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Sundown, Wednesday. The beginning of the Passover Feast.

It's so easy for us to get so caught up in tradition that we forget that the events that we read about really happened to these people. The Last Supper wasn't some static event that happened in a vacuum. It's more than just a story, more than a painting. It really happened. I've been trying to contemplate the reality of the everyday thoughts, fears, joys, and all the other emotions that the followers of Jesus had during Holy Week.

I'm looking at the clock right now at 5:32pm on Wednesday afternoon and thinking of what it must have felt like for the followers of Jesus as they prepared for the Passover Feast on this evening so many years ago. They had been traveling so I'm sure they were looking forward to the Passover to sit back, relax, eat a little, drink a little wine, and enjoy each others company. It must have been nice to get away from the crowds and have just the core group around them.

Then, as they are eating Jesus begins to speak. "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me." The Bible says that they began to ask one by one, "It isn't me, is it, Master?"

"Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, 'It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?'
Jesus said, 'Don't play games with me, Judas.'"
Matthew 26.25 msg

OH SNAP!!! That must've changed the dynamic in the room. Are you kidding?!?! One of the twelve?!?! One of the elite chosen few?!?!? OUTRAGE!!!

Then Jesus starts talking CRAZY TALK! "Eat my flesh, drink my blood..." WHAT?!?!?


By the end of the night they would end up at the Mount of Olives, and the garden at Gethsemane. Jesus would continue to bewilder them by telling Peter, one of the closest to Him, that he would betray Jesus. This can't be. Say it 'aint so Peter. Then eventually by the end of the night Judas shows up and greets Jesus with a kiss. Soldiers appear out of nowhere. Jesus is arrested. The disciples flee in fear for their lives.

What were they thinking at that moment?

What happened? This was supposed to be the King. We thought He was going to conquer the Romans, and now he's been arrested?
This isn't at all what we thought about when He kept talking about "His Kingdom." We thought we were going to be ruling and reigning with him and now we are hiding to save our own skins?

What went wrong?


jimi said...

Now this comment may reveal my geekiness more than i'd like, but being in the middle of my phd comps (and by in the middle of, i mean first half was today, second half is tomorrow) i've pretty much given into that reality by now.

This point is one of the many in the vein of the sociologically interesting questions about Christianity that is particualrly well stated in the subtitle of one of my favorite sociology of religion type books (its really more history than sociology, but that's beside the point) - Rodney Starks' The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries.

By all "logical" accounts following this Jesus fellow should never have caught on. i, for one, am glad "logic" is not king.

TGL said...

Sometimes I wonder why the disciples were so surprised by the days leading up to the cross. Hadn't Jesus laid it all out? Hadn't he taught from the prophets what would happen? We can look at it now and wonder about these close friends of Jesus and what they must have been going through. They were with Christ, His most inimate friends and followers and still didn't get what Jesus was telling them. And we wonder why we struggle with what God wants for our own lives today? It isn't always clear to us what His plan is, and it wasn't to them either.

Interesting to note in the painting of the last supper that you used it is quite easy to pick out which of the twelve is Judas...no halo.