(We first ran this Communion meditation in October 2016.)
By Ronald G. Davis
Because of varying details in the four Gospel accounts, scholars disagree over whether Judas was still present in the upper room when Jesus called for a new bread-and-cup occasion, a new Passover meaning. But we know Judas was there long enough to be given one last, gracious opportunity to repent (see John 13:18-30).
When Jesus said, “The one to whom I will give . . . ,” it was Judas’s fingers and thumb that grasped the sop, a grasping motion that characterized his lifestyle controlled by greed, not grace. Each who comes to this table with Jesus has the Judas choice: to repent and say, “Lord, I am deeply sorry for my sin,” or to say, “Excuse me, while I go out to sin some more!”
Judas cared so little for Jesus’ well being, he saw only money signs—”What is he worth?” Well, that is the question that is answered here at this table. “What is he worth?” Is he worthy of devotion? Worthy of obedience? Worthy of repentance? Will we sit quietly, repentantly, or are we in a hurry to “get out and get on with life”? Do we make the Judas choice? He repented . . . but too late. Jesus died because of Judas’s sin, and he died for Judas’s sin. Then, sadly, Judas died unnecessarily for his own sin, at his own hand.
Those are the choices: die for one’s own sin or allow Christ’s death to be a personal atonement for one’s sin.
Judas sits here at this table. And Satan stands ready to jump in as lord of the unrepentant life. Which Lord will you choose here as your own?
When Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me” (Mark 14:18), the only question I can ask, the only one you can ask: “Is it I?” For Judas the answer rang clearly, “Yes, it is!” What is Jesus’ answer to me? He is my Lord . . . or he is not. Here, I give my confession; here I give my answer.
Ron Davis loves “standing at the cross” reverently and thankfully each week at the Lord’s table of grace and sensing God’s love.