If you keep up with Brant Pitre, Scott Hahn, etc., you know that the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint don’t say, “Sacrifice this animal,” but “Do this to the animal” or “Do this animal.” So when Jesus said, “Do this in memory of Me,” He was saying, “Offer this sacrifice.”
So… in the Holy Thursday reading, we have John quoting Jesus as saying, “Do y’all know what I have done to y’all?… I have given y’all a pattern, so that as I did to y’all, y’all should also do.” (John 13:12, 15)
[Btw, the verse does NOT say, “to each other.” It just says they should do it. Argh, translators adding things!]
The word for pattern, “hypodeigma,” is the same word that is used for God’s patterns of the Temple furniture and layout and vestments, which He showed Moses on Mount Sinai. So yes, we are at a greater version of the heavenly banquet with God and the elders of Israel, and it’s not just an upper room but the heavenly mountain.
Also, when the Apostles (except Judas) are described as already washed and therefore “clean” (John 13:10), the word that is actually used is “katharos” and “katharoi.”
That means “pure,” really. It is used in the Septuagint to mean “clean” in the clean/unclean ritual sense, or to talk about “clean beasts” that are suitable for sacrifice. But it’s also used for “pure” gold as a material.
Anyhow… my point is that Jesus is serving the Apostles while making them priests, as I talked about in my last post. But also Jesus is preparing to “do” Himself, and for them to help “do” Him in a continual re-presentation of His perfect once-for-all sacrifice.
But by “doing” something to them, it implies that they are also being made into little Christs who will also be sacrificial victims. Jesus is implying that a servant who wants to be like Himself will sacrifice his time and effort, and maybe even his life, to serve others.
Also, it seems to me that it’s setting the Apostles up to turn other people into priests, and servants, and living sacrifices. It’s a process being instituted.
And then Jesus says something interesting. He says that a servant/slave (doulos) is not greater than the master/lord (kyriou), nor an emissary/apostle (apostolos) greater than the one that sent him. (cf. John 13:16) So yup, that’s pretty pointed! I don’t know why it’s not usually translated “apostle,” since every other use gets translated as “apostle.”
Before moving onto the actual Supper, He says, “If y’all know these things, blessed are y’all — if y’all do them.” (John 13:17)
Yeah, that’s not stern at all….
UPDATE: Going back to the “pattern,” it’s worth pointing out that all of us Christians have bodies that are temples where the Holy Spirit dwells, and where the Son and the Father dwell. So this is one of the heavenly patterns for how to build and furnish our individual temples.