“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (Jn 13:1; KJ)
Today we had a wonderful Holy Communion service. Our Lord instituted the Holy Communion during the ‘night when He was betrayed’ (1Cor 11:23). Betrayal is the most painful emotion a man can experience. To betray it means to be unfaithful in a loving relationship based on trust. Betrayal is a crime against love. You cannot betray your enemy, only your friend. To betray it means to deceive your friend, to expose your lover to danger and shame. A traitor abandons his victim at the time of his greatest need. To betray it means that you my friend, you chose to help my enemy, to stab me in the back, to fail me in time of need. Betrayal is never accidental. It is a willful sin. To betray, it means that you disappoint me when I needed you the most. This is the voice of the victim of betrayal: ‘My friend knew everything about me. I opened my heart to him. We shared our dreams for the future. He knew my strengths and my weaknesses. He was supposed to cover me, to protect me. But he sold our love to my enemy. Our plans for the future, our dreams for a better world, were all sold for a small amount of money that could only buy a tiny plot in a dusty forsaken cemetery…That is where our love is buried…’ Judas betrayed his Master for 30 silver coins. This was the price for an average slave. There is a small Judas in each one of us. It is easier to forgive an enemy who did you harm than to forgive a friend who betrayed you.
Look unto Jesus… See what He is doing in that infamous night of betrayal, at the time of His greatest loneliness on earth and most terrifying pain… Jesus did not lose faith in God or His love for the remaining eleven disciples. Jesus ‘broke bread and fed them’. In the past He fed multitudes. He now feeds His little band of sorrowing friends. He encourages them and loves them to the end. He ‘took bread and gave thanks’ to God. Together they sang a hymn. During that dark moonless night Jesus loved His own to the end. Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss. He made love a hated criminal. But he only killed himself and his foolish dreams of religious ambition. But love went on, where flesh cannot survive. The Lord went to the Cross. He died for us! We betrayed Him but He did not betray us! Selah! As we partake in the Holy Communion we remember Jesus, who died for us, who loved us to the end. What manner of love is this? Search the whole universe and you can never find such a love! The Cross prepared the way for the Crown! Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive all power, honor and praise forever! Deep calls unto deep! Suffering calls unto suffering! Betrayal is a waste of heart. But the cold grave could not hold my Master for too long. After three days He came out! He now rules all creation! Love never fails! Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Jesus Christ, the Lord of all living and the dead! You are God! Glory to Your holy name!
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him…” (2Tim 2:11, 12; KJ) “Lord Jesus I bow before You! I worship You in the beauty of Your holiness! I say that You loved me first! Before You came into my heart, love was just an imagination, a stranger I envied from afar. But You came to me… You filled my heart with Your life! Your love has freed me from shame, regret, torment and guilt! Your love never fails! Even when I was unfaithful, You remained faithful, for You cannot deny Yourself! Oh, that I may know You better, and the fellowship of Your sufferings for me, that I may experience this joyful glory called eternal life and the power of Your resurrection! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!’
Singing: “Jesus You love me too much o… Excess love-o…”