Thursday, March 29

threecrosses

Today is Maundy Thursday,
the day of our Lord’s
Last Supper. 

Read:
Exodus 24:3-11
Psalm 116
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Mark 14:12-26

In the Old Testament, after receiving the commandments from God, Moses took the blood from the sacrifice and dashed half against the altar and left half in the basins.

In the New Testament, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, blessing the bread and breaking it, saying that this was his body broken for them. Then, after blessing the wine, they all drank from the cup which Jesus said was the blood of the covenant poured out for all who believe. Christ mentions that he will never again drink from the vine until he shares it with us in the new kingdom of God.

Read from Luther’s Small Catechism to understand what Holy Communion is all about:

The Definition & Command of Communion
What is Holy Communion?
Communion is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and drink, as it was instituted by Christ himself.

Where is this written?
Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul say:
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

 

The Promise of Communion
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation.

The Means of Communion
How can bodily eating and drinking produce such great benefits?
It is not the eating and drinking alone, but also the words that accompany it, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

These words, together with the eating and drinking, are the chief thing in the Sacrament, and those who believe them have what they say and declare, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Preparation for Communion
When is a person worthy to receive the Sacrament?

Fasting and other outward disciplines are indeed good preparation, but people are truly worthy and well prepared who believe these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
But those who do not believe these words or who doubt them are unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require truly believing hearts.

 

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