Thursday, April 05, 2007

Happy Maundy Thursday! Woo-hoo!

From the Gospel According to Matthew, 26th chapter (New Living Translation):

26 As they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and asked God's blessing on it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take it and eat it, for this is my body." 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, "Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which seals the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom." Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.


bread and winephoto © 2008 Kim Mc. | more info (via: Wylio)

I'm no biblical scholar, but my understanding is that Jesus is taking forms of an old covenant, an old agreement, between his people and God (of which, remarkably, he is a representative of both, because he's fully both) to establish a new covenant. The old covenant's way of resolving wrongs and trespasses (understood in terms of shed blood and broken bodies of a blemish-free lamb) and of remembrances of where God has brought the people from (the Passover, also celebrated this month, is the immediate context for the meal that Jesus and his disciples were eating for) is being both perfected and completed by the end of the week. In its place, Jesus stands as a testimony to the new testament, the new covenant.

The new covenant, well, we'll get to that shortly.

7 comments:

  1. So much can be gleaned from this one passage. SO many deep and moving sermons have been written/preached about it. Let's hear it, dude!

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  2. thanks, sheila.

    for the time being, you can click the label at the bottom of this post. i'm going over much of the stuff i went over last year right now.

    peace.

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  3. I just got done "clicking." This is good stuff, jasdye. The historical aspects of it all are just fascinating. Thank you.

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  4. awww, shucks, guys.

    i'm definitely catching a big n.t. wright bias in my ruminations here.

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  5. I attended my first passover sedar last night, and was amazed at the depth of the symbolism that Jesus was addressing when he washed his disciples' feet at the exact point in the meal that he did... it was the place meant for the leader of the meal to wash his hands, declaring himself the most important person there... that speaks depths, I think, about how Christians should see ourselves in relation to others.

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  6. really? i've never heard that perspective (or at least don't recall it. lol). i've been to a couple. i remember particularly the bitter herbs...

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