Prepare to listen. Take a deep breath; acknowledge God’s presences and pray: For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
Read Luke 22:14-23
14When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ 19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!’ 23Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.
Jesus deliberately made his way into Jerusalem knowing what awaited him there. With the cross looming large in his mind, he sat down one last time with his disciples to eat his last Passover meal on earth. Passover was a remembrance for the Jews of their miraculous redemption from oppressive Egyptian slavery centuries earlier. Jesus changed what Passover always remembered, commanding, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ Did they get it? I doubt it. Jesus didn’t pause to give them time to reflect or ask. What he said next changed the subject. As he took the cup again, he warned that one of them, whose hand was on the table in a friendly gesture, would betray him. Shocked, the disciples began asking each other, ‘Who would do this?’ No doubt each one thinking (except perhaps Judas), ‘Not me.’
‘Who would do this?’ It’s easy to think, ‘Not me.’ But, there are ways to betray Jesus that don’t include turning him over to the one who’ll crucify him. Think of ways you might get caught up in what would be a betrayal of Jesus and seek his strength to stand true.
Respond to Jesus in prayer
It’s easy for me, Lord, to assume I’d never betray you and thus never pay attention to the ways I could. Help me be aware of possibilities that would lead to an unconscious betrayal of you so that I live as a faithful follower, always. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, faithful to Christ and the cross.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.