HOLY WEEK REFLECTIONS
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[d] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
It’s now Thursday and Jesus sits with His disciples for the final meal He would have with them before His crucifixion. There Jesus drops the bomb that one of the twelve would betray Him. Not only would one betray Him, but all would abandon Jesus. Peter protests, but just a little while later he would fall asleep while Jesus prayed to let the cup pass from Him.
What’s fascinating about this passage is that Jesus has the Lord’s Supper with His disciples anyway. At that point they were all unworthy. Yet Jesus offers bread representing His body which would be pierced the next day. Jesus offers the cup. It is not the same cup that Jesus Himself would drink. That cup is the cup that Jeremiah explains as “the cup of wrath.” That’s not the cup that Jesus offers. He drinks the cup of wrath that we might drink the cup of grace.
Place yourself there. You are in Bethany overlooking Jerusalem. Your mentor, your friend, and your Lord is troubled and anxious. You can feel something big coming, but you are not sure of what. And Jesus tells you that you will fall away. Despite that Jesus offers Himself. He offers grace. Heaven truly came to earth. Grace has come down and bore the shame, bore the wrath, and we truly do stand forgiven at the cross.