On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘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.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For 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.”
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.
[First of all, please read the post I wrote back when I read this story in Matthew. I covered what I still think are the most important points in that post, and in an attempt to not write about the same thing twice I’ve skipped a lot of it. So please, read that first.]
I love the disciples’ reaction when Jesus says one will betray Him. They can’t believe it would be them. “I would never do such a thing!” they think. Later they even vehemently promise not to betray Jesus. Yet, in the “Surely not I?”, don’t you hear a hint of doubt in their voices? They aren’t sure of themselves. Maybe that is why, when the time comes, they all betray Jesus by fleeing. Perhaps their doubt in themselves is actually a reflection of their doubt in Jesus.
I struggle with doubt. Sometimes I think “What if I’m wrong? What if there is no God? What if there is no Heaven?” This doubt terrifies me, both the idea of no God, and the fact that I’m doubting at all. But I’m in good company. Peter doubted, and he went on to be the rock the church was built on! And you know what? Just like Jesus still loved the disciples after their doubt and betrayal, He still loves me too!
Notice how Jesus’s betrayal happens at Passover, and the way Jesus presents the bread and the wine as His body and blood. Jesus is literally the Passover Lamb. (See Exodus 12: 21-28) With His blood, God passes me by for a very deserved death so that I may journey to the Promised Land. Without Jesus’s sacrifice my doubts and sins would haunt me forever. But Jesus saves me.
See, this is why I want to start celebrating Passover! How amazing is that?