Today is Maundy (Commandment) Thursday. Christian congregations focus on different aspects of the last Passover meal Jesus ate with his disciples before his arrest. Some focus on the command by Jesus to wash each other’s feet as he had done. While this is not just about washing feet, which some congregations do this day, it is about living lives of service.
Other Christian congregations focus on Jesus’ command concerning the partaking of the Passover meal. This command is the one I want to focus on today.
Mark 14:22-24. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.”
When the Lord made a covenant with the descendants of Israel, it was sealed in the sprinkling of a young bull. God promised to care for them, to bless, guide, and protect them. In return, the people would obediently follow his commands. The problem was that although the Lord kept his end of the covenant, his chosen people did not keep theirs. They acted as rebellious children, like an unfaithful spouse to the Lord. Because of sin, the sacrificial system of shedding blood had to continue.
You and I have also acted as straying sheep. Just as rebellious and unfaithful as the people of Israel, we, too, deserve to be cut off from God. Happily for us, Jesus Christ, the pure Lamb of God, has been offered up in our place. In a new, one-sided covenant, God has punished his Son for our disobedience, and he credits to our account his perfect Son’s righteousness. Lest we doubt this as too good to be true, Christ gave us his very body and blood to eat and drink in the special meal we now call the Lord’s Supper. In his divine blood, we now have eternal life.
Please join me in prayer: Thank you, dear Jesus, for the shedding of your blood for me. In your precious name, I pray. Amen.