Matthew 26:17–29 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-23; John 13:21-22)
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”
He said to him, “You have said it.”Matthew 26:17-25
Jesus here instructs His disciples to go to a certain house and request the upper room for a Passover meal with His disciples. In this account of the Passover meal, He almost immediately revealed that someone among them would betray Him. Judas had already agreed to do just that in the earlier part of the chapter. Jesus knew, omniscient as He was, and called the sin out into the open. The disciples began to ask Him to identify the transgressor, fearing that He thought it was himself. When it came Judas’ time to ask if it was Him, Jesus confirmed his identity as the betrayer.
One of the primary things revealed to the reader in this passage is the fact that nothing escapes the knowledge of God. Judas’ actions did not take Jesus by surprise. The omniscience of God means that He knows all and all is revealed before Him. Therefore, even when we may fool others and hide our sins from friends, family, and church, God still knows what is happening in our lives. Don’t dream that you can pull a fast one on God. He is already in your future. He was there when you made your plans and when you carried them out. You cannot outwit the Lord!
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”Matthew 26:26-29
After this outing of Judas by Jesus, He proceeded to institute the Lord’s supper. He identified the bread as a symbol of His body, and the cup as a symbol of His blood. He also intimated that His time on earth was limited, signifying the beginning of the end of His earthly life. He also drew a clear picture of a few other things: His life would be offered for the sins of all people, and, the people of God were to consume the body and blood of Christ by living the life exemplified in His life example and in His words.
God is looking for committed, dedicated individuals to serve Him and model their lives after Him. He needs loyal followers to carry out His purpose in the world. He longs for intimacy and connection with His followers. Whatever is going on in your life, know that God is fully aware of your sins, your needs, your struggles. Trust God with the truth and facts of your life, and follow Him fully. Eat His body and drink His blood, internalizing Him and His truth. This will make your life His, and make your work holy.
In other gospels, His offering of communion included a command to do these things in remembrance of Him. In the gospel of John, it is coupled with footwashing, which will be discussed in a subsequent blog. The bottom line is that all of us should remember the great sacrifice Jesus made in crucifixion and commemorate that sacrifice whenever possible, whether through the Lord’s supper or through our loyal actions toward our Savior. In this, Jesus will be glorified and His story will transform the lives of others.