On the night Jesus was betrayed as the disciples were leaving the upper room, I wonder what they were thinking. They had heard some very startling news. Jesus was to be betrayed — by one of them — and that he was going to be turned over to the high priests and the teachers of the law. This was not their idea of what the Messiah was to be, especially since they were now in Jerusalem. In this continuing series, I offer to you what the Apostle John might have thought on that night.
“Just when you thought you’ve seen it all. And, believe me, I have seen so much. Water to wine. Sickness to health, even death to life. I have seen the miracles and heard the words of Jesus. I believe that he is indeed the Messiah, the Son of God, the light of all mankind.
But tonight… tonight is different.
Death? Betrayal? The Savior I love and I know who loves me has come to Jerusalem for a purpose — a purpose that goes beyond my understanding, beyond my expectations, beyond what I can even bear to think. My Savior, my Jesus, the one whom I love — is he serious about what he’s saying?
This evening, at the table, you saw it didn’t you? Jesus broke the bread and passed it around to us saying, “This is my body.” And he took the cup, gave thanks and passed it around saying, ‘This is my blood of a new covenant.” I couldn’t help but be reminded of our Jewish custom when a man and a woman become engaged to be married. Once a bride price is negotiated and agreed upon, a cup of wine is presented and shared to seal the new covenant of a marriage. The price is paid and the groom goes back to prepare a room at his father’s house. And at that time when the room is ready, which only the father can determine, the groom comes back at a day and hour unknown, to claim his bride who’s been faithfully waiting for him fully prepared for his arrival.
So, what could tonight mean? What new covenant is being established? Blood must be spilled to establish any new covenant and blood is spilled when a covenant is broken. And what is the bride price that Jesus will fulfill? And to be betrayed? By one of us? That betrayal is like a young man being with another woman on the same night of his engagement. Unheard of. Unthinkable.
Jesus is the promised Messiah — that I know. But at what cost will he be the Savior of our people? He told us tonight that he will be with us only a little longer. He said, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” I don’t understand right now, but I do believe in who He is. And for that, I will wait. Yes, I will wait.”