Thought for the Day 04/1 - Maundy Thursday 9th April 2020 by Rev Peter Baxandall

St Peter’s Carlton Colville and St Andrew’s Mutford

Maundy Thursday – 9th April 2020

For this ‘Thought’ you might like to look at Luke 22:7-23

It has been decided that as well as having a ‘Thought for the Week’ for the Sundays – Palm Sunday and Easter Day, we would also put out an extra ‘Thought’ for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday – and here is the first of those.

Maundy Thursday is the title we have given to the evening of the Thursday before the day on which Jesus was crucified – which we call Good Friday.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances we would have a service of some sort in the evening of Maundy Thursday as we reflect on the events of this particular ‘Passover’ meal.

However, we can read this ‘thought’ at any time during the day, but whenever we do we should still remember the rest of the church ‘family’ and pray for one another.

It can also be a time for us to pray for ourselves and ask God to speak to us in a deep new way about the message of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day.

Jesus wanted to celebrate this ancient Jewish festival of Passover with His disciples – as He had done on several previous occasions – but this time it was going to prove very different, as we shall see.

This Passover Meal was an annual festival going back thousands of years and it commemorates the time that Moses led the people of Israel out of the bondage in Egypt as they set off for the Promised Land.

Over the years this festival has been observed and developed as God’s people gathered around a table and heard again the ‘story of redemption’

One of the most famous pictures of this event, Is a picture called the ‘Last supper’.

This picture depicts the time when Jesus took part in this festival and it shows just 13 people at the table - Jesus and His 12 disciples.

However, this gives a wrong picture of the scene, and on this occasion there were more like 120 people present all gathered into that Upper Room.

With our ‘Thought of the week’ for Palm Sunday we noted that Jesus was focused on making His way to Jerusalem knowing that He was going to die on the cross – and here in this Passover meal are some of the events that were leading up to that time.

As part of the Passover festival a Lamb had to be sacrificed and killed – and Jesus, the Lamb of God was going to be sacrificed on the cross – but more of that in the Good Friday ‘Thought’

Here on Maundy Thursday all was going according to the usual plan as the Passover meal was being ‘played out’

However, at this meal, Jesus was going to surprise them all and leave all who were there aghast at what He did and said.

At the Passover Meal there were several ‘parcels’ of bread on the table – each of which had its own meaning and significance.

One such ‘parcel’ of bread was laid on the table and was called the ’Messiah’s bread’

It was this bread that Jesus took hold of and unwrapped.

As He broke this bread He gave thanks and then gave it to his disciples to eat and said to them, ‘this is my body given for you’

The point that Jesus was making was abundantly clear – He was the Messiah – the Lamb of God who was to be sacrificed.

This would have shaken all who sat at that table – but still more was to come.

In the original Passover tradition there were no cups used as part of the festival – but over the years as many as 4 cups were introduced.
 

These 4 cups were:

1 The cup of Sanctification

‘I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians’

2 The cup of Deliverance

‘I will rescue you from their bondage’

3 The cup of Redemption

‘I will redeem you with an outstretched arm’

4 The cup of Praise

‘I will take you as my people

The third cup – the cup of Redemption, was the first cup to be drunk from after the meal.

As we read from Luke 22:17 Jesus took a cup towards the beginning of the meal and before He took the bread.

However, after the meal, as we read in Luke 22:20, Jesus took another cup – this was the Messiah’s cup - the ‘cup of Redemption’.

This is the cup about which Jesus says, ‘this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you’

There was so much tied up in this statement and action of Jesus.

God had made a covenant with His people many years ago which they had broken.

In Jeremiah 31:31 God says, ‘I will make a new Covenant with my people …’

Through the prophet Jeremiah God is pointing towards His coming Messiah.

This new covenant was to be made by the shedding of the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, as he died on the cross.

Here, into this Passover meal, Jesus had breathed new life and new meaning – and all of this with a significance that is eternal.

As we take time to think of the deeper meaning of this Passover Meal on this Maundy Thursday we pray that God will make these things clear to us.

May we be blessed afresh as we see what Jesus has done for us in these events of that time and as we look together tomorrow at the ‘Thought’ for Good Friday.

As a hymn for our thoughts today we have chosen one written in 1960 in a collection called ‘20th Century Hymns’ entitled ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ and the words are printed below.

We will try to send the music for this under a separate email ahead of Maundy Thursday

 

Lord Jesus Christ, You have come to us,

You are one with us; Mary’s son;

cleansing our souls from all their sin,

pouring Your love and goodness in:

Jesus, our love for You we sing -

living Lord!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, now and every day

teach us how to pray, Son of God;

You have commanded us to do

this in remembrance, Lord, of You:

into our lives Your power breaks through -

living Lord!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, You have come to us,

born as one of us, Mary’s son;

led out to die on Calvary,

risen from death to set us free:

living Lord Jesus, help us see

You are Lord!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, I would come to You,

live my life for You, Son of God;

all Your commands I know are true,

Your many gifts will make me new:

into my life Your power breaks through -

living Lord!

 

 

 

 


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