This chapter, in which Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper shows us four important things. They are Judas’s betrayal, Peter’s denial, Christ’s prayer and Christ’s covenant.
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If we follow the events of this last week in Jesus’ life day by day, this evening would be the night of the Last Supper. Let’s look at an interaction that took place between Jesus and his disciples as they gathered around that table.
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Jesus had some very bad news for Judas: It would have been better for him if he had not been born. It is no small thing to betray the Lord of all. But before that awful revelation, all of the disciples are seen questioning their own commitment to Christ.
Lack of faith can diminish our trust in Jesus. Deepening faith should cause us to distrust ourselves. How committed are to Christ, really?
The record probably shows that we are capable of denial, betrayal and numerous unjustified doubts. Not a pretty sight.
As we look forward to the crucifixion on Good Friday and even more to the resurrection that comes later, let’s pause to question our commitment. And then let’s remember that neither the quality, strength, nor the confident enthusiasm of our faith is nearly so important as its object. Who or what are putting our faith in? A little faith in an all powerful, all loving Savior who died for our sins is sufficient to overcome the world.
One of those present at the Last Supper, on the night before the day that Jesus died, who questioned himself by asking, “It it I?” was John the beloved disciple. Much later, he put it like this in one of his letters (1 John 5:4-5),
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?