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Maundy Thursday Reflection 3/4

Luke 22:14-22 – Jesus and his disciples share a meal

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.’

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!’

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s a strange thing, sharing bread and wine.
In many ways it shouldn’t be anything special at all.
After all they’re just everyday things. It’s like sharing a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, or a pork pie and a pint of ale. There’s nothing special about it.
And yet, somehow, it is the most special thing of all.

When the disciples sat down to share that Passover meal it would have been strange if there hadn’t been a jug of wine and a basket of bread on the table. It would have been just as strange if their Rabbi hadn’t taken it and blessed it.

Baruch ata Adonai elohaynu
“Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.”
“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the World, Who brings bread out of the earth”
It was all so…normal. And yet this night it seemed so strange.

“This is my body, broken for you”
What did he mean, his body? This bread was their nation, rescued from slavery and brought to freedom. Passing through the water of the Red Sea on the way to the promised land. What did this have to do with Jesus’ body.

“This is my blood, poured out for you”
What did he mean, his blood? This wine was the rejoicing of countless generations, celebrating their freedom and praising God for his saving love. What did this have to do with Jesus’ blood?

“Do this in remembrance of me”
Why would they need to remember him? what was going to happen?
Some of them began to worry.
One of them sloped off into the night.

“The Son of Man will go, as it has been decreed”, he said.
This was no accident. This was not Jesus finally giving in to the will of his enemies.
This was Jesus Christ, the servant king, laying down his life,
Consciously, willingly, faithfully allowing his body to be broken and his blood to be poured out.

And as we share these ordinary, everyday miracles of bread and wine we take his brokenness into our own broken bodies so that we too may be willing to lay down our lives for others.

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