The last supper. The passover. The beginning of the Festival of Unleavened bread. These are a few names that marked the most intimate encounter a human has ever had with Jesus.
Matthew 26:26-28 [NIV]
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Knowing His death and torture was looming, His natural response wasn’t to spend all His money and buy a lottery ticket, or go on holiday with ‘the lads‘ like many of us would….but it was to SERVE. Do you know how backwards that is!? He yearned to serve and spend intimate time with the people He had invested most in whilst on this Earth, and who had reciprocated that devotion. Even up to the last couple days of His life, Jesus was teaching the disciples lessons, on how to love one another and serve radically and abundantly, especially through His display of washing each of the disciples feet. “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” (Luke 22:26-27).
However, what was even crazier was the fact that He KNEW His betrayer, Judas, was present.
John 13:21-27 [NIV]
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”26 Jesus 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, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.”
He allowed Judas to sit and dwell in His innermost circle, knowing it would be ‘the last supper‘ and still SERVED him, breaking the bread and wine in representation of His sacrifice…even for Judas. He didn’t just break bread and wine for Judas, but He WASHED HIS FEET. He kneeled, wearing only a towel around His waste, and washed His own betrayers feet. If someone even took my parking space I would probably be reluctant to give them half a smile, let alone kneel infront of the man who practically signed my death certificate. I truly believe the relationship between Judas and Jesus is the most accurate representation of Jesus’ relationship with every single one of us as humans. Christians look at Judas as this evil, disgusting betrayer and yet, I would offer the que that he is who we are each most like, maybe even worse.
We betray Jesus and what He stands for time and time again. We choose things over Him. We are greedy and shameful. And yet Jesus would wash our feet, break His body, shed His blood, so that we could live in freedom.
He didn’t have to do any of it, He could have just allowed us all to get what we DESERVED, to be left as dirty sinners and get the punishment coming for us, but He didn’t. He knew the calling on His life, He knew why He had been sent down, and so He delivered us from evil.