Simply the Words of Jesus

A reading for Maundy Thursday, March 24, 2016: Mark 14:22-42.

What if we stripped away all the story, and just heard the words of Jesus on the night he was betrayed? You already know the story, now hear just the words:

“Take; this is my body.” 

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

“You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 

“Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 

“Sit here while I pray.” 

“I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 

“Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”

“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

Notice three things.

One, by the end "Take my body" has a very literal meaning.

Two, Jesus is very alone to face the hour of his sacrifice.

Lastly, still he promises to meet us in Galilee. Right in the midst of his abandonment as Jesus offers everything and those that claim to love him offer nothing, still Jesus is faithful to the promise that he will deliver life.

This too is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!


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