Holy Week – Maundy Thursday

Mark 14:12-26

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with 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.” While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.“Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Mark 14:43-50

Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled.


Maundy Thursday, we are faced with that well known account of Jesus and his friends, those who are closest to him, gathered around a table of fellowship as they share together and pray together. As we come to this story so come he comes us. As we remember and revisit his anguish in Gethsemane. Journeying with him in as he faced the awful, awesome cost of his calling. As we come to this story so he comes to us. As we remember and revisit his arrest and brutal interrogation, we try to imagine how and why you dealt with such sorrow and humiliation.

Jesus said earlier in the Gospels that no one knows the hour or the day. Well now he knows his time has come. Now he knows he must return to the Father. He knows that the time has come for one who sits around this table to betray him. One whose name will from this night on will be used as an insult to taunt and ridicule people.

Wrestling with this, one can only imagine, must have been tearing him apart inside. A wrestling and a torment that he carried with him as together they continue out into the garden. A wrestling and a torment that he carried with him and it would continue throughout the whole episode of being arrested. We can try to put ourselves in the shoes of those who witnessed these things but will we ever really get the depth of the pain or the shock of the disbelief.

This man who loved talking to people, who spent many hours listening and encouraging those whom society had no time for, a man of healing and forgiveness, who sought nothing in return.

All of a sudden this man who many said was not worth much became of some value.

How would we feel if we knew that very soon, before the meal is over, someone who shares with us will turn on us and become the one that will forever be recorded in history as the betrayer?

Selling him on?
What do you think that might be worth?
Enough to buy a wee retirement place by Lake Galilee?
Enough as to never worry about working again?
Selling him on?
What do you think that might be worth?

Maybe there could be a silver penny or two. Or maybe there could be thirty pieces of silver in it.

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