No wonder Jesus was troubled in spirit as John writes in today’s Gospel. He knew what was about to happen: his arrest, trial and execution…and one of his disciples, Judas, was about to betray him.
How painful it must have been for Jesus to sit at the table with Judas, looking him in the eye, hoping for a change in heart…not for his own sake, but for the sake of Judas’ own soul.
Jesus watched him as he dipped the bread into the dish, and gave it to Judas, one last chance to turn back…looking him in his eyes, hoping he would take the bread as a sign of love and friendship, and not go out into the dark, to throw his soul away.
Judas takes the bread, but he remains committed to what he has promised the Council leaders. In taking the bread, “Satan entered into him.” And he immediately left…but not before Jesus catches his eye once again, as he goes out the door – and Jesus, with words that surely broke his heart for Judas’ soul, says, “Do quickly what you are going to do”.
Isn’t it the same with us? It’s that pesky self-will, that God gave us all that separates us from Him.
When our Lord God, almighty and all merciful faces off with our souls in conflict – it is our self-willed souls that usually has its way. But Christ does not stop loving us. No matter what we do, how far into the darkness we go, His love is always still there.
John Donne, a 15th century priest wrote, “One of the most convenient hieroglyphics of God is a Circle; and a circle is endless; who God loves, he loves to the end: and not only to their own end, to their death, but to his end, and his end is, that he might love them still.”
So, as we take the bread dipped in wine tonight, feast on it with your souls…think of Jesus offering you this bread and wine Himself… remember, no matter how far we have gone, no matter how quickly we’ve slammed the door to go and do whatever we will our souls to do…God is still with you, loving you with arms wide open- to come back out of the darkness and into the brilliant light – the Light of the World!
ECC The Right Here Right Now Church