Many of us have heard the story for as long as we can remember: "On the night that Jesus was betrayed, he gathered with his friends. And after supper… and after supper…after supper...
We’ve been told that Jesus was aware of the danger he was in when he entered Jerusalem on the colt that morning. Many say that he knew he was going to his death. Throughout my life I have believed and disbelieved about this week. Stories of faith are like that. I believe that he knew that his message of love and justice was upsetting and unsettling. I believe that he knew that his message had stirred up the leadership in both secular and sacred places. I believed that he was aware of the danger surrounding him.
Although I've never walked in those shoes, I have had experiences in my life when I felt something painful coming. Many of us have been in times of our lives when we have sensed that the other shoe was about to drop. Many of us have been in places where we felt that time would soon be different. We knew that things were soon to change. We knew that the life that we were so used to, would soon be turned on its head. I believe that this was in Jesus' his mind and on his heart during that supper. Whether he knew or not that he would that night be betrayed, I don’t know. What I believe is that it mattered deeply and I hope comforted him to gather that night with his friends.
After supper, we are told that Jesus turned to them and I can only imagine what he saw, how he felt. I imagine he saw love gathered round. He collected up what was left of the meal, and gave them this one last lesson. In the broken bread, in the poured out wine he promised them that he would be with them. In this ritual that they had done together for so long he asked them to remember him. This ritual that he taught them on that sacred night, is alive and practiced still. We do it to be reminded of Jesus’ presence in our lives. We do it to remember that we are all members of the same body. We do that to be renewed and restored. Because he told us.