Can you imagine what it might have been like for Jesus to spend His last evening with His disciples? Filled with love and compassion for them, Jesus took the opportunity to extend His ministry--to show His friends what was really important. He washed their feet to demonstrate that it is more important to serve than be served. He didn't want them to forget why He came, why He chose to spend time with them, why He had to suffer, die and rise from the grave, so He introduced a way for them and for us to remember, by instituting Holy Communion in His Last Supper with His friends.
He took the bread and gave it to His disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28). The Old Testament covenant was from the sacrifice of shed blood of animals to take away the sins of the people. The New Testament covenant, the one Jesus talked about, was from the sacrifice of His body, broken and poured out once and for all.
Before Jesus instituted communion in the bread and the wine, He said one of His disciples would betray Him. It was Judas Iscariot who found an opportunity to hand over our Savior to the chief priests. They gave him thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss, and He must have known as soon as He did, that Jesus was the Son of God. Maybe he didn't get it when he walked with Jesus, but he finally understood, and that is why he killed himself.
Did he have a choice? Of course he did. Many might disagree because prophesy (Psalm 41:9 and Isaiah 53:3-8) says that Jesus would be betrayed. However, if Judas had repented of his lust for money and accepted that Jesus was the Messiah, God would have used another person to betray Jesus.
Think About It
We have choices just as Judas did. We can choose to serve ourselves or God. It's that simple. Communion reminds me to examine myself, my motives, speech and behavior. Do they glorify Christ? If not, I need to ask Him for forgiveness. If I have wronged anyone, I need to reconcile with them. As far as it depends on me, I want to live in peace with those around me. It's not always easy, and I have to repent when I fail. What do you think? Do you agree or not that Judas had a choice? Do you remember Judas and things Jesus said at communion? Do you self-examine yourself and repent?
Pray About It
Thank you, Lord, for making a way for us to remember the price Jesus paid for our salvation. Help us to live lives honoring all you have done fur us. Amen.