Imagine being Jesus. Sitting there, eating his final meal with his twelve closest friends. The men he chose. The men he handpicked to help spread his story. His brothers. His confidants. His disciples. And he knew. He knew that before the night was over, two of those men would turn against him. Two of his handpicked men would put aside the past three years of hard work. To save themselves. Yet he let it happen. He welcomed them to the table and ate with them. Oh. He warned them both. One of you will betray me and turn me over to be arrested. The other will deny knowing me. And still he ate with them. Still He loved them. He let them make the decision. He let them choose their path.
Just hours before Peter denied knowing Christ, he had helped John prepare the Last Supper. The Passover meal. Jesus had asked Peter to get the meal ready, knowing that a few hours later Peter would deny him. Judas went to that meal having set his betrayal in motion. He had already turned himself over to Satan. He had already arranged a deal to hand Jesus over to the authorities. Jesus knew. But he welcomed Judas all the same. When he told Peter what he would do, Peter vehemently argued that he would never deny knowing Jesus. He said he would go to prison or die first.
The thing is. Jesus knew his disciples’ decisions would lead him down a dark path of suffering. He knew those decisions would help lead him to his death. But he didn’t stop it. He could have chosen to stop his suffering. After all. He is God’s son. But he knew his life purpose was to suffer and die for everyone. Including those two men.
Just this week, I felt betrayed. I felt abandoned. I felt like I was treated unfairly. Thrown to the wolves. That’s how it felt. And it stings. It cuts to the core. It leaves you reeling and wondering where to turn. When trust is suddenly no longer within reach, what do you do? But Jesus held steady. He knew he would suffer. He knew the path he was on. He knew the road he was taking was not easy. Yet he took it willingly. He even died on that path.