The Last Supper and the Prediction of Peter’s Denial!!!
He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”He said to him, “You have said it.”
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:‘I will strike the Shepherd,And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”And so said all the disciples…….. Matthew 26:23-35
In our previous Study, we saw how Jesus celebrated the passover feast and the reactions of His Disciples when He told them that one of them will betray Him. Today, we shall continue with what the remaining things He said to His Disciples during the Last Supper.
He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”: To betray Jesus alone is a serious thing, but to eat bread with Him and then betray Him is much more serious. In the breaking of bread, we are speaking of a commitment to Jesus and others around us(the Church) that we have become intimate with them never to betray them. But Judas was betraying Jesus for Money. Indeed there are only two Masters in the World which is God and Money(Matt 6:24). What does it means to betray Jesus for money? It means to deny Christ by my Life and actions just because I am going to gain some money. In Judas case, it was 30 pieces of silver, but in our case, it could be making a little money by cheating, signing a false statement etc. If you call yourself a Christian, then You have betrayed Jesus there. In the History of Christianity until this day, there are so many believers who have betrayed Jesus and Yet do not know it but they have betrayed Jesus for just a little Earthly gain. You cannot Serve two Masters. You cannot Serve Both. Judas tried to serve both but He discovered finally that He was actually serving Money. If we desire to Serve both, we will discover some day that we are only serving Money also. Let us therefore make up our mind and choose this day whom we want to serve. For It is better not to have been born than to betray Jesus Christ by our action and Earthly gain. It doesn’t matter if it was Judas then or anyone else today. The principle remains the same, “Woe unto that Man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed”. We have to be very watchful that by no word or action of ours we betray Jesus. I don’t ever want to be categorize as one whom the Lord will say, ” It is better you were not born”. It is a serious thing to come to the Lord’s table and afterwards betray the Trust He places in us.
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”He said to him, “You have said it.”: Behold the Hypocrisy of Judas. Though He was convicted in His Heart and He knew fully well that Jesus was referring to Him yet He did not repent instead He spoke the same Spiritual Language like the others asking, “Rabbi, is it I?” It is possible for people who can be so clever that they can be betraying Jesus in secret and they can sit in the midst of God’s people breaking bread and acting In every way like other believers. Hypocrisy is a serious Sin that we must cleanse ourselves from lest we come under God’s Judgement.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” : The Broken Bread symbolize the Broken body of Jesus. The body of Jesus was not Broken at that time, even on the Cross, it was not broken. It was only pierced. So what does it means by “This is my body broken for You?(1 Corinthians 11:24)”. You see there was something inside Jesus that was broken inside Jesus body for 33 years of His Life on Earth. And that was His Own Will. Everything we do with our body, is either God’s will or our Own Will. It was written about Jesus in Hebrews 10:7, ” Behold, I have come In the volume of the book it is written of Me To do Your will, O God.” In John 6:38, Jesus Himself gave an autobiography of the reason why He came from Heaven saying, ” For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” In other words, Jesus was saying right from birth, “I am only going to do God’s will with this Body”. But in order to do God’s will with this body, there is something inside that needs to be broken constantly. And that is “Our Will”. This is the true meaning of Taking up the Cross Everyday”. So when we take part in that broken bread, we are saying, ” Lord, in my body also, I want my will to be broken. I want to do your will.” This is the meaning of breaking of Bread. It is not just a Ritual. It is saying to the Lord, “I will be partaker of these brokenness within. I want my own strong will that leads me to Sin to be broken so that I may yield my will to God’s will”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. : In the Old Covenant, the blood of animals were sprinkled on the Altar, and here again Jesus was saying, “I am establishing a New a Covenant which is through laying down My Life” In the old Covenant, Sin was only covered. Psalm 32 says, ” Blessed is the Man whose Sins are Covered” but in the New Covenant, Sins are Cleansed!!! Do you know that there are some phrases we use when praying that is not found in the New testament. One of it is, “I am Covered by the Blood of Jesus”. The right expression should be, “I am Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus” Let us never forget that it was the Blood of Jesus that was shed for our sins and not the blood of Goat and sheep. Let us remember how much it cost God to save Humanity from their journey to Hell. If we forget the cost, we may begin to take Sin lightly and turn the blood of Christ into a cheap, common easily available thing. Our attitude towards Sin is an indication of the Value we place on the blood of Jesus. If it will cost you $10 million dollars to buy a detergent to wash your clothes, won’t you be more careful with the way you used your clothes? How much more valuable and expensive the blood of Jesus?
But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom” .: When Christ comes again and sets up His Kingdom, you and I if we are faithful can sit with Jesus and eat and drink with Him at His table for He longs to to have Fellowship with us again. Let us never forget the coming again of the Lord each time we break bread. That we may learn to keep ourselves pure and worthy to dine with Him in Glory.
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives: It is interesting to see the way Jesus went to the Cross. He was not gloomy and feeling sorry for Himself. He went with Joy and Thanksgiving singing Hymn. Can you imagine knowing that You will be Crucified the next day and Yet went about Singing? This is the right attitude to take up the Cross and follow Jesus because we know that nothing can happen to us with God’s perfect knowledge and plan. And we know that All things works together for good for them that Love God.
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:‘I will strike the Shepherd,And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.: And Jesus quoted a prophecy about Him in Zechariah 13:7. He showed them that they were going to Forsake Him and run for their lives as the Scriptures have said. He did not rebuke them for it because He knew that they don’t have the Power of the Holy Spirit. Also He told them about His resurrection, so we don’t have to be discouraged. There is a resurrection beyond the Cross. If we Follow Him, even if we die, we will live again. Also notice, The Devil is always seeking to strike the Shepherd. Once the leader is stroked, He can easily scatter the flock. Leaders must always be on guard against the Devil. For they are the target of the Devil, if leaders betray the Lord, their bad example can cause the flock to be scattered. Fathers be careful!!! If the Devil is able to get you, then all those who are within your house can be scattered.
Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”: Here we see Peter comparing Himself with the other Disciples saying, “I will never fall away, I am not like them”. This is the Language of the Pharisees who look at the tax collector praying in the Temple and says” God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector(Luke 18:11). This is the Spirit we see here. And this is exactly what Jesus wants to break in Peter’s life because He knew that Peter would be useless if that Spirit was not broken. He was self confidence and sufficient and not prepared to be the Leader at that time. Any self confident person is totally unfit for Christian leadership. In the world Self confidence is very valuable. But in God’s Kingdom, it is in weakness and brokenness that God display His power. It is when we are weak and realize our powerlessness that the Lord can use us. We must always recognise that, “Without God, we can do nothing(John 15:5)”. When it comes to serving the Lord, we must have Zero confidence in ourselves. Peter was yet to understand this and that’s why God allowed Him to fail by denying Jesus three times. These broke Him Completely. God seeks to break us in the areas where we think we are strong. It is our strong points God seeks to break. You don’t need to fail before You recognise that you are weak. Learn from the Mistakes of others. God wants to break the strong points in your life so that as a broken Man, you may be able to serve Him effectively.
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”And so said all the disciples.: Even though Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God said to Peter, “You will deny Me”, He was so confident in his ability and said No!!! Until He was broken and wept bitterly, He was not fit to be a Leader. This is always God’s way of preparing those who will lead His People. Jacob became Israel only after His Hips was broken(Genesis 32:25-28),Moses had to spend 40 years in the desert feeding sheep and goat where all his confidence and hope of leading God’s people was broken. This is always God’s way. When You think You are ready to lead God’s people, You are not!!! Until You have lost confidence in your own abilities, then God can give You power to Lead His People. The Earlier You get to that point, the better You become!!! So allow The Circumstances that God brings across Your Path to break and Humble. Don’t waste it!!!
Notice also, that All the other Disciples said the same thing and not only Peter. But they all ran away when Jesus was arrested. But it was Peter alone that finally Denied Him in public because He needed the brokenness more. He said something more than the others He said, ” “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble” He was in a more serious Spiritual condition than others. If you compare Yourself with others, You need to be broken more than the others.
Dear Friend, Each time You come to the Lord’s table to to partake of His body and Drink His blood, examine Yourself and always ask, “Lord, am I the one that will deny You after I have eaten with You?, Lord is it I?” Allow your Will to be broken in order to do the will of God. Never forget how much it cost Jesus die for You. Remember the strongest of Us is weak. And You more Your weakness, the more you can be useful for the Lord. For He has chosen the weak things of this world to shame the ones who are Mighty. May the Lord give us Grace to remain faithful in the Way of the Cross which is the Way that leads to Life.(Amen). God bless You. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.