It was an evening when Jesus shared communion with his disciples; He washed their feet; He spoke the truth to His betrayer Judas Iscariot; He showed them unconditional love as always and taught them to love one another; He gave them assurance that He was going to prepare a place for them; told them not to let their hearts be troubled; offered instruction for their remaining time; told them to trust God and trust Him; and gave them comfort and hope. While this last supper was a joyful occasion, it was also a night of tremendous sorrow as well. The story below is taken from the Bible.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
Where do you want us to prepare for it? He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters and say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks; Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. It was just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. As the evening meal was being served, Jesus got up from the table, removed his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He then instructed them in John 13: 14-17, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
While they were still reclining at the table, he revealed that one of the twelve disciples would betray him. Judas Iscariot was then named the betrayer. In John 13:34 Jesus gave them a new command, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. The disciples were comforted by his message in John: 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Jesus promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth.” (John 14:15-17) “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit who the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:25-27). When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:30)
When you walk around to the spacious far side of this wall you will find scriptures from Matthew 26:26-28 engraved in the marble. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
As Christians, we celebrate with thanksgiving the enormous sacrifice our Savior made for us and the forgiveness of all of our sins each time we partake of Communion. Do this in remembrance of me. This is a garden to sit and ponder the gift of God’s son Jesus, his total obedience to God; his unconditional love for the disciples and all of us; his incredible strength and courage; the amazing grace offered to everyone; the teaching of God‘s word throughout his ministry; and the insurmountable comfort he shared with everyone along his path. We honor God, His son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit in this lovely garden.
Additional Scripture References:
Matthew 26: 17-30; Mark 14: 12-31; Luke 22: 1-38; John Chapters 13, 14