Thirty-Eighth Day of Lent, Maundy Thursday

Luke 22:7-23

Then came the day . . . Our Lenten season nears completion. Wherever we have journeyed, whatever given up or taken on, however the Spirit has worked within us to bring us here, the day of Christ's passion is upon us. The Passover, arching back to God's ancient triumph, is about to be recast in Jesus, our ultimate Passover lamb. 

It would be a Passover like no other, forever marking final deliverance, and Jesus wanted this special meal to be just right. Preparations are important, featuring large in Luke's story. Orders given, disciples sent, a place arranged, with hearth and provision, for this one, last meal. 

Our Lenten preparations have also been leading to this moment, too. Care has been taken. Arrangements have been made, not on a whim but divinely orchestrated by our Master. Reflect back: How have you been led through Lent to this communion, when Jesus would offer you himself, in the bread, in the wine, as our Passover Lamb?

When the hour came . . . Jesus knew, as no one else, the finality of this Passover meal. Israel commemorated this historical day, but its significance was about to shift irrevocably. "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer," Jesus announced, declaring that He would neither eat nor drink of it again "until the kingdom of God comes." And in unforgettable words lodged deep in the core of all Christian worship, Jesus realizes His eager desire at this meal, at this hour, with these friends, in the presence of those who love him and one who would betray him. All the preparations to fulfill Jesus' one desire for fellowship before suffering. And why is that? Because this last communion foreshadowed our lasting fellowship, which His suffering was about ensure for us. 

The day has come, and the hour, too. Will you sit with Jesus at the table today? He's prepared it all for us. Here, on Holy Thursday before Good Friday, Jesus eagerly desires to meet and eat with us, to look into our eyes and say, "This is my body for you . . . this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." Everything that's coming next--the betrayal, the darkness, the horror, the silence--would secure our fellowship with Him forever. But for today, will you join Him at the table? Will you eat, drink, and receive His communion, even as we plunge into the following darkness?   

Tom Greentree
Erickson, BC

 

Lenten Reader 2018
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