The Betrayal

I love reading and discussing the Bible. It amazes me how two people can read the same chapter and find different focal points.

Tonight is a night meant for remembering the last night before Christ’s crucifixion. The last time that he sat down with his men and tried to prepare them for the future.

I’ve heard the story of The Last Supper countless times and there seem to be two distinct groups. The pastors who emphasize the breaking of bread and the missionaries who focus on how Jesus washed the feet of the disciples.

And while I appreciate the bread breaking and foot washing, it’s Jesus’ interaction with Judas that jumps off the page at me.

Jesus had just finished washing their feet and explaining the meaning of it when the following occurred:

John 13:21After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” 22His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, 28but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

I don’t know why, but when I read that passage I can visualize it so clearly. It’s like a movie.

A camera panning around the table as the other disciples are eating and whispering and eyeing each other. All of them trying to figure out what Jesus means and who He could be talking about.

And then they fade to background blur and noise as right in the middle of the room, Jesus dips the bread, looks Judas in the eyes, and hands it to him. And those words. Oh, those words that break my heart. “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

I imagine the scene starting in slow motion and then drastically speeding up as soon as Judas leaves the room. The betrayal, the arrest, the crucifixion, and death all happening so quickly afterwards.

I don’t know how to explain how unbelievably emotional this text makes me.

It’s the fact that Jesus knew that handing over the bread meant the end was near. It’s the clueless disciples. It’s the calmness and sadness and understanding that Jesus must have felt and known.

Above all else though, it’s the audacity, the utter nerve, of Judas to look Jesus- his Mentor, his Friend, his Creator, his Redeemer, his King, his Father- in the eyes and to take that piece of bread from Him.

I despise Judas. I hate that he was a liar and a cheat. I hate that he loved material things more than Jesus. I hate that he was a part of Christ’s crucifixion.

And I’m devastated that I’m no better than Judas. 

Because I too have directly, willingly, flauntingly chosen sin over Jesus. Only unlike Judas, I’ve done it time and time again. Looked Him in the eyes, taken the bread, and walked into the night alone.

Praise the Lord that Easter- the resurrection, the light, the joy, the forgiveness- is only 3 days away.

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