“and Jesus said, ‘You will all fall away… but after I am raised up I will go before you.’ ” v. 26
It’s set like a precious jewel between betrayal and denial. In the text, you can see it arranged perfectly. Before the bread and wine, he predicts betrayal, then after, denial and abandonment is foretold. Set indelibly in between two great human tragedies are the words of our Lord, “This is my body…this is my blood.” I don’t think the position of these words is coincidental.
Jesus first predicts the searing dagger of betrayal, clothed in a kiss of friendship. Then he offers the bread and wine of the New Covenant. After that he declares that he will not only be betrayed, but abandoned and denied by those closest to him. What a tragically beautiful picture of redeeming love. This is the gospel. This is the good news.
The betrayer prepares to make his way to the door under pretense of charity, while the others staunchly declare their willingness to die at his side. He knows they want to, but they can’t. They don’t yet have the power to match their passion. But there he stands, heavens brightest diamond, set between humanities failings. This is the gospel. This is the good news.
We’re all betrayers at heart, waiting for the right bag of silver to draw us away from our redeemer’s side. We’re all scattered sheep, looking incessantly for some place a little greener than we had yesterday. He listen’s with love to our porcelain promises, cracks forming as we speak. He can already hear the rooster crowing in the background. He knows we have passion, but don’t trust his power to see it through. But there he stands, with bread and wine in hand, offering more love than we can ever imagine or repay. This is the gospel. This is good news.
He knows the wolves are coming, the sheep are growing restless, and the rooster is about to play taps on our resolve. But still he offers us his body, broken and his blood poured out. He is the diamond set in the midst of your greatest point of brokenness. Your past failures, and present struggles, and even your future disappointments form the setting to reflect the glory of his redeeming love. In the same way the setting of a ring is transformed when it receives the precious stone, you have been offered God’s glorious new covenant of grace. Once you receive him, your failures are transformed forever. You are never the same. That is the gospel. That is the good news.