Today in Mark we are going to look at Mark 14: 10-25. In this passage we see Judas agree to betray Jesus and the institution fo the Lord’s Supper:
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
We see today in the first passage Judas go to the religious leaders and make the offer to betray Jesus. We’ll look a little more in-depth at that in a few verses later when we see his plan to betray Jesus come to fruition. John’s Gospel gives some spiritual insight into what is going on in Judas as well.
We see after that the Passover meal, which is the foundation for the Lord’s Supper. Those of us that are Protestants, we have two “sacraments” (some say ordinances), and our Catholic friends hold to seven, but within all streams of Christianity we all hold two of these in common – baptism and Holy Communion. It is interesting to note that both of these have their origins in Jewish traditions. Baptism most like came from Jewish mikvah baths, a type of ceremonial or purity washing, and Communion as we see here comes out of the Passover meal. Understanding the culture of Jesus day truly does help us to get a fuller picture of exactly who we are as Christians and followers of Jesus.
There is much that can be said out communion, but just a couple things I’d like to point out. There are two important “parts” to remember about communion. The first is one that we are familiar with, and if we aren’t careful, will be all that we focus on. We see in this meal, it is a call to remember what Jesus has done for us. It is a call to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for our sake and for our forgiveness. Part of the meal is remembering just what He has done for us.
But, that is not all that the meal is. It is also a looking forward. In this meal, we look forward to that time when He will return, and He drinks it anew in the kingdom of God. That time when we will all gather at the wedding feast of the Lamb. That time when there will be no more sickness, pain, and death. It is also a looking forward to what is to come.
The United Methodist Church (of which I am an ordained Elder) teaches that in this meal, as the elements are blessed, the real presence of Christ is made known in our hearts. Christ is present with us in that moment, and in all our lives, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
And one last thing. If you ever feel unworthy to take the meal, remember who Jesus served here. He served the meal to those that would soon desert and betray Him. He even served Judas. He was even present at the table. We all come to the table, not by our own worth. We all come to the table based off the grace of Jesus Christ.
And through that, all are welcome as His table!
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 14:26-42.
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