I’m preparing this week to preach from Matthew 26:1-35. In studying and praying, I’ve found N.T. Wright’s commentary, Matthew for Everyone, to be more than informative–it has been both a weight and wind to my soul. It only seems fitting that meditating on the hours leading up to our Savior’s death would cause, in the words of Wright, “its beauty and terror (to) captivate (me) for ever”.
His comments on Chapter 26 are worth the price of the whole book in my estimation. Below is the current paragraph echoing in my soul. The fact that Jesus not only shared this meal with the disciples… but he shares it with me.
May deeps of the gospel, Jesus’ body broken and blood shed for the sins of many, ruin you.
Jesus was going to his death wounded by the wounds common to humanity. Greed, lust, ambition: all kinds of natural drives and desires turned in on themselves rather than doing the outward-looking work the creator intended them to. When we say that Jesus died ‘because of our sins’, we don’t just mean that in some high-flown, abstract sense. We mean that what put him on the cross was precisely the sins that we all not only commit but wallow in. ‘It isn’t me, is it, Master?’ Only when you’ve said that, knowing that it might well be you, can you begin to appreciate what it meant for Jesus to sit at that table and share that Passover meal with them, with Judas too. Or what it means that he has promised to share his feast with us as well.
Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 16-28 (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004), 152-53.