Luke 22: 7 – 46
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.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
This day began as any other for the disciples and their teacher and as they prepared to eat Passover, they still had no idea what was going on. All that they knew was that they were in Jerusalem and their teacher was the star at the temple every day. But Jesus knew and now at this his last supper with them before he was tortured and killed, the sacrificial lamb offered up for our sins, he made preparations for them as soon they would not have him with them anymore.
At the Passover meal Jesus gave them the cup of wine to share “as the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” He is the teacher who can stop storms and seems to know everything, and here he is telling them to share this cup of his blood poured out for them as a new covenant. Likewise with the bread, he broke it and gave it to them saying “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Their teacher’s body broken and his blood poured out? Bloody Awful! At the same time he said that one of them was going to betray him. What a disturbing meal. I mean it was great to hear him say that they were going to sit on 12 thrones with him judging the 12 tribes of Israel but then there are the other parts like Satan has asked to sift you all like wheat, but I have asked that your faith Peter not fail, but you will deny me 3 times before the cock crows. What a disturbing meal! What was going on? They needed swords now?
They get to the garden where Jesus struggles mightily as he knows the horrors about to befall him. He is comforted by an angel but still he struggles in prayer while his disciples, exhausted by sorrow cannot stay awake and pray. As the shepherd is about to be struck, they the sheep are about to be scattered. And yet provision has been made for them, despite the horrors to come. Provision has been made for us too, no matter how fiery our trials and overwhelming our sorrows might be.
Noon Day Prayers Question
When in your life have your felt most challenged, most afraid? Consider Jesus in Gethsemane. Consider how dark his prospects were with no hope for improvement but rather that God would take him through this horrendous torture and death. Consider how Jesus’ situation seemed to his Abba, who already knew how this was going to play out, what his plans were. Now consider how your challenging situation seemed to Abba, how it is has played out since and the plans he has to work everything for your good. Then consider again this time in your life when you felt most challenged and afraid. See yourself wrapped in the One from whose loving presence you could not escape even if you tried. How does this feel now?
Luke 22: 47 – 65
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour-when darkness reigns.”
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it.
“Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many other insulting things to him.
And so now it starts… Jesus is still the teacher full of power but he allows himself to be led away. Peter follows and denies him just as Jesus foretold. He is shattered and goes outside weeping bitterly. I can just imagine the critic attacks ramped up in his mind by Satan’s torment. If we think we have endured fiery attacks, I believe his was much worse. And then Jesus’ torture begins… we have always had it in us to torment those we feel justified in torturing, to torment those we can get away with tormenting. So much evil can pour out of us as we lash out with the pain we have received.
It is time for us to wake up to our own inner pain and how it gets twisted into attacking ourselves and others and how this attacking creates an opening for so much worse to pour through us. Thanks be to God that you are keeping us safe from ourselves, that you have made provision for our trials and overwhelming waves of suffering, that we too might be healed and become your channels of grace in this fallen world. Give us grace to yield ourselves, our pain and our fiery old wounds to you again and again, until finally we are at peace and compassion is our response in times of stress and trouble. Amen.