adj: the final part of something, conclusion, completion
“Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end.” John 13:1 MSG
Those words are usually so sad to me. The end of baseball season, a fantastic movie, an enthralling musical production, a really good novel–I get weepy. I don’t want it to be over.
And the final episode of my favorite show…This Is Us? It had to be more than the usual tear-jerker. All of us that love it needed that last hour to be deeply emotional–heart wrenching and inspiring and beautiful, didn’t we? We needed to feel resolution and hope for the characters that we have connected with so closely. And we needed to cry.
In the gospel story of the Last Supper, Jesus was extremely emotional. He had formed a strong connection with some characters that had become his closest friends. They did everything together–trusted each other, laughed and cried together, traveled and worked and ate as a family. It was not just something he was watching. This was his one-time experience, his heart and soul, his human connection during his time on earth. And it was almost over.
And he knew that this was going to be their last dinner together. That he wouldn’t get to be with them for a meal of celebration and friendship again for a very long time. He must have been so sad.
He wanted to make this last meal something they would never forget, something more than the usual traditions of the Passover feast. So, he did two significant things that are still remembered today:
1. He broke bread and told his guys that this bread was his body, broken for them. He poured a cup of wine and told them that it was his blood, poured out for them. I’m sure they were a bit confused. They couldn’t possibly have imagined that he was trying to tell them that he was soon going to be crucified, offering his own body and blood to free them (us) from sin.
2. He took off his robe, knelt down, and washed each person’s feet. Dirty, sweaty, smelly feet. Jesus knew that his friends were competing with each other for recognition, striving for greatness. So he humbled himself in the most practical, unselfish way to show us what is really important. He knelt down and showed them (showed us) how to love each other.
What a dramatic scene. This emotional dinner and then the unexpected series of events that took place during the next three days. How wonderful, how amazing that this wasn’t really the end of the story for us...
Let’s Invite Him In: Can you picture yourself at that last meal with Jesus? Can you imagine what it would feel like to have him kneel before you and wash your feet? The King of the Universe, the Savior of the world rubbing off the dirt between your toes? Can you imagine seeing him on the cross, suffering terribly so that you would not have to?
He loves you that much. Will you let him?