INVITATION TO EAT
It is PASSION WEEK! This is the week where we remind ourselves the sacrifice and victory of Christ through the cross and resurrection. As I was meditating on today’s passage, I felt that the Lord is doing something within our midst that will come to a breaking point this coming weekend! God has been doing a lot of things within His people where I believe that God is awakening His people to hunger more for His presence and Kingdom. That through this hunger for Christ that the struggles we were chained to and the breakthroughs that we will need will come not through direct attention to them but our intense attention to Him. When it comes to the death and resurrection of Christ, we forget that they are not the end of the Christian faith but that these are only bridges to the true purpose of it all in that the good news is that we have fellowship with God because of these things!
It will be tempting to just go through the motions of Passion Week and just do the same things that we have done with a mentality of “been there, done that.” But let us plant the seed of hunger for the Lord and prepare ourselves for God to move in a way where we have never experienced or expected.
We have been invited to sit and eat with God in an intimate relationship with Jesus. Let us remind ourselves that we have a seat at the table with God because of what He has done and not what we did.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?
The passover was an event that the Israelites remember God’s faithfulness when He saved them from slavery in Egypt. When the last plague of the angel of death was going to come and kill all the firstborn in the land, the way God distinguished His people from Egyptians was through the blood of a lamb that was on the doorposts of the people of God. When the angel came and saw the sacrificed blood on the door, he would passover the house and thus the people were spared from destruction.
Several things happened during this passover event
It was the blood of a sacrifice that saved the people
It was the blood of a sacrifice that separated a group of people from another, in other words, the Israelites were set apart from the rest.
The lamb that was slain was the lamb that saved the Israelites and this was an image that Jesus was going to use to do even a greater work of grace. Jesus is about to take Passover to another level when He is going to show that He is the ultimate passover lamb when his blood will be on the posts of the cross to mark in faith those who believe in the all saving power of His sacrifice as the believers are now and forever the people of God.
We have to remind ourselves again and again that it will never be what we can or cannot do that will secure our fellowship and relationship with God but that it was Jesus who paid it all.
17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.
In ancient near eastern culture (ANE), to betray someone after eating with them is one of the most treacherous things that you can do for to be invited to fellowship through food was of the highest honor and was a sign of deep intimacy. Yet, what was interesting was that Jesus still invited the person that was going to do the most treacherous thing known to them! We can look at Judas and almost condemn him as the betrayer of Jesus but we must realize that as we point the finger that more often times than not we too have done a similar thing. We may have not directly betrayed Jesus but when we have chosen to sin, we have chosen to betray the intimacy we have with Him. BUT the crazy thing is that Jesus knows our betrayal and still invites us to the table! Jesus still chooses to maintain His friendship with us and keeps setting the table for us. Let that sink in today. Jesus invites you and sets up a party with you even though you and I have a tendency to break fellowship with Him.
Today let us guard our hearts, cherish the seat with God bought for us, and choose to remain seated in His presence.