Mt. 26:20-30; Mk. 14:17-26; Lk. 22:14-30; Jn 13:2-30
Jesus and the twelve assembled in this upper room to eat the Passover meal. As they were eating, He instituted the Lord’s Supper. He took bread first, gave thanks for it, broke it and gave it to His disciples to eat, stating that it was His body.
Next, Jesus took the cup, which contained fruit of the vine, and gave thanks for it and told them to, “Drink from it, all of you.” The bread and cup were His body and blood in a figurative sense and not literally since He was still alive.
Jesus stated that, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” NOTE: Some theologians teach that Acts 2:38 indicates that one is baptized because of the remission of sins. If that is true, it would be reasonable to teach that Jesus shed His blood because of the remission of sins. If not, why not? “For” in both cases means in order that and not because of.
The apostles, still thinking of an earthly kingdom began to dispute among themselves about who should be greatest. Apparently, they had forgotten the lessons Jesus had taught them on humility.
Again, Jesus pointed out that those who would be great must serve. As people traveled on hot dusty roads wearing sandals, their feet became tired and dirty. He demonstrated humility and service to others by washing the disciples’ feet. Today, one may give a weary traveler a drink of water or a piece of pie and a cup of coffee as an act of hospitality.
At this point, Jesus made a startling announcement. “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
Jesus knew why He had come to earth and He had foreknowledge of who would betray Him, but this did not keep Him from feeling the sting of it. This announcement troubled the disciples, including Judas. He was probably shocked that Jesus knew what he had done.
The disciples were sorrowful that Jesus was being betrayed, but the fact that it was one of them made it even worse. They immediately began to ask, “Is it I?”
Jesus identified His betrayer as one of the twelve, one who dipped with Him in the dish, and the one to whom He would give a piece of bread when He had dipped it. When Judas asked if it were he, Jesus said, “You have said it.”
After identifying Judas as the betrayer, Jesus told him, “What you do, do quickly.” At that, Judas went out immediately and left Jesus with the eleven. They sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
When Judas left the rest of the group, he set into motion a series of cruel events that would take place later that night.
Jesus was in a state of resignation, anticipation and exuberance. He had a task to complete and it was now time to move forward. This was something He had been dreading, but it would soon be over. He had completed His work on earth and he had prepared the disciples for His departure. God and He were going to be glorified in a matter of hours.
Christ stated that He was giving a new commandment—to love one another as He had loved them—to give His life for them. This kind of love will identify a person as a follower of Christ.