Holy Week – Palm Sunday Jesus Serves
April 14, 2019
From Presbyterian Outlook Devotions, Jill Duffield Editor
14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" 23 Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.
Jesus serves. Jesus serves us. Jesus came not to be served but to serve. The sheer magnitude of this reversal – that the Son of God becomes the servant, offering us not just bread and wine, but his body and blood, his very self – should stun and shock us no matter how often we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As we remember the events of this week – recalling Jesus’ last supper with his friends, his sacrifice for our sin, his unending love for the world, even those closest to him who deny and betray him – we examine our own inability to stay away, remain loyal and go all the way to the cross with him.
In a culture where those who serve are often invisible, undervalued or ignored, how does the last week of Jesus’ life on earth call us to regard the least in our society? If Jesus, our Lord, takes on the role of table server, foot washer and crucified criminal, what tasks and roles are we called to perform for his sake? When have you served another? How did it feel? Did you do so willingly or were you pressed into service?
I have a favorite picture of my children. The photo shows my son, around 6-years-old, bent over washing his younger sister’s feet with the garden hose. She is 3, covered in mud, looking down as he cleans her feet. Behind her, my youngest, also filthy, stands waiting her turn. The entire scene spontaneous, enacted because my son saw the need and the means to meet it. A simple act of service, lovingly performed, a witness to me of what a life in Christ might look like.
During this Holy Week, notice both how you serve and are served. Imagine Jesus as you give and receive acts of service.
Almighty God, as we begin this holiest of weeks we ask that you would quiet in us any voice but yours. Still our minds, open our hearts, grant us the faith to stay awake in order to be with Jesus. As we remember how he came to serve, not be served, we yearn to do likewise, in thanksgiving and with joy. Amen.