Thursday night a group of friends gathered around a table in an upper room within the walls of Jerusalem. They gathered to celebrate and remember the freedom that God gave them from their slavery in Egypt. Their laughter and chatting could be heard down the corridors. As they passed the food around for seconds, I am sure they were swapping stories about the God of Israel and all the mighty things he has done for his people. They reminisced about their time together the past few years. How they had met. All the crazy adventures they had been on. All the miracles they had witnessed. I’m sure they talked with excited anticipation about what they thought the days to come would bring.
It was then the conversation took an awkward turn. Jesus, the leader in this group of scraggly fishermen, started rambling about how one in this room would betray him. He then started saying things like the bread was his body and the drink was his blood. No one really understood what he meant by this, but he was the great teacher. This wasn’t the first time they had not understood what he said.
Dinner ended with song then several took a walk over to the Mount of Olives for some time of prayer. After a few hours had passed, a mob of men, led by one who had dined with the group previously, approached. They took Jesus and arrested him. Jesus went obediently almost like he was expecting this. His followers stood angry, baffled, and scared.
It is a long night for everyone. Relief does not come with Friday morning. Things go from bad to worse. Before they know what is happening, the verdict is out. Jesus Christ, their savior, redeemer, and king will be killed. He will die a shameful, ghastly murder’s death on a cross for all to see.
The same man who was laughing, bantering, singing hymns with them not 24 hours ago is being stripped, flogged, and prepared for slaughter. The man they had left everything to follow. The man who taught and loved them like no one else ever had. The man who was their savior. The man who they had grown to love with everything in them. Their constant companion and friend. If there ever was a nightmare this was it.
They were helpless, powerless, hopeless, in the face of the fate of their beloved Jesus of Nazareth. Their son, brother, and friend.
The earth trembled with disgust and sorrow. The sky turned black so it would not have to watch. The veil was torn.
It was finished.