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The Same Night

         For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; (1 Cor 11:23)

It was not just any other night—these were the words the Lord inspired Paul to write. Through no coincidence, what Jesus was about to do for the sins of mankind was done on the very same night He was betrayed.

Perhaps what hurt Jesus the most during His lifetime was not that certain people opposed Him or did not believe in Him, but whom He was betrayed by. In Gethsemane, Jesus was already exceedingly sorrowful and distressed. If we were Jesus and had to drink this cup, perhaps it would have been more acceptable if some stranger came to take us away. But no, imagine that it was one of your closest and most trusted friends!

Yet out of His great love, Jesus made several attempts to get through to Judas so that he would repent. Imagine how difficult this must have been. Although Jesus was deeply hurt, He never stopped loving His betrayer but went on to bear the sins of the whole world that same night.

We are taught from the world that we should only love those who treat us well. However, Jesus has taught us with His life, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Mt 5:44).

Jesus, though blameless, died for us while we were sinners. Yet today, we have trouble forgiving people just for speaking hurtful words to us. None of us have to get beaten, shed blood or even lose our lives, but the sad truth is that some have left the church because of unresolved interpersonal conflicts. This is a wake-up call from the message of the cross.

When we are truly moved by the love of Christ on the cross, forgiving the trespasses of others no longer seems impossible. When we remember how our Lord Jesus forgave, we will realize that in fact there is no sin against us that cannot be forgiven.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (Jn 13:34)

Questions for Reflection

1.     Think of the most hurtful incident in your life. How does it compare to what Jesus went through?

2.     Are there any trespasses that you find difficult to forgive? How can Jesus' example help you?

Author: Bethesda