Text: John 13:1-38, Mark 9:35, Romans 3:21-26, Psalm 31:9-10
I’ve heard it said that suffering reveals the real you. What comes out of our mouths when life squeezes us in its vise grip is the stuff we’re really made of.
At the Last Supper, we find Jesus in the tightest situation imaginable. He knows unthinkable suffering is right around the corner. Since His disciples are still presuming He is going to lead a government takeover, it’s a burden He must carry alone. Jesus knows there will be no military coup. He will secure the Kingdom victory, but through suffering—not conquest.
In that crucible of suffering, the real Jesus shines through. We don’t catch one hint of self-pity or bitterness in His words or actions. He would soon be poured out on our behalf, yet Jesus remained faithful to who He is and what He came to do.
He never stopped teaching. Using bread and wine for an object lesson of cosmic consequences, Jesus taught truths in advance that His disciples would not grasp until He was gone (John 12:16). As modern Christ followers, we have access to this Upper Room as a classroom. We’re able to wrestle with the lessons of His atoning sacrifice every time we come to take communion.
He never stopped serving. Knowing that within hours His own would be nailed to a tree, Jesus took the time to wash His disciples’ feet. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15). This moment wasn’t mere ritual. Jesus was showing them how to care for one another after He departed.
He never stopped loving. When I study the Last Supper, I am most grateful for this truth: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). To the end. Our Savior never stopped loving the undeserving, helpless sinners He came to die for. He never chose hatred or contempt. He didn’t shame or ostracize Judas, the one who would sell Him out for a few silver coins. Instead of pointing His finger at him, Jesus offered him bread.
When hard-pressed on every side, Jesus never resented the sacrifice He chose to make on our behalf. It was in His suffering that our Savior displayed His true strength.
“But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.”
- Isaiah 53:5
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.