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THE LIVING LAST SUPPER
Lord, is it I?
The story of the last supper with Jesus and his twelve disciples is found in Mark 14:12-19.
This year, on Maundy Thursday night, almost 100 people met silently in a room with subdued light and ate a Passover meal at the First Christian Church in Atchison, Kansas.
Seated at a long table were thirteen men dressed in typical Biblical costumes. Jesus wore a white robe and sat centered at the table. On each side of him were his twelve apostles that he had selected: “Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite (zealot); and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.” (Mark 3: 16-19 (NKJV)
During that meal Jesus shocked them with these words: “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?” Matt.26: 21-22 (NKJV)
As Jesus shared the typical Passover communion meal with the disciples, we sat silently at our tables also eating our Passover meal with our table companions.
After silent intervals each disciple stood and introduced himself as the disciple he portrayed. Each disciple knew that he had human weaknesses that made him capable of being afraid and perhaps fearful of admitting to being a disciple…but Jesus said that one of them would “betray” him. Sell him out to the enemy. Therefore they honestly asked, “Lord, is it I?” “Am I capable of betraying you?”
An example of their self-doubts came from the words of Simon, the Canaanite zealot. His words went like this: “The other disciples know that I have a history as a troublemaker. I am the only one of them who was a zealot, a militant who joined a group to take up arms and fight the Romans and free our country from their domination. Some of the disciples want Jesus to be a political or military Messiah, but Jesus doesn’t want that. Does Jesus think I would betray him? Lord, is it I?”
So, as each of us review our personal history and recall our flaws and weaknesses, should we also ask the same question of ourself? Lord, is it I?
In a previous article, A Failure Restored, I dealt with how Jesus firmly but lovingly restored Simon Peter to full discipleship and leadership in establishing the early church.
Jesus challenged Peter to build his relationship with Christ solidly on agape love. Simon failed when he depended on himself and his desire that Jesus build an earthly political and militant kingdom. Jesus challenged him to accept the reality that Jesus was God and that his kingdom was not physical, political or militant. God’s Kingdom is totally ruled by love and the acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and savior.
So, dear readers, we have gone through another Lenten season and have celebrated Easter. We have had many Lenten services; we have had sunrise services and have sung “Christ The Lord Has Risen Today,” and stood to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
For the disciples and early Christians it meant a revolutionary new beginning. Their lives were transformed. The timid became bold and the Holy Spirit empowered them to become effective witnesses.
I must ask myself: what difference has it made in me that Jesus is powerfully real and alive on planet earth? Has Christ brought me to a deeper commitment? Will others see a difference in me? Does Christ live within me?
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