Matthew 26:14 – 25 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him. On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
Throughout history, there have been many different images of the Last Supper. You are familiar with some of them. Usually Jesus is in the center and the disciples are gathered around. Some include women, which would have been more accurate…some don’t. Some include what is on the table. Some have the group facing each other…other painters have them facing out. Often, the young John is sleeping or lounging. And often the Judas character is looking elsewhere or sinister…let’s take a look….
You get the picture that there are many different ways of representing tonight’s events. You can google and find more if you wish to but you will find that central to all of these dipictions there is some sort of gathering around a table. There is a sense that this will be the last time that the community will gather in this way. Tonight we will remember the meal and then a deep betrayal.
Tonight we will look at each other, serve one another, and prepare ourselves for the next steps into death. We can blame the betrayer or we can say that at some point we have all been there and call it human. I prefer to say that we are all human and in some way we look towards betrayal…of one another, of ourselves, of the creation we live in.
I will see you tonight to eat with you. I will be at the CoOp at 7pm in the Sanctuary to observe the meal and Maundy Thursday…would love to see you.