Only hours before the beatings that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion began, Jesus was sitting down eating a meal with his followers. All twelve were there, including Judas.
It is here that he instituted the Lord’s supper. Within minutes of this Jesus names his betrayer as one of his own, Judas. But what is most interesting about this account is that Jesus still offers Judas the invitation to salvation!
The setting of this last meal was the Passover. Following tradition Jesus passes around the bread and wine. This part of the Passover meal symbolized how in the past God saved the Israelites in Egypt, and how in the future God would save the world through his coming Messiah. In short, the Passover taught that all who follow God will be saved. Jesus, that Messiah, shares this invitation to all twelve sitting around him. Including Judas.
Jesus, knowing Judas would betray him, still dies for him.
Retaliation is easy. That’s why it’s so common in our world. Sacrifice and forgiveness, on the other hand, are neither easy nor common.
But that’s what the Spirit of God does to a person. It transforms them. “This is how we are sure that we are in him: anyone who says, ‘I abide in him,’ ought to behave in the same way that he behaved.“ 1 John 2:5b-6.