Reflections: Holy Thursday

March 28, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Mark 14:22-26 

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 12:1-28, Lamentations 4:1-22, Hebrews 5:1-14, Psalm 31

And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.  And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Mark 14:22-24a)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We like to take the Lord’s Supper and turn it into something that it isn’t.  Don’t be surprised, we do that with a lot of good things.  In fact, we do that with almost all of the good things that God has given to us.  We want to wrestle them away from His almighty arms and then pretend to give them back to Him as if they were ours all along.

But these things, the things of the Gospel, the things of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the things of worship and the Divine Service, they aren’t ours.  Well, let me rephrase that…  They are ours.  They are just not ours to give, but instead they are ours to receive.  Our Lord gives good and everlasting gifts, Himself and His cross, forgiveness and everlasting life, through these tangible things.  And He does so because we are tangible.  We have skin to feel and ears to hear and tongues to taste, just like our Lord created us to have.

And so our Lord gives us His Supper.  Fulfillment of the Passover feast.  That which brought the Israelites salvation, of which they celebrated for generations in order to be incorporated into that first Exodus, now comes to a close in a new meal and new covenant.  No need to sacrifice lambs anymore, for the true Lamb has already been sacrificed.

Christ comes to you in time and space, His true Body in the bread and His true Blood in the wine, in order that your troubled conscience might be comforted and you can be united with Him.  …  He instituted this very Supper in order that you might know that your sins are forgiven.  No doubt about it, Christ is for you, His cross and salvation are for you.  And how can you be so sure?  Because He has brought it so close to you that you can taste it. n the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

The holy Lamb undaunted came To God’s own altar lit with flame; While weeping angels hid their eyes, This Priest became a sacrifice.  The veil is torn, our Priest we see, As at the rail on bended knee Our hungry mouths from Him receive The bread of immortality.  (LSB 624:3,5)

– Pastor Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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