Jesus had been preaching for about three years. It was the time of the Passover Feast when the Jews remembered how God had saved them from slavery in Egypt many years earlier. Jesus knew what would happen to him and told his disciples he was going to Jerusalem where he would be killed.
The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem had rejected Jesus as the Messiah and were plotting to kill him. Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples. He was in charge of the disciples’ money, but he was dishonest and often stole from it. Judas went to the Jewish leaders and offered to betray Jesus to them.
(Jesus had reserved His harshest words for the religious leaders. He called them hypocrites and vipers. Interestingly, as theologians they were expert. They knew the law, word by word (literally as the law was originally passed by word of mouth). They knew the law but they didn’t know Jesus, they crucified Him. Thankfully Jesus never said, “Follow them”, He said, “Follow Me”).
The Jewish leaders, led by the high priest, paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. This happened just as the prophets had predicted. Judas agreed, took the money, and went away, looking for a chance to help them arrest Jesus.
Jesus celebrated the Passover Feast with his disciples. During the meal Jesus took bread and broke it, saying, “Take and eat this. It is my body, which is broken for you. Do this to remember me.” In this way, Jesus said that his body would be sacrificed for them.
Then he took a cup of wine and said, “Drink this. It is my blood of the New Covenant shed for the forgiveness of sins. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” In this way, Jesus said that his blood would be poured out to forgive their sins.
Jesus twice said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Do this to remember me). He repeated to stress the point that the Lord’s supper is to focus attention on the Lord. Some talk about the “free gift of salvation” almost without considering that it wasn’t free for Jesus. In fact it cost Him everything.
Sin is so serious that we need to remember the terrible sacrifice that Jesus paid to pay in full, in our place, for OUR sins. And also remember the immense Love of God, our Father who gave His only begotten Son that you and I would be saved from hell. (John 3:16).
The question is: “Would YOU do it?”
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “One of you will betray me.” The disciples were surprised and did not know who would do such a thing. Jesus said, “The person to whom I give this piece of bread is the betrayer.” Then he gave the bread to Judas.
After Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. Judas left to help the Jewish leaders arrest Jesus. It was night.
Image credit: Dr. Johnson Cherian M.D.Ph.D.: http://www.jesuschrist.co.in/
“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup
you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”. 1 Cor.11:26