Lenten Reader | Day 38

When the Hour Came

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.

- Luke 22:14-20
In this passage, Jesus says to the disciples that he eagerly desired to have this meal with them. Throughout the course of the meal, there were discussion and instruction that would inform the way Christians believe and act for the rest of history. The discussion of Jesus’ coming death could not have been good news, even though they had heard it previously, and most likely they did not want to hear it or believe it.

How about us? Jesus eagerly desires to communicate with us through Scripture, in our prayer time, and in the Word spoken to us. Do we want to hear all He reveals to us? Just as in the passage above, it is not always welcome information. Throughout the Bible we are told that life is full of trouble and difficult with losses, relationship issues, financial struggles, and a multitude of other situations. Many times, the solutions found in God’s word require work on our part and often work we do not wish to do.

If you and I choose to do the work of following Jesus, we can be assured that strength and grace are available to us. It does not mean that our lives are easy or changed overnight but it does mean that we have a resource in Scripture, in prayer and in our church relationships. The disciples did not immediately find courage. Frankly, I think they must have been discouraged, even terrified.  But they found what they needed in trusting Jesus. We can do that as well, one step at a time, eagerly desiring what Jesus has for us. In John 16:33-34 Jesus says, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world.”

- Karen Skillings
Father, reveal yourself to me through Scripture, through prayer, and through hearing your Word proclaimed. Give me the strength to do the work of hearing your Word and doing what it says.