Philippians 2:7-8, TPT
Instead He emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in His death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!
Some time ago, I told a modern version of our fellow brother, Peter’s walk of faith. This is the same Peter, considered as one of Jesus’ intimate 3, who denied Him in one breath and then in the next wept bitterly, after he remembered what Jesus had predicted he would do (Matthew 26:34).
What warms my heart so much about Jesus and Peter’s relationship is the deep love Christ had for him and the true intimacy that they shared, despite Peter’s “foot in mouth disease” boldness. As we approach Resurrection Sunday and consider that today is what Catholics often refer to as Holy Thursday, we see this same intimacy on display among Christ and His disciples this day over 2,000 years ago.
Jesus sat down with His disciples to celebrate what would be the last Passover meal, before He would stand in the place as the Passover Lamb, once and for all. This is also the day that Christ instituted what we as believers, would come to know as Holy Communion, a symbol of remembering His body broken and His blood shed for all on the Cross (Luke 22:14-20). It was a night of intimacy before death, where Jesus, the One who emptied Himself of His divine privileges, knelt down to wash His disciples’ feet, after expressing that He was eager to share a meal with them.
Luke 22:15, TPT
I have longed with passion and desire to eat this Passover lamb with you before I endure my sufferings.
As I try to wrap my mind around this scene, I can’t help but wonder:
What was Jesus thinking as He sat at the table with many He had walked with and had a relationship with, including one who would betray Him and another who would deny Him?
Intimacy is defined in The Collins dictionary as: familiarity; close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship. Jesus had a close, personal relationship with each one of the apostles at the table that night, so much so that He endured death for them. That intimacy, however, didn’t just stop here. It wasn’t reserved for just those at the table that night. Christ had you and me on His mind as well.
Hebrews 12:2, TPT
…Because His heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be His, He endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation…
Perhaps one of the most beautiful verses of all scripture, at least to me, is this verse above. While He considered His suffering, it was His desire for continual intimacy with us that led Him to the Cross. Jesus’ heart was so focused on the joy (that’s you and me!) of knowing that you and I would be His that He endured a criminal’s death in order to continue this intimacy with us into eternity. He was willing to separate from the ultimate intimacy He had with His Father in order for us to never have to be separated from the Father.
Let that sink in.
As we celebrate our Risen Savior this Sunday, may you bask in and worship Him like never before as you consider the lengths He took to have continual intimacy with you and me.
Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (TPT)
References: The Collins Dictionary
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