Luke 22:14-21 (NLT)
The Last Supper
Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.”
The Gospel of John records some of the details from this night, and it shows that it started with the customary washing of the guests’ feet, usually done by a servant but on this night done by Jesus. Jesus explained to His friends that He did this to show forth an example to them that the leader had to first be a servant both in physical service and service from the heart.
His “New” Commandment he gave them in Vs. 34 of Chapter 13 was to “Love one another” as in His example of service by putting them first
One of the sacraments of the Church today also came from that night. The observance of communion in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice for the world’s transgressions.
Our Text comes today from the gospel of Luke, so we can understand how God provided this bridge from the Old Testament to the New Testament Gospel and how the cross became that bridge that allows all to come directly to God in Jesus Christ.
The scriptures tell us that on the day of the Passover celebration, Jesus sent two of His apostles into town to prepare the meal. Vs. 14 above picks up as the meal starts.
Jesus tells His friends that He has been looking forward to this time of fellowship with them. He is not looking forward to the cross, but to the result, it will bring His friends when His love for them takes Him there. Vs. 17 says He took a cup of wine, and after giving thanks, He handed the vase to them to share among themselves.
Jesus had said earlier in His ministry that He “had not come to abolish the Law (Old Covenant) but to fulfill it. From the garden of Eden to the Cross of Jesus, we find that no forgiveness is possible without the shedding of blood. In giving one cup to share among many, Jesus honors the Old Testament covenant of one priest going out to many offering the blood sacrifices on their behalf for forgiveness.
The New Covenant
Vs. 18 is the blessing and eating of the bread, which Jesus says is His body that was given for us. The physical bridge to God was Jesus on the Cross, as His body was given for us.
Vs. 19 records the second cup of wine that Jesus explains is the “New Covenant” between God and us, an agreement Jesus says is confirmed by His blood that will be poured out for everyone.
This represents the New Covenant – One cup poured out into anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their salvation through his blood that will be shed on the cross.
May we celebrate Maundy Thursday today in Holy Week by thinking about the New Commandment to love one another as Jesus loved us and to remember the New Covenant made with us that through Him, we might each be forgiven of our sins under His blood that was poured out for us on the cross.
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