Opening Prayer

Lord, your mercy is amazing: higher than the heavens, wider than my wanderings, deeper than my sins. How great you are.

Read MATTHEW 26:17-25

The Last Supper

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 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.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

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New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Pray today for those who cannot read the Word and hear the truth in peace and freedom.

Think Further

We know nothing about the man who provided the place of hospitality for Jesus and his disciples to celebrate the Passover. He may never have known the significance of their gathering. Most of the disciples didn’t either, at least not fully. Judas had clearly managed to hide what he had been doing from his fellow disciples. So they ate and drank together in apparent peace. Judas, however, could not hide his intentions from Jesus and he soon knew that Christ was fully aware of them. The public announcement that one of them would betray Jesus was clearly a party-stopper.

It feels unnerving that each of the disciples asked Jesus if it could be him. Could they all be capable of betrayal? Though eleven of them had no such intention, they lacked sufficient confidence in their own righteousness to be able to rule it out. In true humility, they were able to recognize their ability to sin. Only Judas asked the question hypocritically, for he knew the answer and Jesus confirmed it. Christ’s reference to one who ‘has dipped his hand into the bowl with me’ (v 23) indicates the closeness of their relationship and the depth of the betrayal.

Many of us are able to hide our sins and failings from others, even those who are very close to us. Which of us is a truly open book to our friends and family? Which of us has no thoughts or attitudes which we would want sometimes to conceal from others? Many people are very skilled at hiding and live wiA PAINFUL PASSOVERth all kinds of deceit and pretense. Judas found he could not hide from Jesus and nor can we. God sees our hearts and knows our motivations. May we live at peace in that reality.


‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’1

Closing prayer

Father, I thank you for your table, a reminder that your body was broken that I may be made whole. Your blood shed that I might be cleansed from my sins. I offer my heartfelt thanks.

Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by kingstar

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