Thirty pieces of silver were to be His doom before the day's end but Jesus of Nazareth tediously planned Maundy Thursday for last moments of fellowship and prayer with His Disciples.
Not many hours of life remained for Him. He was to be betrayed, given a mock trial and crucified before tomorrow's sunset.
So it was His wish that He should gather for the last time His Disciples, but no worldly goods were His and He had no home for such fellowship. He directed two Disciples to go into Jerusalem and follow a man bearing a pitcher and in his home they would dine.
Many men bore pitchers of water from Shiloh on that day but the Disciples followed the first they saw and it was as He said. Arrangements were made.
In the evening Jesus came and sat with His Disciples for the Lord's Supper and the Passover feast. It was the first day of unleavened bread. To prove His love for those He was soon to leave, Jesus stooped and washed the dusty feet of His Disciples. Protests arose but He said: "Verily, verily I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them."
In His sadness He gave them a new commandment:
"Love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends..."
And He took the bread and broke it in prayer and gave it to them, saying:
"This is my body which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me."
And He took a cup and gave thanks and handed it to an Apostle:
"Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many..."
Great lines furrowed His face and He shocked His Disciples when He said:
"Verily, I say unto you that one of you will betray me."
The Disciples searched each other's faces and were sorrowful. They quickly pleaded to know the identity of the betrayer. Judas Iscariot, the 30 pieces of silver even then tightly wrapped on his person, said: "Is it I, Lord?"
In answer, Jesus said: "He it is for whom I shall dip the sop and give it to him."
And Jesus handed the sop to Judas Iscariot. Then He began His farewell conversation with the remaining Disciples who were of heavy hearts.
"Let not your heart be troubled. He who believes in God, believes also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you."
The supper was ended and Jesus took with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane Peter and James and John. He implored them to stay with Him and watch as He prayed. And He fell to the ground and cried to God:
"Father, all things are possible unto Thee; remove this cup from Me!'
But only an angel appeared to give Him strength and in agony he prayed until blood and sweat coursed down His hot cheeks. He wearily arose and walked back to find the three Disciples lost in sleep. Not even His trusted friends could stand watch. He peered down at them and whispered: "Sleep on now and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
Out of the shadows came Judas Iscariot in the light of lanterns. Swords rattled from scabbards of the motley rabble at his side. For 30 pieces of silver Judas Iscariot was to identify Jesus with a kiss. So he walked straightway to Him and kissed His cheek. And Jesus said: "Friend, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?"
The guards rushed forward and Simon Peter drew his sword and slashed an ear off the high priest's servant. Quickly Jesus said: "Suffer ye thus far." And he touched the ear and healed it.
The Disciples fled in confusion and fear and Jesus was led away to the house of Annas. His death sentence neared.
And Judas Iscariot fled into the night and hanged himself.
Let not your heart be troubled. He who believes in God, believes also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you.