“Mirror of the Passion” Lent devotion for March 8, 2022. Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash
[Jesus said,] “But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. (Luke 22:21-23)
This is a chilling moment. The betrayer is in the room. He is at the table with them. It is one of the twelve. Who is it? Who could do such a thing?
The room explodes with questions. “Where were you last night?” “Who was that I saw you talking to yesterday?” “That’s a pretty nice robe. Where did you get the money for that?” “Why are you looking at me? I didn’t do it!” “Look at Thaddeus. Yeah, he’s sweating. I’ll bet it’s him.” “Oh, yeah? Come over here and say that!”
When Jesus told his disciples he was going to be rejected, killed, and raised, they were shocked. They couldn’t wrap their minds around his words. They didn’t even know what questions to ask. And now one of them was involved in the plot? This really shook them up.
Who can you trust? It’s estimated that over half of all murders are committed by someone who knew the victim. A quarter are killed by a family member. Think about that the next time you attend a family gathering.
How well do you really know the folks you go to church with? We do background checks for everyone who works with children and youth. But what about everyone else? Think about that the next time you attend choir practice or take a big scoop of the green jello salad at the potluck or go out to lunch with that friendly couple you met at worship today.
Yes, think about that the next time you kneel for communion. Look up and down the rail. You’re looking at those for whose sins Jesus died. Do you have any idea what they have done?
They are looking back at you. You were in on it. Jesus is the blameless one. He was nailed to the cross because of your sin. They don’t know what you did, but it must have been bad.
And yet, there we all are at the table. Jesus knows. He knows what you’ve done. He wants you to know that he knows. He wants to make sure you never underestimate how much it hurt when they crucified him in your place. He wants to be sure you never underestimate how much he loves you.
Lord, you know. I know you know. How could you still love me so much?