Holy Week, Thursday
by Pastor Nathan Hornback of the Elko Church
Reading for Reflection:
This Holy Thursday morning you’ve awoken from a nights sleep.
On this Holy Thursday morning two thousand years ago our Lord Jesus Christ also awoke from a nights sleep.
Take just a minute and ask yourself, what are your plans today? What do you hope to accomplish?
Jesus Christ had plans for this day as well. His plan was to have one final meal with the disciples he loved so dearly. His plan was to be betrayed by a friend into the hands of his enemies. His plan was, only a day away, to shed his blood on a cross and have his body beaten and ripped apart. His plan was to save you from your sin, by giving his own life as payment. As horrid as it would be, it was a relentless love for you that drove him towards it.
“The mystery of this unique day, and its liturgy where light and darkness, joy and sorrow are so strangely mixed, challenges us with the choice on which the eternal destiny of each one of us depends.” Rev. A. Schmemann
Scripture Reading - John 13:1
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
This morning, start your day knowing that Jesus loves you dearly. Pray that others would understand that love.
Reading for Reflection
As you read this you are most likely full from the meal you just ate. Did you know that when God made you, he created you with a ‘hunger’ and ‘thirst’ that would only be satisfied by something outside yourself? You need food and water to survive. You see, whenever a person eats and drinks, it is just as much spiritual as it is physical. Much like were satisfied after a meal, we're to be reminded that our very souls need the love of Jesus to survive. We constantly need to ‘feed’ on Jesus’ words, his life and ‘drink’ in the love and the grace that he pours out to us. Take them deep into the very center of who we are as people. Without this, our souls will die. Even in our daily meals we’re given a picture that illustrates our need for Christ, a picture of Communion (Eucharist).
On this Holy Thursday night, Jesus also ate a supper with His disciples. He took a piece of bread and broke it before them. He held up the bread and said, “…This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19b) Then He did the same with a glass of wine to which He said, “This cup, that is poured out for you, is a new covenant in my blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table…” (Luke 19:20a)
As the disciples ate and drank, they felt the reality of their need for Jesus and that he would soon be gone. His body, like the bread he tore, would soon be torn for us. His blood, like the cup he poured out, would soon be poured out for us. The Eucharist reminds us of our desperate need for Jesus, and the satisfaction that can only be found in his sacrifice made for us this Holy Week.
As you go to bed tonight with a full stomach think about Jesus, because on this Holy Thursday night two thousand years ago, He was thinking about you.
“A new Divine work began, that of redemption and salvation. And it was fulfilled in Christ, the Son of God, Who, in order to restore man to his pristine beauty and to restore life as communion with God, became Man, took upon Himself our nature, with its thirst and hunger, with its desire for and love of life. And in Him life was revealed, given, accepted and fulfilled as total and perfect Eucharist, as total and perfect communion with God. He rejected the basic human temptation: to live "by bread alone." He revealed that God and His kingdom are the real food, the real life of man. And this perfect eucharistic Life, filled with God, and therefore Divine and immortal, He gave to all those who would believe in Him, i.e., find in Him the meaning and the content of their lives. Such is the wonderful meaning of the Last Supper. He offered Himself as the true food of man, because the life revealed in Him is the true Life. And thus the movement of Divine Love which began in paradise with a Divine "take, eat... " (for eating is life for man) comes now "unto the end" with the Divine "take, eat, this is My Body..." (for God is life of man...) The Last Supper is the restoration of the paradise of bliss, of life as Eucharist and Communion.” - Rev. A.Schmemann