Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Maundy Thursday Services at UBC--2007

I've always wondered what some of the people were thinking during the life of Jesus, especially during Holy Week. We don't have every conversation, we don't have all their thoughts written out for us to know how they were reacting to what Jesus said and did. That's what our Maundy Thursday services tried to do.

The following Scriptures are expanded by members of the congregation who are reading hypothetical conversations or hidden thoughts of characters within the Gospel accounts.

1. Mark 14:12-16 (Luke 22:7-8 tells us it’s Peter & John)

a. Peter—We’re just getting to Jerusalem and I haven’t heard any of the plans for the Passover meal when we get there. Have you?

John—No, I haven’t.

P—So why did Jesus ask us to go?

J—I don’t really know—but He seems to know where He’s going and who we’re supposed to look for.

P—I’m still not used to that are you?

J—No, and it makes me nervous about all the other stuff He’s been saying about what’s going to happen once we’re all here.

P—Me too, but there’s no way God’s going to let that happen.

b. The Owner of the House—Someone visited me several days ago and asked about the guestroom in my house. Was it available? Could a small group use the room to celebrate the Passover? I told them they could. Unfortunately, I hadn’t heard anything from them sense. Today was the day and I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to show up at all. Then two men showed up following one of my servants. They asked about the room, but it wasn’t the same person I had talked to before. Their names were Simon Peter and John. I had heard of those names. When they mentioned, “the Teacher”. I knew they were talking about Jesus. Just a few days earlier, He had entered Jerusalem with great fanfare. Since then, I hear such conflicting accounts from people. Some say He’s the Messiah, others a demon incarnate. The part of me that’s scared Jesus is coming to my house is not sure I’ll have a house if the authorities show up. What if they arrest me along with Him? What if my furnishings are not good enough and He gets angry like He was at the Temple the other day? The part of me that is thrilled Jesus is coming to my house is worried whether it will be good enough for Him—I’ve never had a guest like Him before. And I’m honored to be serving Him.

I just hope Jesus is the Messiah, because surely nothing bad will happen if He is.

2. Luke 22:14-16

a. Any Disciple--There He goes again talking about suffering. I still don’t know how that can be right. He’s talking like His life is over, like this is His last Passover ever. He last glass of wine ever?

This week has been strange—just when I think I understand what He’s doing and talking about—He brings up this stuff or drives people out of the Temple. All that good will we had a few days ago is just about dried up by now. I’m getting worried about that. It’s almost as if Jesus is looking forward to this—that His suffering and dying will help us in some way.

What we need is a leader—what we need is a teacher—one who will make all the corruption in the world right.

Even so, I’m glad I’m here with Him, this is obviously a special time. And what’s better—Jesus sounds like He really wants to be here with us—with me.

3. Matthew 26:20-22

a. Unnamed Disciple—what’s Jesus talking about? How could one of us betray Him? I know it’s not me—who could it be? Maybe it’s Simon, he always was a zealot—hard to trust them. Maybe it’s Philip. I know I’m better than them. Maybe I should ask Jesus which of us is the best, the most loyal and who will be what in His Kingdom.

4. Matthew 26:23-25

a. Judas—(with disdain) Listen to the others calling Him “Lord”. I’m not so sure of that any more. He sure isn’t acting like one. He should have taken control of the city by now. Kicking out the money changes was great! Why did He stop there and not kick out the Sadducees and the whole Sanhedrin for that matter. They’re nothing but a bunch or corrupt politicians anyway—selling their loyalty and position to for Roman money. He’s no “Lord”—He’s just an ordinary Rabbi, just like all the others. He probably wants his own seat on the Sanhedrin so he can become like one of them.

There’s no way He can already know my plans. “Surely not I, Rabbi.”

b. Jesus—“Yes, it is you.”

c. Judas—blanching—“that’s not possible… how could he know? I’d better get out of here quick before Jesus sics one of these mindless followers on me.”

Lord’s Supper Celebrated Here with congregation

5. Luke 22:28-34

a. READ 22:28-30—As Jesus is speaking, I imagine Simon Peter thinking—Now you’re talking—finally, we’re getting to the Kingdom! Now is the time, now is the place that Jesus will finally usher it all in!

READ 31-33
But wait, what is He saying about Satan? I really don’t like the idea of Satan knowing my name—and why is he asking about me? And how does Satan sift someone? That does not sound good. Satan is asking for what… permission to sift me and us? Here’s a simple answer—“No”—but Jesus—why didn’t you say “No”?

And what does Jesus mean “when you have turned back”? I’m not going anywhere, I don’t care what Satan throws my way—I’ll go to Prison if I have to.

I can’t believe He just said that. I would never do that! I’ve never wanted Jesus to be wrong about anything before—but God, please let Him be wrong about this!

6. Matthew 26:36-46

a. READ 36-38
Peter—What is going on with Jesus? Why is He so upset and Sad? It’s like the weight of the whole world is on Him?

John—I’ve never seen Him like this, but I’m glad He brought us along—He doesn’t look like He needs to be alone right now.

James—If only we knew what was really bothering Him.

READ 39-41
Peter--Great—good job guys—Jesus needs us and we fall asleep. First He talks about betrayal, then we gripe about who is the greatest, then Satan asks about me—right now I feel like I’ve betrayed Him already. Come on—let’s stay awake and make sure nothing happens. He’s acting like He is expecting something to happen.

READ 42-46

Did He say something about a Betrayer? Who? Oh, Judas is here with the rest of the group… wait, who are these people?

7. John 18:1-11

a. READ 1-3— Malchus—Finally, we’re going to do something about this Jesus. He’s been causing enough trouble. Inciting enough crowds. Now we’ve got him alone, without all the crowds to protect him. I expect he’ll run like the coward I know he is. His followers may want to fight. Jesus has proven he’s smart enough not to do the fighting himself. He’ll let the fools who follow him do that. It won’t matter—they won’t be able to stand up against us.

b. READ 4-6—This is already making me nervous. He didn’t run—they always run. And yet he challenges us. Something about the way he answered pushed us back. I don’t know what happened, but we all just fell to the ground. It took us a minute to get settled again and back to business.

c. READ 7-9—We came to arrest him and he is acting like he’s not afraid of us, like he wants to be arrested. Does he know something we don’t—are his followers hiding all around us? But then, if he’s going to fight, why is he trying to get his followers to be released? I am so confused. It doesn’t matter anyway, we don’t really care about them—cut off the head and the snake will die.

d. READ 10-11—one of the fools finally decided to fight it out. Unfortunately, he got me on the ear. I don’t mind seeing blood—you see a lot of blood working around the Temple—today no exception—but I hate seeing my own. But then Jesus stopped him, rebuked his follower and of all things, healed my ear. Why would he help me, a man come to arrest him?

Now I’m even more confused—a deceiver would never do this—He has a power I didn’t know about just listening to the Pharisees. He said something about angels but I didn’t hear whatHow could He knock us down with a word, how could He not be afraid, how could He heal my ear? More than how, Why? It was like He was in control of the whole situation. He was so confident—like he really could call down an army at any moment and wipe us out.

Everything that followed was part of the cup the Father has given Jesus. This was the only cup Jesus was still willing to drink here on earth.

(the previous comment left was off topic. I'll try to respond at the original post.)

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