BETRAYAL AND BROKEN BREAD
Lord, meet with me today as I feast upon Your Word.
Read Matthew 26:17–30
The Last Supper
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBring to mind a significant meal you have shared with others. What was the atmosphere like?
Jesus remains in control as preparations are made to celebrate the Passover. I imagine the disciples to be relaxed, enjoying one another’s company, and happy that arrangements have been made for them to be well-fed. Then the atmosphere changes dramatically as Jesus introduces the topic of betrayal. This group has spent three years with Jesus: being taught by him; learning together; working together; trying to figure out what is going on. How could one of them betray him now?
I wonder how the conversation moved on—did the atmosphere remain tense? Perhaps a tense atmosphere was an appropriate context for Jesus to take the central elements of their Passover meal and imbue them with new covenant significance. They were celebrating God’s salvation and deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Jesus now shows that he is the one who will bring salvation and forgiveness of sins through his broken body and shed blood. He was broken that we might be whole. He was sacrificed so that we might live. He can see that his death will lead to a glorious new kingdom.
The death of Jesus means that human relationships (broken by betrayal) and our relationship with God (broken by sin) will be forever changed.
What if you were to sit down for a meal with Jesus? Would the atmosphere be tense? What do you need to allow Jesus to “clean up” in your life before you are comfortable inviting Jesus over?
Thank You, God, that in Jesus my sins are forgiven!