Proclaiming the Lord’s Death Until He Comes

2021-04-01 – Year B – Maundy Thursday – The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas
Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 78:15-26v; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 22:14-30

Israel’s Passover

  • Consider your favorite family holiday meal. What are the traditions that surround that meal. Decorations. Family Roles. Things you always do.
  • Exodus 12:7-11
    • This meal was a continual reminder to God’s people of the way he had delivered them in the past.
    • Also a significant way to pass the faith down to future generations. (v. 14)
  • The Passover Seder is grounded in this original commandment from Exodus and it expands on it to provide a ritual for the eating of this meal (the Haggadah)
    • The four questions – “Why is this night different from all other nights.”
      • We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and God brought us out with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. And if God had not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, we and our children and our children’s children would still be subjugated to Pharaoh in Egypt.
    • The breaking of bread – three pieces of matzah, the middle one is broken, half is put back the and other is wrapped in napkin and hidden (the afikomen) until the end of the meal.
    • The four cups of wine: sanctification, plagues, redemption or blessing, praise

The Last Supper: A Meal Transformed

  • The first cup (sanctification) – blessing God for sanctifying the day, it occurs just before the first ritual handwashing.
    • Luke 22:17-18
  • The breaking of bread
    • Luke 22:19
    • The afikomen
  • The Third Cup (redemption or blessing)
    • Luke 22:20
    • Exodus 12:13 – The blood of the passover lamb
  •  Not just for Jesus’ disciples in the upper room, but for all disciples through the ages.
    • 1 Corinthians 11:25-26

The Sacrament of Communion

  • “A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. God gives us the sign as a means by which we receive that grace and as a tangible assurance that we do in fact receive it” (ACNA Catechism, 55-56).
  • Union with Christ – 1 Corinthians 10:16
    • The Prayer of Consecration “We humbly pray that all who partake of this Holy Communion may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ, be filled with your grace and heavenly benediction, and be made one body with him, that he may dwell in us and we in him.”
  • Union with his Body the Church – 1 Corinthians 10:17
    • Divisions – 1 Corinthians 11:17-20
  • Spiritual Nourishment – John 6:53-55
  • At the Last Supper, all of this was a foretelling of things to come, now we look back and see its true meaning.
    • “This is the night that Christ our God gave us this holy feast, that we who eat this bread and drink this cup may here proclaim his perfect sacrifice.”

The Messiah Betrayed

  • But Jesus had to suffer and die for these things to come to pass.
    • “This is the night that Christ the Lamb of God gave himself into the hands of those who would slay him” (BCP 2019, 560).
  • As we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion together this evening, let us remember and treasure the gifts we regularly receive as we renew our relationship with the Lord and with one another.
    • “As my body is nourished by the bread and wine, my soul is strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ. I receive God’s forgiveness, and I am renewed in the love and unity of the Body of Christ, the Church” (ACNA Catechism, 58-59).

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