Recline with the King

by DanWolgemuth on November 14, 2008

When it was evening, he reclined at the table with the twelve. ~ Matthew 26:20

Ah, the joy of reclining at the table. In fact, we are just on the verge of several annually established “recline at the table” holidays. What a delight it is to gather around a table, together with family and friends, to eat, to reflect, to honor, to give respect, to celebrate the goodness of God and the provision and generosity of His care.

Passover was just this kind of annual milestone. A moment to reflect on the rescuer, the liberator from the hands of slavery. So as Jesus made His table reservation at the home of a “certain man,” it seemed like another great opportunity to concentrate on the provision and care of God.

However, buried in the visible story was the invisible plot. The seeds of defiance, distrust and betrayal had germinated and were on the verge of breaking through the soil. As the evening unfolded it was obvious that while others were unaware, Jesus clearly was not.

Armed with such knowledge, Jesus could have easily orchestrated a preemptive strike that would have invoked the energies and bravery of His comrades, but no invitation for retaliation was imminent. Instead, during a time of ceremonial and relational significance, Jesus served food and drink to His closest allies and to His lying betrayer. Jesus even made certain that the feet that would race off to enlist the support of the chief priests and elders were clean.

In this powerful and courageous action, Jesus shows us the way to embrace both loyalty and defiance. He prays a blessing over the joy and the pain. He invites us to the darkest cave of human defiance and shows us that there is still light.

At the Passover meal Jesus locked arms with us in every struggle, in every conflict, and in every disappointment. If this plot itself could be part of God’s redemptive plan, then nothing could be outside the grace filled work of God.

Even at the table, even in the betrayal, even through the shattering disappointment Jesus shows love and dignity and confidence, that evil itself could not thwart the plan of God.

Reclining at the table, with the King, through the disappointment, with confidence, just like Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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