Summary: Thursday evening was full of surprises as Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples. During the evening, Jesus washed their feet, and announced that one of them would betray Him, another would deny Him, and all of them would desert Him. They must have thought He was kidding, but He wasn't!

A. If you know me very well, then you know that I like to laugh and joke.

1. This Friday is April Fools Day, so I thought I might share a few April Fools’ funnies.

2. I heard about guy who years ago swapped the price labels on the pumps at the gas station? It was an April Fuel’s joke.

3. I heard about an April Fools’ joke played on a CEO of a large bank.

a. He almost fainted when he entered the office one morning and all 12 of the ladies who worked in the office had come to work wearing maternity dresses.

b. The thought of replacing all those women during their maternity leaves had him tottering, but then all the women shouted, “April Fools’!”

4. To all the men listening today, here’s a word to the wise: April Fools’ Day is not the best day to make a marriage proposal. “Will you marry me? April Fools’!” Not good!!

B. Today, as we continue our sermon series on the last week of the earthly life of Jesus, we come to Thursday and we will discover that Thursday was filled with surprises.

1. I chose the word “surprises,” but some of them were more like bomb shells or gut punches.

2. I’m sure that after some of them, the disciples wished Jesus would have said, “April Fools’!”

3. It was Thursday: T-Minus 1 day until the crucifixion and T-Minus 3 days until the resurrection.

4. Thus far in our series, we have witnessed Jesus entering Jerusalem on that Sunday on the back of a donkey and was greeted with songs of praise from the Passover crowds entering Jerusalem.

a. On Monday, Jesus came into Jerusalem and cursed the fig tree and cleansed the temple.

b. On Tuesday, Jesus taught on many subjects and answered many questions trying to open closed minds and penetrate calloused hearts.

c. On Wednesday there was the examples of an extravagant giver and a ruthless taker.

C. Fasten your seatbelts, we are going to move fast, because we have a lot to explore today.

1. That Thursday in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life was the first day of the week-long Jewish feast called the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

2. At some point during that Thursday, Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus where He wanted them to make preparations for Jesus to eat the Passover.

3. Mark records what took place with these words: 12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. (Mk. 14:12-16)

4. We notice that Jesus had made previous arrangements for the Passover in that upper room, just as He had made arrangements for the donkey used for the Triumphal Entry on that Sunday.

5. Mark and Luke point out that the man carrying the jar of water would “meet them,” and then they would follow him to the house and the owner of the house would show them room that was all ready for them and the supper.

6. Luke tells us that the disciples who were sent on this mission were Peter and John (Lk. 22:7).

7. Many scholars believe that the home where this took place was the family home of John Mark – the man who would become a missionary partner of Paul and the author of Gospel of Mark.

D. Mark continues: 17 When evening came, he arrived with the Twelve. (Mk. 14:17)

1. Matthew and Luke point out that Jesus reclined at the table with His apostles.

2. They were there to participate in a traditional Passover meal – this was the meal that the Jews had been celebrating every year since the Exodus from Egypt (1500 years of celebrating).

3. Jesus and His disciples gathered around the table according to the cultural practice of the day.

4. The most famous painting of the Last Supper was done by Leonardo da Vinci around 1495, and in many respects, he didn’t do us any favors with his rendition.

a. da Vinci showed that they were all on one side of a table with Jesus in the middle, and some were standing and some were sitting on chairs.

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