April 12: Betrayal of Jesus
20In 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. 21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” 23They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Today’s scripture occurs after the Last Supper, when Jesus serves Communion to the twelve disciples. Note that his words of institution are the same as those used today except that we don’t expect that there’s a betrayer among us. But maybe today’s observance isn’t as different from the original as one would expect. Don’t we “betray” Jesus when we don’t approach the meaning of Communion with the full devotion and sincerity that it deserves? When it feels like just another rite of the church instead of a sincere remembrance of the deep meaning of Jesus’s sacrifice and grace that the broken bread and the shared cup offers us?
In these times of distraction, Lent gives an opportunity to reconnect with God and develop the kinds of bonds that give us eternal strength as we willingly submit to God’s leadership and grace.
Gracious and loving God, as we approach the Cross in the coming days, thank you for sacrificing everything you had to forgive our sins and give us the gift of eternal life. May we respond with sincere devotion and humility. Amen.