Lord, your mercy is amazing: higher than the heavens, wider than my wanderings, deeper than my sins. How great you are.
Read MATTHEW 26:17-25
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.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectListening to the Lord can make us more resilient in the future. Be attentive to what he says today.
Good meals require good preparation. Jesus planned ahead for this private meal with the 12 disciples. He had ‘booked’ the room. His mention of ‘my appointed time’ (v 18) suggests that he was also conscious of working to his Father’s plan. Preparing this Passover meal would take up most of what we often call Maundy Thursday.
Then Jesus set about preparing his disciples. They were in for some big shocks in the next 72 hours. He had already broken the news to them that he would soon be executed (e.g. verse 2), and now he revealed something else that would shock them: ‘One of you will betray me’ (v 21). They were stunned. They had no suspicions concerning Judas. He was there reclining in the room with them, with 30 silver coins in his pocket (vs 14,15), and protesting, like the others, ‘Not me, surely?’
We cannot be certain why Judas turned against Jesus. Perhaps Judas himself did not fully know. Jesus here teaches his disciples two things about God and evil. First, God’s good purpose will be carried out, ‘as it is written’ (v 24a). Secondly, human beings can act wickedly (v 24b). Both are true, even if we can’t reconcile them. Jesus held on to both at the same time.
Thank the Lord for those times when you realize he was graciously preparing you for things in your life still to come.
Father, I thank you for your table, a reminder that your body was broken that I may be made whole. Your blood shed that I might be cleansed from my sins. I offer my heartfelt thanks.
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