It’s the last supper. The hour is now. The climax of Jesus’ life and work is at hand. The central events of history are happening.
Jesus gathers those closest to him to share the deepest of realities. He is going to suffer. His body and blood are going to be poured out.
The result: an argument erupts.
It’s not about Jesus. It’s not about his death. It’s about them. It’s about their status. It’s about their significance. It’s about who amongst the disciples is the greatest.
Jesus isn’t even dead yet and they are arguing (while he is present) about who (in his absence) will be the greatest.
Jesus turns their argument inside out:
‘the greatest among you should be like the youngest’
...and upside down:
‘and the one who rules, like the one who serves... but I am among you as one who serves’.
Just hours later, Jesus walks the road to the cross.
Returning along the way of the cross
COVID-19 restrictions are changing. As we return to gathering in larger groups, it's tempting to focus on the moment and forget the way of the cross.
It's tempting to focus on the competing concerns of people, on global tension, on political division, or crisis... and like Jesus' disciples before he died, miss the point entirely!
As leaders this Easter, as we come back together, let's walk with our people to and from the cross.
Jesus’ meal with the disciples. Jesus' agony in the garden. Jesus before the Jewish and Roman powers. Jesus’ road to the cross. Jesus’ burial. Jesus’ resurrection.
The one who is the greatest has served us by becoming sin for us.
He experienced death to destroy it for us. In his death he has dealt with the powers and principalities, with the evil one who seeks to ensnare us.
This Easter may we find common ground on the higher ground of the death and resurrection of Jesus.