Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Drama in the Upper Room

Most of this I learned from Dawson McAllisters book, "A walk with Christ to the Cross"-- A fabulous book and I highly reccommend.

The Last supper...  Thursday of Passion week.
Jesus and his dicples were celebrating the passover feast in Jerussulum in the Upper Room. This was Jesus' last meal. Jesus washed their feet and taught them many things during this supper.

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.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 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.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

So They all were there, eating and listening to Jesus, when Jesus became  deeply troubled... everything probably changed dramatically. Something changed Christ's spirit and shook him up very deep within.  He announced that one of his own disciples would be betraying Him, it is later revealed that Judas Iscariot would be the one to  hand Jesus over to the enemies...
The disciples started looking around the room.. "is it me?" is it me?'  "who is the Betrayer?" - they couldn't figure out the answer. Then one by one they approached Christ and asked "Is it I?"

Judas (knowing he was the one that Jesus was talking about)   leaned over and asked "Rabbi, am I the One" - and Jesus said "you have said it yourself..."...

Judas Iscariot has been called the darkest mystery in the Bible, Scriptures dont reveal much about him. Judas spend 3 years with Christ and knew him, walked with him, heard most of what he taught, trained, served on witnessing tours, was a leader among the disciples, outstanding business leader, treasurer of the group. and he was warned of sins consequences by Christ.... But he fell to the depths of evil.  Judas has selfish ambition. He joined up with Christ for the wrong reasons, he thought Christ was going to go set up a kingdom on earth.. not a heavenly kingdom... he thought that he would become Jesus' Prime minister... but that wasnt Christ's intention. Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not of this world.... things were not going the way that Judas had wanted to... and he becaome very bitter...
So when did everything started going down hill? 
- Probably about a year before the Crucifixion, Jesus had fed 5000 men with 5 small loaves of bread and 2  fish, the following day Jesus crossed to the other side of Sea of Galilee to rest. when the crowd realized that he was gone, they got into boats to find him... all these boats going to find Jesus... Perhaps Judas saw this and thought this was to be the moment when He would announce the establishment of His earlthy kingdom... instead Jesus offended the crowds and made them mad by his words and actions, even scolded them for their fleshly motives... they wanted a messiah who would lead them to overthrow Rome,  but Jesus refused.  Thats not what He was about... this must have made Judas mad.
Judas also desired money. Greedy... Judas cared only about himself, as evidenced in his selfish ambition and  lust for personal gain. Judas decided to make a deal with Jesus' enemies... who were the Jewish leaders. Judas' anger had reached  a boiling point. He wanted to help those who wanted him destroyed. The leaders needed Judas's help in itentifying Jesus. they could recognize Christ during the day but  were afraid to arrest him in daylight, in fear it would cause a riot.  Judas, with his knowledge of Christ's wherabouts became valuable to religious leaders.
Matt 26:14-16 -
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

So back to the "Last Supper"...  there judas was eating and  simmering  in bitterness and greed, then John asked Jesus to reveal the betrayer, and He did so by a familiar cusom. He took a cracker o piece of bread and ddipped it into the sauce that was on the table. he then offered it to Judas. - It was a Jewish cusotm, a means of offering friedship, but it appears Christ was offering Judas one mre chance to repent of his evil plan. ...
Judas stayed with his decision to rurn against Jesus, and rejected His offer of love. Immediately, Satan himself entered into Judas. Knowing this jesus commandad Judas, "what you are about to do, do it quickly (John 13:27)
The drma reached its conclusion, and Judas left  to perform his horrendous crime... the other disciples were confused about what whas going on, and never suspecting what Judas has in mind, but Jesus knew that His steps to the cross were quickening.

Peter was one of Jesus disciples... Jesus told Peter that he would deny that Him three times (Luke 22::31-34)  " I tell you Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me"
But Peter said "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." and all the other disciples said the same.  (Matt. 26:35)
and sure enough Peter did...
Satan was at great work during this time. he was setting a trap for Peter and the others. Jesus was very concerned. He knew that there was alot more going on in the spiritual realm that they would ever be able to see. Jesus tried to help them realize that there was alot more going on than what they had thought...