Summary: There is an important lesson we need to learn. You can’t sit with the enemy, and warm yourself by the enemies fire, and not be burned !
Maundy Thursday is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper.
The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in Maundy Thursday refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another.
Our service this evening is a communion service, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we need to examine ourselves before we take communion.
And we need to be honest with ourselves and honest with God.
Tonight we are going to look at three brief passages from Luke Chapter 22 that describe some of the events of that Thursday evening.
The first is simply a reminder of what happened as Jesus sat eating with His disciples,
Then we will spend a few moments considering that Thursday night from the perspective of the Apostle Peter.
Our first reading is from Luke 22:14-23
14When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” 23They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
When we see an apparently strong Christian face a spiritual defeat, we tend to think, “I would have expected that to happen to anyone but him.”
The Apostle Peter was a person of strength.
He had strength of leadership. Whenever the disciples are listed, Peter’s name comes first, reflecting the disciples’ view of his leadership.
Peter was one of the inner circle of disciples privileged to share in special experiences with Jesus, such as the transfiguration.
On the Day of Pentecost it was Peter who stood to preach.
Peter was a person with a Strength of spirit.
Peter had no timid spirit.
He was a bold spiritual adventurer.
Once he tried to walk on water, and later he ran to the tomb.
Peter was a person with strength of body.
As a fisherman Peter had developed his muscles by rowing boats and casting heavy nets.
He showed his physical strength in the garden;
he was strong enough to take on the entire mob.
In spite of all these qualities, Peter denied the Lord. “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Cor. 10:12 NIV).
Let’s read the second passage in Luke,
Luke 22:31-34. 31”Peter, Peter, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Peter was a strong individual, a great leader,
a dynamic Christian.
But Peter was vulnerable to sin.
He was blind to his weakness.
Peter, a typical human, had strengths and weaknesses, but he seemed to be blind to his weaknesses. Peter confidently told the Lord, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death”
This was a noble expression and a wonderful assurance— apparently uttered in ignorance of his fleshly potential for succumbing to sin’s temptation.
It was Victor Hugo who wrote, “I feel two men struggling within me.”
The apostle Paul also had a realistic view of the tension between good and evil that rages in every soul: “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing...I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:19, 23-24NIV)