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Lenten Devotional: April 6, 2023

Maundy Thursday

by Rev. Bob Martin, Senior Pastor

Jesus deliberately had kept an important secret from his disciples and he planned to disclose to them his greater plan the night of the Last Supper. He had not left them in the dark about his road to suffering, but he had still not revealed to them the deepest secret. It was during that final hour of their fellowship over the Passover meal he chose to disclose to them the big picture: The Son of Man will be handed over into the hands of sinners—and it would come by means of ‘betrayal.’ The room became quiet when Jesus uttered the words, “One of you will betray me.”

It is ironic that by themselves, his enemies cannot gain any power over him. It is up to a friend, a very close one, who would hand Jesus over; it was one of his disciples who would betray him. The most fearful event does not happen from the outside but from within. Jesus’ path to “The Place of the Skull” (Golgotha) originates with a disciples’ betrayal. While some slept that night in Gethsemane, another betrays him. As troubling as it seems, in the end, “all disciples deserted him and fled.”

Read: Matthew 26:20-25, “When the evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.’ They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.’ Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, ‘Surely not I, rabbi?’”

Matthew 26:48-50, “now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus replied, ‘Friend, do what you came for.’ Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.”

Meditation: Who is this Judas? Who is the betrayer? Faced with this question, are we capable of more than asking with the disciples: “Surely not I, Lord?”


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