â€œWhen you eat the meal, be dressed and ready to travel. Have your sandals on, carry your walking stick in your hand, and eat quickly. This is the Passover Festival in honor of me, your LORD.
That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the LORD, and I will punish the gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won’t be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt.
Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor.â€ Â Â Â Â Exodus 12:11-14 (CEV)
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, â€œThis is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.â€
In the same way, after supper He also took the cup and said, â€œThis cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.â€ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lordâ€™s death until He comes. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (HCSB)
Lectionary texts for Holy Thursday: Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31-35
Tradition brings us to remembering today as when Jesus shared a last meal with His disciples. I wondered today about what I would say to my family if we were seated around a table together for the last time in this world, knowing we would be separated for some undetermined period of time.
God is faithful. Trust Him. God told the Israelites to never forget the night He â€œpassed overâ€ them. It’s hard to imagine but then I, too, had a â€œPassoverâ€ night and I admit, that I have forgotten it on occasion. I’m definitely not proud of that. God does something spectacular like saving my life for all eternity â€“ and I â€œforgetâ€. (Excuse me, I need to take some time to talk to God.) The Israelites remembered through ritual. Jesus came and showed me how to remember through love.
Your relationship with Him is more important than anything. I hope my children learn from my mistakes. And I made a mistake in my 20’s and 30’s where my career and my needs were more important than my relationship with God. Those needs, not surprisingly, weren’t met and so I wasn’t very happy. When I put my relationship with God first, those needs will be met and the rest, will fall into place. Jesus promised that (Matthew 6:33).
Worship the LORD together. It’s great when members of a blood family are also members of God’s family. That doesn’t mean that they all worship at the same church or to the same music or agree on all points of theology. It means that they all love the LORD and know that Jesus is their Savior. Sitting around the table together, asking the blessing, breaking bread together, and sharing about what God has done and is doing in our lives. That’s a family celebration!
Tell your children and grandchildren what God has done for you. Psalm 78, among others, encourages me to share about the LORD with my children and grandchildren. It may be the introduction to God that they will remember when I am long gone from their lives. John said in Revelation that we overcome the â€œaccuserâ€ with the word of our testimony. I definitely want my children and grandchildren to be overcomers. I want to be an example and teacher to them.
LORD, I Give You My Heart by Michael W. SmithÂ