What a remarkable statement! As he begins his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus tells his disciples—and us—that he will be handed over. He will become passive, powerless in our hands. It’s just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
This is a strong contrast to everything we have seen Jesus do so far. Jesus was at the center of attention—healing people, contending with opponents, calming storms, and multiplying bread. He always took the lead and spoke with authority. But at the cross, Jesus remained quiet, humble, and vulnerable.
The truth is, this is what Jesus intended all along. He came as God’s gift to us. A gift doesn’t tell the recipient how to use it. He left it up to us to decide how we were going to receive him. We didn’t have to reject him as many of his people did. We didn’t have to deny him as Peter did. We didn’t have to kill him as the Romans did. We could have embraced him and accepted his message of salvation. But we didn’t.
And still God handed him over. He didn’t take back his gift.
Even today, God continues to hand Jesus to us. At every Mass, on every altar, in every Communion line, Jesus is placed in our hands as God’s gift of salvation. None of us are worthy to receive him. None of us accept him as fully as we should. But that doesn’t stop him. He still gives himself to sinful men and women. He still offers his salvation to us. Let’s return his gesture and hand ourselves over to him.