Hello Members and Friends of Son Light,
On this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, let us pause for a moment to remember what this night meant. It would be very special for Jesus as it was the last time He would dine with His disciples before His arrest, execution and resurrection. And it is in this time of distress that Jesus continues to display His great love for the disciples and for us. John 13:1 tells us, “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.”
Jesus has never stopped loving us. While the disciples casually eat yet another Passover meal, Jesus, John continues, leaves the table and shows them a truly remarkable display of servanthood and humility. He gets down on His hands and knees and takes their calloused and smelly feet and washes the dirt off of them. Little did they know then but in about 15 hours He would be washing away their sins with His blood.
Each time when we share communion together I use these well known words from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “…that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
My fear is that as we hear (and say) these words repeatedly we gloss over the depth of their meaning. Bible commentator Matthew Henry brings us some insight into these words: “Those who partake of it [communion], are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom.”
Jesus’ death was the beginning of our lives, our eternity in His presence. But you need to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
I am embarrassed that Jesus had to tell me to do this “in remembrance of Me.” How could I ever forget Jesus? How could I ever forget His great suffering and sacrifice for my sins? And yet time and again the selfishness in me takes hold and I forget… until He gently reminds me again with a song, or an encouraging text from a friend, or a singing bird in the tree or …
While we cannot be together for communion I encourage you to read John chapter 17, the prayer that Jesus offered before His arrest. Notice how His prayer is about the disciples and for you. Absorb how His focus, His love and His life is all about you and not Himself. Then take some bread and some juice or other beverage and have a time of personal worship, personal communion with Jesus. Take His words to heart and remember not just that He is the Christ but celebrate His grace in our redemption.
As they were leaving the Passover meal, Jesus was still teaching, giving us this command: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
May they (our friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, strangers) know we are Christians by our love. And may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you this day and every day.
Michael Nolt, Pastor