the very bread they ate, and the very wine they drank, that His body and blood were to be remembered.
Jesus did not hurry though this feast… for it had been planned, and this gathering was especially for this purpose of looking back. Now as we have gathered, let us not think of how fast or efficient, or of the next part of our service, or use the time when others are partaking to write a hasty check, or some such thing… Let us think about our Lord who gave everything that we might have everything.