EXCERPT: Pastor Dan, “I don’t know about you, but when I read the passage in Corinthians, and I read what Judas Iscariot did to Jesus my first instinct is to always think to myself, “HOW COULD THEY?” …but that’s not the attitude that we want to come to the table tonight is it? Instead, in humility, what we ought to be saying to ourselves is, “Where’s the Judas Iscariot in my life? Where is the Corinthian Church in my life? Have I not, have WE not all also betrayed Jesus in our life as well?
“Well, we discover that “Thankfulness” is not the only attitude at the supper that evening; in addition to thankfulness there was also BETRAYAL. The Scripture tells us in Matthew 26: 20-25…
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”
This passage is such a fascinating passage… but not only does it remind us that there was betrayal at the Last Supper, but it tells us there was something very interesting about the atmosphere of the Table as well. It gives us an indication as to just who was seated where.
One of the other Gospel writers tells us that Jesus and John (the beloved disciple) lean up against each other. We might conclude that at the Last Supper Jesus and John were together and in all likelihood John was seated at the right-hand of Jesus, at the very end of the table.
But this passage tells us who in all likelihood was sitting at Jesus’ LEFT side. He says first, “One of you is going to betray me”… and that simple statement is bait… and leaves everybody in the room asking, “Who is it going to be”?
But then Jesus gets more specific and he says, “The person who’s going to betray me is going to be the one whom we have dipped our hands in together; and NOW not everyone else is asking. Instead we discover that while they were eating they would have shared the bread together, and passed it… and to pass it they would have served each other. And NOW, not everyone else is asking who it could’ve been… instead, Judas says, “Not I”….
Many people think that Judas simply spoke up because he had a guilty conscience…but that’s not why he spoke up… he spoke up because it became very clear who Jesus was calling out when he said, ‘it was going to be the person whom I have dipped hands into the bowl with’.
The night that Jesus was betrayed.. at this Last Supper, the person sitting right next to Him, to His left, was in all likelihood Judas Iscariot himself.
But we need to understand that that’s not the only time that the Lord’s Supper has been betrayed… the Scripture also tells us in 1 Corinthians that some of the early brothers and sisters in Christ betrayed the Lord as well. So the Scripture tells us, in the following directives in 1 Corinthians12:17
“…I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not…”.
I don’t know about you, but when I read the passage in Corinthians, and I read what Judas Iscariot did to Jesus my first instinct is to always think to myself, “HOW COULD THEY?” …but that’s not the attitude that we want to come to the table tonight is it?
Instead, in humility, what we ought to be saying to ourselves is, “Where’s the Judas Iscariot in my life? Where is the Corinthian Church in my life? Have I not, have WE not all also betrayed Jesus in our life as well?
And therefore one of the other things to do… to come to the table together tonight is not just to pray a prayer of THANKSGIVING, but also pray a prayer of CONFESSION… and to acknowledge that we are not as far away from Judas and the early church as we often would like to think ourselves to be.
And so if you’ll look at the screen, I’d like you to join me in our Prayer of Confession together this evening:
“Eternal God, whose covenant with us is never broken: we confess that we have failed to fulfill your will for us. We betray our neighbors and desert our friends, and run in fear when we should be loyal. Though you have bound yourself to us, we have not bound ourselves to you. God, have mercy on us, weak and willful people. Lead us once again to your table, and unite us to Christ, who is the bread of life and the vine from which we grow in grace, to Christ be praise forever. Amen.”
At this time we want to give you a time of silence and prayer… this isn’t just your sort of go through the motions silence where we give you 10 seconds; we know you’ve got more sin than that to confess (chuckles)… and so we wanna take an extended period of time and just allow you to make sure that you’ve had an opportunity to truly confess before we come to the Table together tonight…will you join me…
(30 seconds of silence)
As we continue in a spirit of prayer, I invite you to hear the words of the Prophet Isaiah when he said,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” Isaiah 1:18a
I invite you to hear in the word of the Psalmist declaring,
“That as far as the East is from the West… that’s how far our transgressions have been removed from us”. Psalm 103:12
I invite you to HEAR the Word of John the beloved disciple when he said that,
“If we confess our sins, he (Jesus Christ that is) will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9
IN CHRIST’S NAME WE PRAY…AMEN.
Well we discover that there not only is a time for THANKSGIVING at the table and a time for CONFESSION at the table, but there’s a time for SELF-EXAMINATION as well… as we continue in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 NIV
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and number of you have fallen asleep.
Ya know even beyond the idea that we might come to the table with UNCONFESSED SIN is the distraction of just the idea that we might come to the table just NOT FOCUSED. There’re SO many things that might distract us… in fact my first go through I had a long list of examples and then I thought “Well why would I do that? … because if they weren’t thinking about it then I’m going to make them start thinking about it… and so I’m just going to trust that you have your own things that will distract you from focusing on the Table together tonight.
And Paul urges us to stop and examine ourselves; it might not be this big unrepented sin that we have in our lives, but PERHAPS, the thing that keeps us from really benefitting from the table is just our FOCUS… where our HEART and our MIND is.
So we wanna give you that opportunity to see this… we’re going to play a video for you and if the video and the song help you to examine and focus on the Table then we want to invite you to continue to watch it… if not you can take the time to pray during this video; use this time however you would like. `
Video from [00:09:35] to [00:12:48]
PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION:
The Table was set, there was THANKSGIVING, there was CONFESSION, there was time to EXAMINE and now we’re also reminded of the sacrifice. The Scripture says to us in the Book Matthew, Chapter 26 and Verse 26:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying, Take and eat; for this is my body.
Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
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All Pastor Dan’s Sermons: