A Meditation for the Lord’s Table

From Luke 22:1-6, and John 13. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, August 8, 2010.

It was a quiet evening.  They visited, laughed and enjoyed one another’s company.  There was even a bit of a festive mood around the table.  It was a welcome relief from the hectic events of the week.  Little did they know that murder and betrayal were on the menu that night.  Most of them had no idea that in the midst of their love, fellowship and comradery lurked the dark, twisted heart of a betrayer.  In a matter of hours the fruit of this betrayal would lead to the horrifying murder of their leader.  The laughter and noise of the dinner was silenced as their master declared, “One of you will betray me.”

“Betrayal” is there an uglier word?  The very word conjures up images of treachery, seduction and deception.  Betrayal is the ultimate violation of trust.  And is there any greater betrayal than the betrayal of love?  Our text this morning is found in Luke chapter 22.

Text: Luke 22:1-6
As we approach this section of Luke’s Gospel we are entering into the Holy Place.
On Sunday he entered the city in Triumph –
“Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
On Tuesday he cleansed the temple and established himself as Lord of the Temple.
He met with the people daily in the temple – the temple’s last and greatest glory.
He silenced his critics and walked away from their traps unscathed.

While his critics were silenced they were not finished.
Their hatred and hostility raged.
They continued to meet together determined to see to his demise.
Jesus withdrew from the multitudes and began to prepare his followers for what was to come.

He warned of the judgement to come upon Jerusalem for their rejection of the Messiah.
And he spoke with them about the coming of the kingdom and of his return.

From this point on in Luke’s account we are dealing with our Lord’s final hours.
He is entering in behind the veil to secure our redemption.
These are holy moments.
This has been the focus of history from eternity past.

Now our problem with this text is that we know what’s coming.
We know the story.
We know that Judas betrayed the Lord.
We’ve rehearsed the story year after year at Easter.
But try to set it in its context.
Try to imagine the impact of such a thing on those gathered that night in the upper room.

A careful analysis of the text reveals that:

Thesis: Judas’ betrayal of the Lord Jesus vividly reminds us of the depth of our depravity and the extent of God’s mercy and grace.

There are two things I want us to note in connection with this text.

  1. The heart that is hardened by sin utterly despises the Lord Jesus.  (Luke 22:1-6)
    But that is not the end of the story…
  2. The Lord Jesus graciously returns kindness and compassion for hostility and hatred.

Judas’ betrayal of the Lord Jesus vividly reminds us of the depth of our depravity and the extent of God’s mercy and grace.

Betrayed by an associate and handed to his enemies yet loving and gracious to the end that is the Gospel.  Christ died for the ungodly, the sinner and His enemies.

This morning we come to gather around this table – our Lord’s Table.  We come to remember and to celebrate what He did on our behalf.  It is a table of mercy and grace.  It is a proclamation of His Gospel.  Before we come to this table – do you know Him?  Have you come to the place of acknowledging your sin, repenting of that sin, turning away from that sin and trusting in Him alone for life?  It’s not about being good enough.  In fact it is just the opposite.  It is recognizing that you are wholly unworthy and throwing yourself on the mercy of God in Christ.  Have you trusted in Him?  Will you trust Him now?

This entry was posted in Sermon Podcast and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.