Red Letter Year: 5/31

Matthew 26:17-30

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”

18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.

20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”

23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.


“Jesus’s command that his disciples eat his body and drink his blood is a challenge to all accounts of Christianity that would separate the truth of the gospel from the flesh and blood of the Eucharist. The gospel is not a philosophical truth that can be known apart from its embodiment in a concrete body of people constituted by baptism and Eucharist… The God who is in Christ, very God and very man, is also the God that has no difficulty in being found in the bread and wine made for us the body and blood of Christ. The church does not just remember Jesus when we do what he commanded we do, but in fact we become Jesus’s memory for the world so that the world might be reconciled. We do not remind the world of Jesus as if he is dead and our memory keeps him alive. The exact opposite is true; because Jesus lives we can be made participants in his time. The Eucharist is the feast that makes Christ’s time the time in which his people live.” Stanley Hauerwas Matthew, p. 219.

The New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.