While Jesus is at the table, he takes the bread, breaks it, and looks at Matthew. As far as we know, Matthew is the only one of the twelve that, when he starts following Jesus, people are pulling Jesus aside and saying things like, “Are you sure you want to be hanging around this guy? Because he’s a tax collector.” Which meant he was taking money from his fellow countrymen to fund the Roman army. Many tax collectors were thought to be cheats and thieves. Jesus looks at this man, who lived that kind of life, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is my body, and it’s given for you.”
Next, Jesus sees Peter, and he knows that Peter is about to have a bad night. They all are, but Peter firmly believes in the strength of his courage. In a few short hours, Peter will betray Jesus. Out of fear, Peter will deny even knowing him. Jesus knows this. He looks his companion, his friend, who will abandon him, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is my body, and it’s for you.”
And then he turns to Judas, Judas who feels the extra weight in his lap of the thirty coins tucked into his purse. He has already betrayed Jesus, sold him out, and he is sitting there at the table with Jesus. The plot is already in motion. Jesus knows this. He knows what Judas has done, and what he will do. He looks at Judas, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is for you.”
It’s not that our sins don’t matter. They do. When we compromise our integrity, when we hurt each other, when we set the commands of Christ aside because they’re not convenient, it matters. When we come to this table, we come with our sins. There’s no other way we can approach God. It is not in spite of our sins that Jesus offers us his flesh and blood, bread and wine. No, it is precisely because of our sin, that Christ breaks bread, and he hands it to us, and says. “This is my body,” and no matter who you are, or what you’ve done or will do, this is for you.
Submitted by Roy Rhodes