It’s the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the little, provincial city of Jerusalem. The town is heaving with Jewish pilgrims and local residents who are preparing to observe the ancient Passover tradition – traditions intended to remind them of how the blood of a sacrificed lamb spared their forefathers from death and how their God redeemed their people from slavery. In one home in this overflowing press of humanity, one man – a teacher – is settling down to eat with his friends and followers. He does not own the house. He does not live in the city. He has wandered from town to town and region to region for three years. His motley band of disciples has wandered with him, listening to his teaching, watching him at work. This is not their first trip to Jerusalem. They have been here many times before … but something is different this time.
As the teacher prepares to celebrate the holy feast, mingling closely with those he has spent so much time with over the past few years, he is well aware that the tides of history are swelling and churning about him, drawing in and roaring louder as they grow in intensity. Later that very night, one of those closest to him will sell him out to the religious authorities who have been deeply offended and unsettled by his teachings. They have been conspiring to have him done away with. With his betrayer’s help, they will have him seized and subject him to a sham trial. The next day he will be brutally executed.
Now, with just a few precious hours left with his friends, he has one last opportunity to encourage them and reassure them. His arrest and public murder will shock them deeply and shake them to the core. There are a few vital things that he wants them to understand before the storm breaks, a few key truths that will help them endure the coming days.
Jesus’ teachings in chapters 13 to 17 of John’s gospel are the record of Jesus’ last precious moments with his disciples. These passages are an incredibly valuable store of truth for those looking to understand Jesus’ love, his sacrifice, and how he made sure that we could be connected to him even after his death and resurrection.
Join us every Sunday until Easter 2022 as we delve into these chapters and immerse ourselves in the passion and sovereignty of Jesus revealed in his last few hours with his disciples.