Worship + Communion | 7:00 p.m.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. (Philippians 2:5-9)
The thirteenth chapter of John gives us a couple of signs that help us see the actions of the Last Supper as a summary of Jesus’ entire ministry. The first of these appears in verse one: “Having loved his own while he was in the world, he loved them to the end.” The word John uses for end, telos in Greek, has two meanings: end in the sense of conclusion—as in the end of the day on Good Friday in which Jesus will die and be placed in the tomb—but it also means end in the sense of the purpose or goal in which Jesus will take away the sin of the world. Both meanings are on display as Jesus surrenders his status as both teacher and Lord and takes on the mantle of servant.
The events surrounding this last meal reveal both the conclusion and purpose of the gospel story. The kind of lives that disciples are to live and the conclusion of their lives are bound together in the same way that the mission and ministry of Jesus are bound to the particular events of Holy Week. If we want to know what Jesus is about, look here. If we want to know what we are about, look here.
Secondly, in the same way he does through the breaking of bread and pouring of wine, Jesus offers a visual summary of his life and ministry through the act of washing his disciple’s feet: Jesus gets up from the table, in the same way that he rises from his heavenly throne. Taking off his outer robe, he surrenders the trappings of his divinity.
Putting a towel around his waist, he humbles himself taking the form of a slave. Washing his disciples’ feet, he cleanses them of their sin. He offends Peter, just as he is a stumbling block to the religious leaders. He teaches and prays with his disciples on this night as he has done all along on his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. He then puts on his robe and returns to the table as he will be re-clothed in glory and ascend to the Father. In this scene, we have a picture of Jesus’ entire ministry. This kind of surrender is what Jesus is about.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Holy Thursday Worship
Tonight’s worship service is a reflection upon Jesus’ surrendering his will to the Father’s. As you receive the elements, consider the cost of Jesus’ faithfulness on your behalf.