I always say there are FIVE GOSPELS: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Holy Land. When we walk in the footsteps of Our Lord we can get a much deeper sense of his life, his passion and his ministry for us. Walking the route of Holy Thursday is no exception!
Thursday was quite a day! Jesus instituted the priesthood and the Eucharist. He taught his disciples deep things and washed their feet. All this took place in the Upper Room on Mount Zion (click on the picture to the right). They he went to the Temple to teach the Apostles even more. And then, as the High Priest, the New Aaron, he raises his eyes at the Temple and prays his High Priestly Prayer in John 17. He prayed for each of us that night — read it and see if you can find it!
He then walked down from the beautiful temple, through the Kidron Valley and up to the Garden of Gethsemane. They entered a cave from which Jesus stepped into the grove of olive trees up the hill to pray (click on the picture to the left). Here the sin of the world fell on him and he who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). A lot happened this day!
Then Judas came to the cave with the cohort of men (a cohort is made up of 600 men, by the way) and Jesus was arrested and taken back up to Mount Zion where he walked — rather, was dragged — up the holy steps to the house of Caiaphas where he was subjected to his first kangaroo court proceedings.
After being hit and abused and beaten he was lowered with ropes into the deep, dark, wet, miserable cistern. Remember when Jeremiah had been imprisoned in the mud of a cistern? (Jer. 38:6). (Click on the picture to the right).
So, when you go to bed on Holy Thursday night, remember that Our Lord spent the night tied up, beaten, hungry, and probably sunk deep in the mud in a dark, dank and fearsome prison. To put yourself in his sandals, read Psalm 88.
To see Gethsemane and the Cistern on Mount Zion, watch our Virtual Pilgrimage Day 6 here: