“As you go into the city,” He told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with My disciples at your house.’ ” Matthew 26:18
Well, it is Thursday. Several years ago, something happened that changed the way I do business—do life. I’ve done the pastor thing now for almost four decades. Even as I write that, it seems hard to believe. Anyway, there were a couple of things that pastors do that I never quite got the hang of. First, they always carried a little calendar. You would ask them a question and they would say, “Let me check my calendar.” You would tell them you were having open heart surgery a week from next Friday and they would say, “Let me put that on my calendar.” There was a problem. Try as I may I never could get into the calendar thing. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to remember important dates—I just couldn’t remember to grab the thing when I left the house in the morning. And honestly, I didn’t like having it stuffed into my pocket.
I hate to admit this, but it was the same deal with a pocket Bible. Every pastor seemed to always have a little Bible stuck in their pocket. Not me. It just didn’t work. I mean I loved the Bible, but it just didn’t work. Well, the solution for both of these lapses occurred kinda together. First, along came the smart phone. The smart phone is a little computer that you can easily carry. Nice and flat, it can be stuffed to the gills with information, but it never feels bulky. It wasn’t long after the advent of the smart phone that you could read the Bible on the thing. Boom! Just like that I had a Bible when I needed it. It got better.
A couple of years later a friend introduced me to my new best friend—gmail and their calendar. All of a sudden, I could pull out my trusty phone and not only check my calendar but quickly add things to my calendar. It was a big deal. It was a game changer deal. Now I am not one of those folks who are “married” to their phone—in other words there are times when I forget it. If I do, I kindly ask the person to shoot me a text and when I get to my phone there is a reminder to add what I needed to add.
So, being somewhat of an organized person, these tools were a great help. I like knowing where I am going and when I am supposed to be there. Somethings I don’t need to put on the calendar…I just know to do them. They become part of my “to-do” list. Thursdays are study days for the next week’s message, finalizing the worship event in the YouVersion Bible app, making some visits and a host of other small administrative details. It is a catchup day. As days of the week go…Thursday is usually a lighter day but of course as a pastor that can change quickly—very quickly.
I wonder if Jesus kept a “to-do” list. I know—probably not. But if He did, I wonder what it would look like. In one sense it would be short—love God—love people. But in another sense, it would be long as He was always doing something, and it was always what His Father wanted. Thursdays might have been one of His lighter days too. But not this Thursday—not the Thursday before He died on a Roman cross on Friday. That Thursday, the Thursday we celebrate today, was jam packed with incredible things.
His list would include celebrating Passover, His last Passover, with His closest friends in an upper room. That was a must. He also designed and planned an event that we call “The Last Supper,” “The Lord’s Supper,” or “Communion.” He needed to give His followers something to help them understand what was about to happen and then remember it—forever. Oh, and then He did something kinda unusual—He washed everyone’s feet. Boy, that was a big one. He did it to teach them, and us, about humility and service. He wasn’t done yet. In fact, there wasn’t an end to Thursday—it just bled over into Friday.
There was an important prayer meeting in a garden where only a few were invited. He needed to talk to His Father about Friday. He invited His friends along to help, but they were tired so He had to go it alone. That would happen a lot as Thursday became Friday. His “to-do” list also included healing someone’s whacked off ear and being arrested. It also included that awful feeling of desertion when all of His friends left Him. And then, somewhere in the darkness, Thursday became Friday.
I know it isn’t possible for us to fully understand what those days were like for Jesus. We do need to remember, though, that He experienced them as God but also as a man—a man who knew spiritually, emotionally, and physically where it was going. And, amazingly, He did it willingly and He did it knowing the cost. So today, as we walk our Thursday, let’s remember His Thursday and be grateful. He was a Man of details—of destiny. He told them, “As you go into the city, you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with My disciples at your house.’ ” Yes, a Man of destiny—a Man of details. A God-Man who had that—and who’s got this—no matter what that may be. Bro. Dewayne