Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for April 1, 2021; Holy (Maundy) Thursday
Exodus 24:3-11; Psalm 116:12-19; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Mark 14:12-26
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” Mark 14:12
I wonder what Jesus was feeling and thinking when his disciples asked him the question: Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover? At face value, it’s a simple question. However, the disciples had no idea what was going to transpire within the next twenty-four hours. I can only imagine that Jesus’ interpretation of the question was more like, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to be the Passover lamb?” Yes, Jesus knew full well that this Passover would be different. This Passover would be the last because the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) was about to be slain. He was about to be slain.
I am sure, in his humanness, he was burdened with the thought of what was lying just around the corner. Yet, despite how he felt, he guided the disciples to prepare a perfectly executed Passover meal. There was nothing about Jesus’ behaviour that would keep them from expecting that this festival meal would be any different than those in the past. Yes, Jesus entered that festival in preparation to willingly become our Passover Lamb. He knew that in a few short hours he would endure denial and hatred, violence and execution by those he came to redeem. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and [yet] as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
Despite his internal struggle throughout that final Passover meal, he continued to think of and comfort his beloved disciples, including you and me, by instituting the holy meal of himself- his own body and blood. For 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. (Mark 14:22-24) No longer did the people need to sprinkle the Passover lamb’s blood externally to be considered holy. Now we internally receive the Lamb of God, whose body and blood cleanses us fully from the inside out.
So, as we enter Holy Week and walk with our Saviour to the Cross and then the open tomb, may you give thanks for his willingness to endure all that he did because of his love for you, and then receive the comfort and assurance of the forgiveness of your sins, through his shed body and blood. For we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. (Hebrews 10:10) Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please forgive me my sins of thought, word, and deed. Thank you for denying yourself and willingly taking the judgement and penalty of my sins upon yourself. Thank-you for your presence and cleansing through your precious meal of Communion. Thank you for being my Saviour! To you alone be the glory! AMEN!