12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ 20He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’
Weeks ago, as we began our journey through the Gospel of Mark, we were introduced to the list of disciples in chapter 3. At that first introduction, we were told that Judas would betray Jesus. Judas then faded into the shadows… until today. In the verses leading up to today’s passage, Judas receives payment for his betrayal. In today’s passage, Jesus tells the disciples that the betrayal is coming.
The faces at that meal are telling—none of them deserve to be there. The people at that meal will fall asleep while guarding Jesus, betray him, deny him, and desert him. Yet, they’re still invited to the table. That’s one of the greatest truths about the Lord’s table. It’s a table for traitors and deserters, for the undeserving and the unworthy. It’s a table for us.
Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.