Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Black Jesus, Part Four -- The Last Supper

This is an African-American print of the DaVinci classic. Beautiful, isn't it? Click here to get yours.

Today is known to many Christians as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.  Everybody's got a theory on this one but most scholars think that the word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, the first word of the statement Jesus made to his disciples as he explained why he washed their feet.

Latin: Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos. 
Translation: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.

Here's more Black Jesus -- Christ washing the feet of the Apostles. Icon of Pskov school (school of late medieval Russian icon and mural painting), 16th century. I suppose this explains why Eastern Europeans and  Soviets don't have a problem with images of Black Jesus. 

On Holy Thursday, everything takes a very serious turn.  Jesus washes the feet of the disciples, then celebrates the Passover Feast with them in an upper room in Jerusalem and has the first Communion. Somewhere in there -- probably before the dishes are cleared from the table -- the disciples argue over their rank and greatness (huh?) while Judas skips off to betray Jesus to the Jewish authorities and Peter declares his undying loyalty (“Lord, I’m ready to go with you, both to prison and to death!”), with Jesus promptly putting him in check. (“I tell you, Peter, the rooster won’t crow today before you have denied three times that you know me.”)

Jesus goes to The Mount of Olives with the disciples to pray, they eventually get ambushed by Judas and the horde he brought with him -- high priests, officers of the temple guard and the elders -- and after betraying him with a kiss (yeesh!) Jesus is taken away to the high priest's house, where his trial begins. 

The Bible says that when Peter finally denies Jesus, he runs away and cries uncontrollably. Selah.

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