Holy Tuesday, March 27
Scripture: Mark 14:17-31
The scene is set – there is a buzz in the air; streets are packed with citizens and strangers alike; preparations are being made in the temple; Roman guards are on heightened security; tensions are high; and twelve men and one named Jesus are huddled in a crowded upper room – this is the scene of Passover in Jerusalem, the setting of today’s devotion.
Amid the clamor, Jesus is about to celebrate the holy feast with his twelve disciples, but before doing so, Jesus sends an ominous warning to his followers that this very night, one of them will betray him and the mission he was sent to earth to fulfill. Suddenly, quietly and then in a growing chorus, the room echoes with three haunting words, “Is it I?; Is it I?; Is it I?: IS IT I?!!
And so it began – a narrative almost ripped from a late night Lifetime movie. The series of events that unfolded over the next several hours would lead to the crucifixion of God’s “chosen,” “beloved,” “savior of the world.” However, Jesus throws the ultimate wrinkle in the plot, when he pauses in the midst of chaos to bring a new order and a new definition to the words, “Is it I?”
In sharing of the loaf and of the cup, as many Christians observe during worship every Sunday, Jesus proclaims across the universe – “IT IS I!!” – this is my body and blood given and poured out for the forgiveness of all human sin. The leader would become the ultimate servant by giving his life, so that all who know and believe would also have his life, eternal life!
Indeed, it is I (we), co-servants of the Servant to a broken and fragmented world, so let us respond during Lent to God’s dramatic story by giving our lives to those who hunger and thirst. May we live and be church as those three words pulse through our veins, reminding us that our sins are forgiven through the risen Christ.
Prayer: Holy God, storylines in today’s world may be ever changing, but thanks be that your grace is always constant, always present and always forgiving to those called according to your purpose.
– Steven Baines