Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday

Holy Week isn’t a reenactment of the last days of Christ’s life. Holy Week isn’t a drama or a passion play. Instead, Holy Week is something much more. It is the gifts that Christ won on the cross coming near to us. Salvation was won and accomplished on the cross; in the worship services of Holy Week, salvation is delivered to us through the Word and the Sacraments. Our remembrance of Christ’s Passion isn’t us traveling to the cross, but the cross coming near to us, with all of its great gifts.

Nowhere is this more apparent than when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Jesus commanded, “Do this in remembrance of me,” but this remembrance isn’t simply a nice memory or a reenactment of what happened that night. In the Lord’s Supper Christ actually brings His Passion to us. He gives us His Body, the same Body that hung upon the cross for our salvation; He gives us His Blood, the same Blood that was poured out there to atone for our sin. On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Sacrament that brings the cross to our lips. Much happened on that night on which Christ was betrayed, and the action moved from the tension of the upper room to the anguish of the garden, and from there to the courtroom, but the focus of this night is on the great gift that Christ gave as they supped. This is the medicine of immortality, it is the antidote to death, because it brings to us forgiveness, life and salvation, all that Christ won given into our mouths and open hands. The miracle of the Lord’s Supper is the miracle of the Incarnation, it is the miracle of the cross, it is Christ Himself coming near to you with salvation. We remember Christ’s passion, and He remembers us, giving us every good gift, physical food for the journey that nourishes to eternity. What better way to remember Christ’s cross than to receive the gifts that He won for us there!

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