Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: Luke 22:1-38 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The Last Supper
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
Being a man of great character was something to strive for in Greek culture. Written with Greeks in mind, the next part of this gospel shows how Jesus was the perfect man given as a perfect sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. Christ is the perfect role model for humanity.
All Jewish males over the age of 12 were required to go to Jerusalem for the Passover. It was followed by a 7 day feast as described here. The Passover was remembered as the day that God “passed over” the houses painted with the blood of a lamb, sparing the lives of the firstborn sons. Those households whose door frames were not painted, lost their firstborn sons. The Passover foreshadowed Jesus’ work for us on the cross. Just as the sacrifice of the lamb, his blood would be spilled in order to save his people from death.
It is clear here that Judas became Satan’s tool although Judas was still responsible for being part of this plot. It is unclear why Judas betrayed Jesus but it may have been because Jesus did not do what he thought it should do or that he didn’t believe he was really the Messiah anymore. Satan assumed that Jesus’ death would end God’s plan for the world, not realizing that Jesus’ death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan.
During the Last Supper, Jesus asks the disciples to eat the bread and drink the wine to remember him. Although many different faiths have different ideas about the celebration of this feast, all agree that it commemorates Christ’s death for our sins and his resurrection for the coming of the Kingdom.
Just as Jesus predicted that Judas would betray him, he predicted that Peter would deny knowing him. But Peter does repent and receives a promotion of sorts to “feed his lambs” or feed his people with the Gospel. Although both committed grievous sins-both had entirely different fates.
The most important event in human history was about to take place and the disciples were still arguing about their place in the kingdom. The disciples still did not understand what Jesus was telling them about his own death and resurrection. They were wrapped up in their own concerns.
Questions to ponder:
- Have you ever been betrayed? How did it feel?
- How can you protect yourself from the temptations of Satan?
- Why did Jesus eagerly desire to eat the Passover with his disciples?
- Why is communion important for believers to observe?
- Given this passage, what is the best way for you to pray today?
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)